Up until several years ago, the most melancholy time of year for me was New Years. Not because of the prospect of the new year itself, but because it marked the end of Christmas. Yes, I love me some Christmastime, and having to put all of its holiday cheer into storage once made me profoundly sad.
Now, I would count Labor Day weekend as the most sobering time of year. Recently, the unofficial end of summer has taken on new meaning and presents newer burdens that I hadn’t carried before. There’s tons to do in order to get the house ready for winter nesting. However, I can’t say that the downside of summer’s end is really a “downside.” After all, there’s nothing better than an autumn’s evening breeze and the beauty of fall colors in nature. Summer’s hectic pace of vacationing here and going there calms somewhat, and free time once again becomes a little more attainable. There’s a new crop of TV shows to check out (and probably end up hating, or really liking before they get canceled after one season), and dinners become cozy and comforting again.
Actually, now that I’ve typed that out, the “end” of summer sounds pretty damn awesome! I mean, who likes to sweat through their clothing while waiting in line at an overcrowded, overpriced, and overhyped amusement park? Who likes to get stuck in local traffic as everyone in town heads to the same “special” destination all at once?? Who likes to spend their weekends in the hot sun tending to yard work because damn if your neighbors don’t somehow keep their yard magically manicured all the time??? There ya go summer…good f****** riddance!
Now wait…hang on there, champ. There’s totally a downside to the end of summer. First off, look at your subway commute. You know how you’ve had no trouble getting a seat for the past three months? Well say goodbye to that! School kids are going to be back riding regularly. For the next nine months you’re going to be sharing your rides with young people both manic and disaffected. It’s the best when fights break out, isn’t it? And you’ll witness the madness standing room only because you won’t get a seat, guaranteed.
Yeah, okay. You’ve got a point there. But the subway rides are pretty short, so no harm done. But you know who’s worse than the kids? Sports fans. UGH. You try spending twenty minutes in a subway car, which smells bad to begin with, that reeks of beer and houses groups of loudmouths. With fall comes fewer sporting events, which means fewer “fans” are out and about generally. I’ll take being shoved into a car full of forty kids over than mess any day.
Sure, but look, fall just means more people anyway. Everybody’s back from vacation. Everybody’s driving to work or to the store or to somewhere. Traffic goes from being mostly okay to nightmarish as you just try to get from point A to point B yourself! Plus, you wanna talk about that “gorgeous fall weather?” I mean, Fall brings everyone out into nature, which was previously too hot to enjoy. Walking trails become cramped, there’s less “alone” space in even the largest of parks, and hell, even just getting to them is as hassle because of what I already said. Traffic.
Well, yes, however traffic is miserable all the time, no matter what. But it’s way worse to get stuck among sweaty people in humid weather. At least the fall brings relief. People seems to be more at ease with and happier in the cooler temperatures. The heat does strange things to people — you’ve seen the news over the past three months? It gets crazy out there because the heat fries people’s brains! Cooler heads always seem to prevail in the fall.
Seriously? Are you high?? Since it seems you’ve already forgotten, let me remind you that fall carries three of year’s worst holidays for hotheads (regardless of the weather): Columbus Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving! Um…or maybe not Columbus Day? I could be wrong there, but lots of people sure don’t like the guy. Anyway…two…two of the worst holidays that bring out the worst in people. You’ve got your psychopaths in masks in October and your drunken family fights in November. At least during the summer, all those idiots head to the beach and have the chance of getting swept out into the ocean.
Oooo, harsh, man. Harsh! Let’s quit with the roundabout before things get really ugly, ‘kay? The fact of the matter is that, despite what our culture has deemed, the summer doesn’t officially end until late September. So for awhile we’ll still have to deal with sizzling temperature, crowded subways, sports fans, and everyone trying to put their lives back in order after long vacations. Yeah, it’s going to be messy for a little while longer, but soon enough, we’ll all be snowed in, complaining about how we can’t get out and do anything because the snow plows don’t work well or fast enough.
And the circle of life will carry on.