So, yeah, summer. Bummer.
I wrote about my summertime slump a post or two ago. You can read about it here.
Or just skip to the recap: Kids are home from school in the summer, which wreaks havoc on my weekly routine and daily domination of home and hearth. So, I get grumpy. And don’t get me started on the fact that it’s hot, which means people generally wear less clothing. This is not good for butches with body issues. Isn’t this all of us?
But is something else going on?
I looked back at my posts from June 2013 and saw some depressing posts about baggage.
Could there be something more, something cyclical that rears its sunburnt head when summer rolls around?
As a kid, I certainly welcomed summer vacation. It’s all a blur of Brady Bunch reruns, baseball cards and whiffle ball games that lasted double-digit innings and ran from one day into the next. Grease is a fine summer memory (even though I didn’t realize that my obsession with the film was really about my crush on Olivia Newton-John).
As I got older, I spent most of the summer working closing shift at the local McDonalds. We blasted Madonna and Prince on our boom boxes after hours as we got the place ready for breakfast the next morning. The bulk of my paycheck went toward sneakers (I specifically remember a pair of gray Converse high tops) and cassette tapes (Joan Jett, you will always rock my world).
After I left for college, I never really wanted to go home for the summer. I was glad for the break from classes, but didn’t want to leave my friends. The school had become my home, and my friends had become my family. We had our roles and our routine. Looking back, I think I felt safe living in an all-female space, even though I didn’t identify as a lesbian at the time.
There’s something about belonging to a group of women that I find comforting. Maybe it’s all of the estrogen in the air or the hairspray fumes. I don’t know.
If we are attending some kind of event that is to be attended by people from my past, W always asks if any of my women will be there. “Now which one is that?” she’ll ask. “There’s so many of them,” she’ll exclaim.
I like that I have women. My grade-school women. The women, the college years. My support group women.
I wonder if my summer blues are not about the start of something new but about ending something old, comfortable, familiar. I wonder if it’s not about the kids ending the school year but me ending school … 30 years ago.
Triggers are weird. Life is weird.
The best we can do is be aware and carry on.
And wait for fall.