Annual column lists summer’s pros and cons


I’m pretty sure that at the end of every May I end up writing a column about how pumped I am for summer. So predictable, I know. It’s not exactly something I’m proud of.

This time each year, I find myself amid a fierce internal battle over a most serious dilemma:

“Abi, do you know what you should definitely do? Write about how excited you are to live in the sunshine…again!”

“Really, self? Of all the things in the entire world you could write about? You do this every single summer. Lame.”

“But…but…sunshine….”

Despite that deeply convincing “nay summer” argument, I inevitably lose to myself and end up writing this very column—which I will henceforth refer to as the “OMG, SUMMER!” column.

So, here we are. It’s exhausting to continually resist the urge to gush about summer, so I’ve decided to embrace it. No gloomy weather, no school stress, OMG, SUMMER!

I always anticipate that each summer is going to be incredible, and I’m usually right. Last summer in Chicago was pretty good, but I didn’t hear about a lot of the season’s awesome events until after the fact. Now that I’ve gotten the hang of things, I really feel this summer will be especially amazing. Observe:

(1) I am living with a McPherson native in a giant apartment. It’s basically one huge wind tunnel, but if that means we won’t need to run the AC, I’ll take it.

(2) We have a roof. A really big one.

(3) We are growing all sorts of plants on our roof.

(4) We listen to country music on the roof. (Country is never my music of choice, but there’s something about being on a roof in the sun that changes my mind.)

(5) We also listen to 2Pac on the roof. Clearly, we spend a lot of time up there.

(6) We are painting our kitchen yellow, which reminds me of sunshine and how much I love it.

(7) Two of my very best friends are getting married. Mawwiage!

(8) BARB, my bicycle—short for Butterflies And RainBows—just got a sexy new makeover, complete with an over-the-tire rack and bright safety lights.

Potential hindrances to the excellent summer:

(1) Our wooden ladder to the roof has given me two splinters already.

(2) Sunburns. If someone fetched me some SPF 75 for my freckly skin, I wouldn’t object.

(3) The bedframe I found in the alley is exactly the quality one might expect.

(4) I didn’t realize that my rooftop-grown cucumbers/tomatoes/summer squash/spinach/ onions wouldn’t be ready to harvest until the end of the summer. I was devastated when I learned this. I thought I’d be eating them in a week or two. This should probably be a clear indication of the lack of greenness in my thumbs, but I’ve decided to learn to garden by trial-and-error. Next stop: earthworms.

(5) I’ve already faked my birthday at work three times, so I need to get busy inventing fresh ways to pass the time and joke around with customers.

Thankfully, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Despite the inevitable frustrations and setbacks, this summer will be full of lakeside bike rides, rooftop parties, free concerts, art and music festivals, working with people I love, and probably breaking my iPhone at least twice.

Plus, Justin Bieber is coming to Chicago in October. So even if everything goes wrong and this summer is a total bust, I can spend the next four months in fervent preparation for his show: memorizing every lyric to every song, mastering every dance move and handpainting a “Mrs. Bieber” T-shirt.

But now, I must bid my lovely readers adieu. BARB and I have a date with this beautiful 90-degree day and the Lake Michigan shoreline.


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