Sheltered Islander: How I Spent My ‘Indian Summer’

Flip Flops Indian Summer
Photo: Teri Virbickis/123RF

What I call “Indian Summer” spans from August 1 until the steering wheel doesn’t burn your hands. There are no holidays in August because it’s just too darn hot to do anything. There are different performance standards for every activity. There’s no sex, unless it’s in front of an air conditioner and nobody has to move. The official excuse of Indian Summer, acceptable in any situation, is, “I can’t. It’s just too hot.”

The Too Hot Defense, acknowledged by law: “Because, Your Honor, it was 98°, too hot, the humidity was 97%, I was up to my eyeballs in cramps and kids. We had to go off-island on a Friday, in a car without A/C, to replace a dead hamster. We had to go to three places to find a girl hamster. When we got back at 8:30 p.m. he was in his recliner, asking me what’s for dinner. So, I grabbed the frying pan, intending to sauté a lovely vegetable medley and make a frittata with homemade salsa, when suddenly his head ran into the pan…Yes, Your Honor, yes he did, he ran into the pan six times. I was right there, I saw the whole thing.”

Having vacuumed our cars twice since summer began we are now resigned to let the beach sand stay there until autumn. You can identify those who will not be cleaning their cars until autumn by the line-up of new shells along the dashboard. In addition to shells, I have a crab on my dashboard. With his multi-directional eyes, he is my navi-crab, and if he sends me the wrong way, I can crush him with one blow.

All cute cheap sandals bought in June look like crap by August, but there’s no point in buying new sandals now. We wear them no matter what they look like because it’s too hot to care. In June I bought cute sandals with big daisies and sparkly stones in the center. One of my sparkly stones fell off, and my daisies are wilted.

In June we tell our teens, “I’m serious. You can’t go off-island without checking with me first. It’s not about control, it’s about safety. If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t care.” In August we tell our teens, “I don’t care, just be back here by Labor Day.”

Summer cooking: cheap ice cream, iced tea, barbecue, premium ice cream.

Summer housekeeping: Unless someone contracts typhoid, the house is clean enough.

Summer make-up: Someone needs to invent make-up that will not melt off your face. Even waterproof makeup slides off. Until that is invented, it is acceptable to wear the largest sunglasses you can find, indoors and out, and lipstick.

Summer clothes: A cotton gauze tent is the only intelligent attire for the heat, but in lieu of that, you may wear as little clothing as possible, as long as you are clothing/age/weight proportionate. Please remember that some things don’t mix. For instance: stretch marks and a belly ring, tube tops past a B cup, Speedos (unless you have an Olympic medal.)

I believe marriages improve greatly in summer. It’s too hot to fight, too hot to pack and leave, too hot to divorce. I know spousal homicides increase in high heat, but overall, you leave your spouse alone, unless they’re acting like an idiot, and it’s 99° and the humidity is 98%.

“…and that’s when I shot him, Your Honor…to put him out of his misery.”

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