Welp, it finally happened. The warmth is here. The sun has returned once again, and everything officially smells a little different and feels a little brighter. My social feed is filling up with hotdog legs on lawn chairs, temperature geotags, and park hangs in sundresses. Eating outdoors is now mandatory, iced coffee is a requirement, and using the word “adventure” in every second conversation is law. The air is balmy, spirits are high—and I hate it all.
Yeah, I said it: hate. I hate the pretty trees in the park that blow pollen directly into my sinuses. I hate the flies, mosquitoes, the wasps, and the ants. I like my coffee hot, my temperatures cold, and my limbs swaddled in at least two layers of fabric. I am, against all logic, someone who just cannot stand a warm summer day—and yes, I know this fact deeply offends you.
“How can you not like summer?” I’ve been asked by hordes of borderline hostile friends over the years. “It’s so warm, the days are so long, the weather is so nice...” People take their summers seriously, and to reveal that you hate society’s favorite season is to reveal yourself as an enemy of humanity. So instead, I live my life in Summer Haters Anonymous, hiding my true winter-party alignments until another cold-weather ally quietly reveals themselves. And as hard as it is to believe, this isn’t some fun, rebellious choice—it’s a whole mental and physical existence.
Like, you know that heavy despair you feel when winter arrives? When it gets dark at 4 p.m., the sky turns perpetually gray, and you realize you’ve got at least four months of sadness and anxiety ahead of you? Yeah, I get that in May. Warm weather makes me feel claustrophobic and trapped. Stepping outside on a hot, humid day is like stepping into an invisible straitjacket—there’s only so much I can do to escape it.
Seasonal Affective Disorder doesn’t just apply to cold weather, IMO. But for us, there are no reverse sun lamps (cloud lamps?) that can trick my body into thinking it’s cold and gray outside. As soon as spring hits, so does my anxiety, and I spend most of May through August dreading the idea of having to go literally anywhere.
Because when it’s warm, even simple activities feel extra miserable. Putting on makeup while constantly dabbing my upper lip sweat? No thanks. Curling or straightening my hair only to head out in 90 percent humidity? Nope. Commuting to work when my car is an oven and my boobs have created their own sweat rivulets? Absolutely f*cking not.
Even swapping out my leggings and hoodies for shorts and T-shirts sends me into a panic, especially when I remember that walking + wearing shorts = thigh-chafing so bad, I have to do the Pregnant Lady Waddle just to get some relief. And while I spend each day of summer in a constant state of panicky, strung-out dampness, my friends and family spend theirs frolicking in the sun, happy and relaxed and incredibly confused by my choice to hide away at home with the A/C cranked to 68.
And maybe that’s one of the worst parts of this whole thing—the ~otherness~ of it all. It’s honestly hard to be a summer hater when the general consensus of all humans is that it’s the best time of year. Nothing can get in the way of a warm-weather person wanting to hike, bike, and lie outside until they’re nothing but fleshy bags of vitamin D. “Just try it,” they’ll beg me. “I promise you’ll have fun!” To them, I am A Broken Thing, a malfunction that a little frisbee or beach volleyball can surely fix. And when it inevitably doesn’t, I'm seen as the bummer who hates fun.
But I’m here to say that I am not broken. You don’t have to pity me. While you enjoy sunbathing with half-naked strangers on the beach, I’m perfectly content watching The Circle half naked on the couch. Whereas the hot sun on your skin gives you a hit of dopamine, turning my A/C down to 65 degrees feels borderline orgasmic to me. Your “easy” five-mile hike is not, and never will be, my idea of warm-weather fun (and you wouldn’t want me and my blisters there anyway). Instead, my summer social life includes baking, crafting, and staying TF home, and that is okay. I am okay.
The world may call me a weather traitor, and I’ll probably be dealing with confusion and judgment over this for the rest of eternity, but really...this isn’t sad. When I’m at home under a blanket, and you’re reaching the peak of that fourteener you’ve been climbing all day, I am more than happy to give your IG post a lil double-tap. I’m proud of you for climbing mountains, and I’m proud of me for not.
I know my warm-weather friends will never stop blowing up the group chat with plans of park picnics and lake trips, and I love that for you. So please, still keep me involved, but maybe just throw out some other ideas too, like sitting inside for brunch this time, so I don’t have to sweat over my eggs? Otherwise, I’ll be right here in my home, with the curtains drawn, happily waiting till fall.