Thursday, June 26, 2008
I've had a nagging feeling these last couple of weeks that I just haven't been able to quantify until today. You see, I have been looking at pictures of people enjoying their summers with their swimming pools and barbecue's and large lawns with kids rolling on the grass and playing lawn games for the last month or so from just about every magazine that comes our way and from every store that we shop in. All of these images have been bothering me greatly, and I just realized why.
Arizona summers don't bother me for the obvious reason, the heat, because I really actually don't mind the heat. I have grown accustomed to it, and now I have no problem with it in short stints, it's what the heat does to our social lives that I hate.
So, you see all of those pictures of people enjoying the heck out of their summers? We did that months ago, and now we are in hibernation. The best way I have found to describe this to outsiders is to compare it to winter. Extreme temperatures that prohibit you from being outside for long periods of time. And you know about wind chill factor, where it feels about 15-20 degrees colder because the wind is blowing? We have what I like to call Blow dryer effect, where it feels like you are standing in 115 degree weather with someone holding a hot air blow drier right in your face really making it feel like 130 degrees. Yep--hot wind. It's times like these that I feel like we are living on some experimental housing development on a surface of the sun. And quite frankly, who wants to stand over a hot barbecue grilling food on the surface of the sun? Not to mention the fact that all of my son's neighborhood friends have vacated the state for the summer leaving one majorly bored six year old boy behind.
And then there is the issue of sunscreen. I hate it. Ok, it protects us from dying from skin cancer, and that is noble enough, but other than that I hate it. I hate the sticky slimy gooey greasy stuff that sticks on our skin so well that I have to use a power sander to get the stuff off. I hate the fifteen minutes it takes to rub it in on myself and the additional fifteen minutes per little body. I have found sunscreens that I tolerate better than others, but there isn't an existing sunscreen that I know of that doesn't have to be sprayed squirted or rubbed on or that isn't sticky gooey or greasy. Because of my hatred, I have a hard time sending my kids out to play. I never worried this much about my kids playing outside without sunscreen before I lived in Arizona, but there's something about living on the surface of the sun that makes you feel like you are going to get burned more easily and with greater force.
Oh yeah, and the grass. We barely have any. Certainly not enough to play any sort of lawn game on even if we were interested in slathering greasy sunscreen on and braving the hot air being blown in our faces.
So you see, it's just like winter, occasionally you decide to put on a snowsuit to roll around in the snow, but for the most part you hang out inside waiting for the temperatures to rise.