Saturday, August 31, 2013

As August Wanes...

...The Dog Days of Summer Come to an End.


There is something positively diabolical about the month of August for me. During my childhood it always hung in the background like some intimidating Grim Reaper signifying that the lazy and carefree days of summer were soon to end and that homework, bursting book bags, and crabby teachers would take center stage in my life. Making matters worse, here in South Carolina the late August weather usually had this soul grinding combination of broiling heat and oppressive humidity that made everyone both lethargic and short-tempered. People would mull about like disjointed zombies ready to descend on the first person who still harbored some sense of good humor and rip them to bloody shreds.


The grownups in my life then called it the “dog days of summer”, a designation that has marked me for life with its doom-like foreshadowing. Strangely enough there was this incredibly naïve time shortly after I left school where I thought those days were over. There was some idea rolling around in the cavernous empty space between my ears that no longer would I be oppressed by irate teachers and surly adults depressed that another year would soon be over. I believe that frame of mind lasted about as long as it took me to reach my first August after I left school behind me.

Almost without exception my August experiences had been either tragic or disastrous. The spectrum of events have ranged from the sad breakup with a girlfriend during my army days who I thought I loved to near war being declared on the butthole who even now lives across the street from me. At least the girlfriend is now a source of pleasant memories, the “neighbor” and I even now either glare or hostilely ignore each other in some sort of suburban cold war that will only end when one of us, probably me, moves.

Despite the fact that deep down I know there isn’t anything like an annual supernaturally-inspired conspiracy out to terrorize me, this time of the year is the worst for me at work. There is enough humid crap flung my way this time of year that I actually long since made a regular habit of doing a military-like situational awareness report in my head at the first of August to try and prevent any disasters before they occur.

Adding to the chaos is the start of the new school years as my rugrats ( ie: kids) work out the kinks of reentering the hallowed halls of learning. This year Darth Spoilboy is a high school senior who has already earned enough credits to graduate. This has created the attitude in him to skate through with classes akin to underwater basket weaving design and comic book appreciation. My lovely spouse, Dragonwife, wants him to still hit the books with college-level calculus and literature. Needless to say they have had several heated discussions over their differences.

As for my daughter Darth Wiggles, the reintroduction to things like homework and getting ready for the next day of school is far more physically and mentally exhausting than I thought possible. And I swear, two separate school fund raising project folders now sit on my kitchen table. My wife and I are expected to sell wrapping paper and candy bars to our coworkers, friends, and family so the football team can have new equipment and the spoiled suburban Tea Baggers do not have to pay a tiny bit more in taxes.

All I can really do this time of year is to hunker down and try to avoid the worst of the poop flinging and look forward to cooler weather. Around the first of October I usually head down to the coast and spend a Saturday sitting on the near deserted section of the shore at Huntington Beach State Park. The sound of the waves and smell of the salt air is almost enough to make up for this crappy month.

 



12 comments:

Victoria Poulin said...

I m excited for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. I cant wait for releasing date of fifty shades movie.
fifty shades of grey movie
Really awesome writer E L James..

Slick said...

In defense of The Month of August, please allow me to point out that it is the month of my birth and you have to have it to link July and September together.

Birthday notwithstanding, this August has been miserable hot and SHOULD have been blotted off of the calendar. I didn't need the extra birthday anyhoo.

Pixel Peeper said...

Hah - when I was a teenager, I used to welcome the end of summer vacation and the return to school. Summer vacation meant working on the family farm, being cut off from my friends and social activities. I know it sounds odd, but my parents didn't have the skill to make farm life fun and enjoyable for us kids. Plus I really enjoyed school.

The best thing to do during a dreadful stretch of life is to just focus at the light at the end of the tunnel. You certainly have that light with your planned trip to the beach.

And those school fundraisers? I'm pretty sure those same schools still have my name on some black list as "the woman who won't sell anything."

Rose L said...

I was born in Missouri but grew up in S. California when my dad was stationed there and never returned to MO. to live. But every summer we would go back to visit family. I remember how humid it was there! We would clean up and as soon as we stepped outside it was like someone dumped a bucket of sweat on us! Clothes stuck to our bodies, our hair looked damp all the time and we sweltered.

Akelamalu said...

Before I retired I worked in a high school and the end of August meant going back to school for me after 6 weeks holiday, consequently I hated this time then. Now I'm retired I look forward to it, because all the neighbourhood children will be going back to school next week and peace and quite during the daytime will return. LOL

Collin Hinds said...

I wish I could join you on that beach, every time this year, too. That or retreat northward to Colorado, high up on a mountain where nobody knows what the word "humidity" means.

The Bug said...

I grew up in NC, but live in Ohio now & the handful of humid days we have make me realized what a weenie I've become since moving up here.

I don't like the end of August because my husband is a history professor & goes back to full time teaching. I like summers when I can count on him to get groceries!

Life As I Know It Now said...

My wife and I are expected to sell wrapping paper and candy bars to our coworkers, friends, and family so the football team can have new equipment and the spoiled suburban Tea Baggers do not have to pay a tiny bit more in taxes.

And I've already bought $20.00 worth of crap I really didn't want from my grandkids already. I know this is the hidden tax for people like me. Grrr!


Marja said...

underwater basket weaving design is just hilarious Would love to that course lol
My daughter even though she was very academic made the choice to become an artist. She is still happy with her study so that is worth something

Randal Graves said...

August is awfully awful.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Chin up, dude. August is officially over.

I don't miss the extortion racket of selling all that crap to raise supplemental income for the school. team, PTA or whatever.

goatman said...

Old girlfriend (who gilted whom?) across the street - what the odds.
Your life curves back upon itself, seems.
But a surprise deserving note in the writings.
I fear but must prepare for winter and its desolation. . . later.