By Karis Hustad, Junior, Loyola University
There are certain signs that summer is upon us: the sound of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince's "Summertime" blaring out a passing car window, the first beads of sweat forming on your back, the heat on the pavement creating a glimmering mirage in the distance.
But as fantastic as summer feels, it's a time that doesn't really make sense when you think about it. Is anything from Will Smith's musical career actually good? Is sweating ever something we enjoy doing? Is feeling the heat of the sidewalk through your sandals a good sign?
Strangely enough, in summer the answer to all this is yes. During the months of late May through early September, certain intolerable practices, sounds and fashions are deemed a-ok, simply for the fact that the earth's rotational axis has brought Chicago a little closer to the sun.
So why exactly are these things okay? Don't ask, don't care, don't judge. It's summer:
1. Bad music
I'll say it so you don't have to: "Country Girl (Shake It For Me)" by Luke Bryan is summer gold. So is Justin Bieber. So is Ke$ha. Literally anything passes for acceptable music in the summer because you can just blame it on the season: "Oh remember when we used to jam to Shania Twain at the YMCA pool in middle school?! Let's pretend like we're 13 again and totally rock out!" Summer is all about nostalgia- use it as your shield against the Pitchfork die-hards of the world. Not to mention bad music usually knocks at the door of our most simple desires, we're just embarassed to admit how true it is. "Friday" is abysmal, but once Friday finally rolls around, I know all I have the mental capacity to say is "Partying....partying...yeah!".
2. Cut offs
T-shirts into tanks, jeans into jorts: blame the hot weather because it brings with it the fever of skin-baring Do-It-Yourself. It's honestly as if a warm front knocks on people's door with a pair of scissors and a college t-shirt and says, "You never really liked those sleeves did you..?". But then again, what else are you supposed to do? Bike in business casual? Dance at Lollapalooza in long pants? Doubtful. So bare it all while you're in shape, tan and don't need the extra fabric- come October you'll be grabbing for the sewing kit once again.
3. Self-inflicted pain
Summer is the only time that you will purposefully lay in the sun until your skin is covered in peeling, festering third degree burns and think "Wow this will be a great tan!". Summer is the only time you can roller blade/bike/run on the Lake Shore Path until you can't move any more and think "Wow I am in such fantastic shape!". And summer is the only time you wake up after a late night out with inexplicable cuts/bruises/pains and think "Wow I must have had a fantastic night!".
4. Fried food
No matter what the celebration, the fatty smell of a sizzling deep frier is a scent synonymous with summer fairs/festivals/markets. Pair a giant lemonade with an overflowing bag of fries/chicken strips/mini donuts and you have the taste of summer as well. Plus, with the grand opening of the country's first urban Chick-fil-A right off Michigan Ave, Chicagoans have just one more reason to forgo diets and indulge in some home-style cooking. Those onion rings are guilt free. You can thank summer.
5. Having absolutely no idea what time it is
On a perfect day in June, it is always summer o'clock. Summer-thirty. Quarter to summer. Who needs to know the time when you have a cold drink in hand and the sun beaming in the sky? Time is necessary when you need to calculate how long it takes to sprint from the bus stop to the doors of your home in -15 degree temperatures. But during summer time, ditch the watch and enjoy the fact that life is good no matter what the clock says.
6. Acting without logic
Okay, well this last one really just encompasses the rest. Summer is a time of year where you can burn yourself to a crisp, get drunk every night, listen to Kenny Chesney on repeat while stuffing yourself with Chik-fil-A and wearing a cut off without fear of being mistaken for a roadie on the "Blue Collar Comedy" tour for as long as you would like. Make sense? No? Good. It's summer.
What else is allowed during summer that you can't get away with during the other three seasons? Comment below!
(Photo credit: http://www.soundfeelings.com/micro-skin-care/images/SunburnLady.jpg, http://crooklyns.blogspot.com/2007_04_01_archive.html, http://lovelyentropy.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/gator-jorts1.jpg, http://charmoflife.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/FriedFood2.jpg, http://www.thecampussocialite.com/wp-content/uploads/summer.gif, http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_clW92NzmFvI/TCtMsKITyUI/AAAAAAAAD0I/Cx9KrhMV-hk/s320/broken-clock.jpg)