Looking for a refreshing, uplifting piece of encouragement you need to get through your day? This column will be anything but that. Here, there is only time to comment on all that’s wrong with the world. Just like those baby boomers with their bitter opinion pieces (some of whose scornful comments will feature here), Negative Nancy is out to show you that young, hip people can be annoyed about ridiculous things, too. Because what we all need after a long, hard day of study, is the unwarranted grumblings of a 20-going-on-40 year old.
Here’s my wildly unpopular opinion: I hate summer.
Don’t get me wrong, I like a good handful of things that come with summer; Christmas, holidays, family, iced coffee and swimming (at lakes, waterfalls and quiet beaches only)
But everything else? No way.
From the start, it doesn’t bode well for me. Without any of the social factors of summer thrown in, I much prefer having each of my limbs cocooned in some way, which is impossible most of the time in the heat. And call me picky, but I don’t enjoy peeling myself off chairs, or having a perpetually peeling nose, or a body covered in itchy bites, or a brain functioning at 70% (at best) for four months of the year. These are a few of the many things that people seem to overlook when reminiscing about the warmer months with glazed-over eyes.
Now, let me give you some back story to justify my summertime loathing. I spent the majority of the last two summers working in a very glamorous street sales job, at the heart of the trendiest summer city of all, Mount Maunganui. Five days a week, I watched an endless stream of sunkissed deities strut past, living their best lives. Some time during this drawn-out experience of watching glowing skin, designer sunglasses, and organic smoothies drift by, I became very bitter about the season.
Whilst I’m sure they were all lovely people, my cynical state of mind decided that they all oozed just a bit too much confidence and self-entitlement - qualities that are brought out at their best in summer.
I also need to talk about summer fashion. This is mostly because I saw one of two types of Glassons skirts every five minutes or less, either wrapped or tiered, and for some reason, nothing makes me more mad then a whole bunch of people wearing the exact same thing and thinking they’re trendy. I mean yes, that is literally the basis of fashion, but could we try to be a little bit original please? Other items in this category include surf brand tees, slides, and fanny packs (otherwise labelled ‘bum bag’, ‘waist bag’, and best of all, ‘mini hip pack’).
I need to clarify that most of what I’m ranting about here applies solely to the upper North Island, where the heat is genuinely uncomfortable and the festivals are just that extra bit trashier (no offence to the 90% of you who went to Bay Dreams). From what I’ve experienced of Wellington’s summer and further south, it appears to be, I daresay, a bit more pleasant.
Nevertheless, someone who’s given me a run for my money in the summer complaints department is Stuff writer Rosemary McLeod, who in the prehistoric era of 2011, published an alphabetic acrostic about all of summer’s downfalls. I kid you not, there is a full list of particularly savage criticisms under each of the 26 letters. Here are the best of the ABC’s:
“A IS FOR allergies...and antihistamine.
B IS FOR...for that special hell of sand and discomfort, the crowded beach.
C IS FOR...convertibles, driven with the roof down by ugly rich old people.”
And another few favourites:
“N IS FOR narcissists parading
O IS FOR the outdoors, so uncomfortable.
S IS FOR the endless tedium of sausages.”
She’s right about the endless tedium of sausages, particularly ones that involve sexist political ads (don’t @ me).
Summer is the season of cliches, berry picking, pretending to read books, illegal bonfires and polluting swimming holes with sunscreen. But most of all, it’s the season of instagramming every second of your dream life. It’s boring, long, and repetitive.
But just you wait until winter! Watch my eyes instinctively narrow in the drizzle, watch me whip on a raincoat in under three seconds and witness my expertise in sipping a hot drink on the bus! Those will be the days of glory, and me oh my, we are nearly there.
P.S. I have full permission, as the authorised writer of Negative Nancy, to complain about winter when it comes, no questions asked, no accountability held.