My Hate Affair with Summer
I am a proud native of the state of Arizona and an even prouder resident of the moderate state of Oregon. Not to be a traitor, but I love my adopted home state. I don’t like my biological home state so much.Just this morning, while relaxing ever so briefly in a hot tub at my gym, one of my friends there said to another, “I can’t believe it’s almost Labor Day. Where was summer?”
The other agreed and bemoaned the lack of warm days this year, not only this summer, but from last fall through now. Truly, the Portland area has been a cold, wet place for the last year. I remember on many mornings, standing outside my club while waiting, sarcastically chiming in when people groused about the cold morning, “Global warming!”
Of course, that brought on the current standard correction, “Not global warming. Climate change!” My response: “Whatever!”
So, here is a question for you. If you can have a love affair, can you have a hate affair? Well, in my book, yes, you can. I have a hate affair with heat. Do you find it strange that the guy who wrote, “Some Like It Hot” and “My Pad Thai Scares Me” doesn’t like heat?
When it comes to the spiciness level of food, I think that spicy dishes ought to be truly spicy. When it comes to the temperature of the air, it should never get above 82 degrees Fahrenheit if I am to be comfortable. When it is hotter than that and people say that the weather is wonderful, I want to punch them in the arm. What is so wonderful about it being so hot you don’t feel like moving?
Not to be short on discrepancies, but I did start this rant by describing something said to me while I was sitting in a hot tub. I like a hot tub session now and then, but I can only handle about five minutes before I feel cooked. I joke , “Why don’t you just throw in a few vegetables and call me Stu?” Get it?
Give me half a chance and I’ll gravitate towards the cold water. For example, in the summer when the club opens its outdoor pool in the morning, I show up around 4:00AM. I wait in the parking lot until the doors open up at 4:30AM. I go right to the lap pool indoors, which is claimed to be kept around 81 degrees. At around 5:10AM, a worker removes the covering on the outdoor pool.
The air temperature out there at that time is anywhere from 50 to 70 degrees. I’m wet from head to toe and only wearing swim trunks and flip-flops. It’s breezy so it’s a little cold. I love it! The outdoor pool is purportedly about 84 degrees. Feels pretty warm to me.
After about a half-hour out there, I start getting lonely, so I go inside to the therapy pool, which is around 90 degrees, plenty warm for me. It’s a long, cold walk back into the club.
I have a regular group of men I shoot the breeze with and we end up in the hot tub, which is around 104 degrees. I know of one man who quit the club when they started complying with the State of Oregon’s guidelines limiting the temperature to 104. They used to keep it at 107. The man who left wanted even more. I don’t get it.
Some of my friends have speculated that I like cold air because I’m so overweight. That’s not it. Back when I was a youth in Arizona, I was so skinny my dad nagged my mom to take me to a doctor and see if I was dying. I wasn’t. I just had a high metabolism and I burned fat like crazy! I would have those days again.
Yet, being little more than a stick figure, I still hated hot summer days. I’ve hated them through all the ups and downs of the readings on scales.
Once, I was sent by my consulting company to work in Anchorage, Alaska for six weeks, beginning in early November through mid December. It was around 60 below 0. When I walked out of the apartment building, I felt the inside of my nostrils start to crackle. I liked it! I think that maybe somewhere up in the pre-existence, someone made a clerical error. It said I was supposed to go to Alaska but got sent to Arizona.
My wife agrees. Don’t be surprised. We do agree on some things. She’s a native Oregonian. She doesn’t like hot days. She calls Arizona, Arid-zona.
Right now, I’m just biding my time until October hits, the leaves turn pretty colors, and an icy wind whips up. I’ll probably start walking to the gym in my swim trunks.