Lea Lane

Lea Lane
Florida, USA
August 26
author, Travel Tales I Couldn't Put in the Guidebooks, available at Amazon.com and on Kindle
“I’ve discovered the secret of life,” Kay Thompson, the eccentric entertainer and “Eloise” author, once said. “A lot of hard work, a lot of sense of humor, a lot of joy and a lot of tra-la-la!” And that's been my life: As a travel writer for over 30 years, I've been around the block (more like around the world), and I write true stories about interesting people and places. (Check out my travel site, Travels With Lea.) I've lived an unconventional life in conventional trappings. Been a corporate VP, worked with foster kids, acted in an Indie ("Nurse 1"), was on Jeopardy!. I've been managing editor of a travel publication, written for the Times, and authored books. OS is my home, but I also blog on The Huffington Post, and I've contributed (mostly anonymously) to everything from encyclopedias to guidebooks. Married young, divorced late; married late, widowed early, I dated lots in-between -- and survived a scary illness. After being happily, peacefully solo for many years, I'm now happily married again. I founded and still edit www.sololady.com, a lifestyle Website for single women. I'm truly grateful for each precious day, each well-earned wrinkle, my family, my cat. Truth, laughter, friendship, late love. And this blog -- on this wonderful site!

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JULY 6, 2011 12:42PM

Seven Things I Dislike About Summer

Rate: 42 Flag




If I may kvetch just a bit, here's a short list of my least favorite summer things:

Wearing a bathing suit. I'm so tired of shimmying into the one suit that fits. And my timing is off. When I was young and sleek the style was a modest one-piece suit that hid a multitude of sins. No thongs, no legs up to there. Bikinis came of age as I did, and they started out polka-dotted and barely provocative (see Annette Funicello, Beach Blanket Bingo). Now you need five times a week at the gym, implants, lipo, youth and good genes. And even then, there's cellulite.

Grooming. Parts of my body that never see the light of day three-quarters of the year have been exposed in all their humble, flawed states for several months now. The time, focus and cost needed to keep things exfoliated, trimmed, non-chipped, waxed, moisturized, and sun-screened are daunting. I never seem to catch up, and long for the time I can hide once again in a natural state.

Heat, Haze, Humidity, Hurricanes. I don't mind a bit of glistening, but not at 3am. On the east coast, in this global warming era, summer starts out like a steam bath and ends like... a steam bath. Definitely not "dry heat." More like a constant low-grade fever. I'm a natural redhead, so I burn and freckle. My favorite color is black and my favorite style is cover up, and I like wearing sweaters and jeans, not sundresses.

I grew up in Miami Beach and many of my August birthdays were spent in hurricane candlelight with the power out. I still worry about Bob or Lester barreling up the coast. And as for thunderstorms, they're fine when I'm cozy in bed -especially if someone is holding me. But they scare me when I'm walking in a preserve, or flying. Lightning once came through my window in Florida and sizzled on the carpet by my bed. It also once hit my car, and I just kept driving with my hair looking like Clay Aiken's.

Reruns. If I see one more old House Hunters, I'll become a granite counter salesperson. What is it about granite and stainless-steel appliances? Cheap, cheesy outdoorsy contests are appalling, and lousy sitcoms were bad enough the first time around. (My summer haven is So You Think You Can Dance, a competition of incredibly talented young dancers and choreographers, and judges with heart.)

Dumb Movies. Why does every summer movie seem to include robots destroying cities or slackers with flatulence (or robots with flatulence)? I like small movies with dialogue that includes three-syllable words. 

BBQs. Raw, charred meat, incinerated S'mores. S'over. And clean up is rough. I prefer a warm oven, the smell of cookies baking and chicken roasting.

Insects. When I was a kid in Florida I once sat down and squashed a palmetto bug, which is a roach on steroids. It sounded like an explosion of plastic wrap. I also once put on a shoe and a scary-looking scorpion with a raised pincer was in the toe. I also do not like flies, mosquitoes, gnats and wasps. I hate killing them but what's the choice when they attack?

Reality bites like summer bugs. Political hoopla will soon morph into meaner, harder news. I guess what I like least, now that I think about it, is that despite the sometimes annoying languor, frivolity and openness of summer, I will start missing it before it's gone.

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This is so funny. I'm with you on the bathing suit.
Other than that: I LOVE SUMMER! (And you too, Lea) ~r
Lea, NYC is almost as bad as Miami Beach/Miami. I have a heat alergy meaning that when it's above 80 degrees I feel limp exhaused and grouchy. In my nyc apt we have NO ac, and it's been an awful week. Agree with much else you said but I love Nov through April in southBeach, the rest of the year I need cool. I'm looking for it but forgot where cool is, if anywhere in US of A. rated with fatigue, now 91 degrees in my room.
Lea this is a good post and I would agree about the bathing suits and humidity. I grew up in Florida as well and will be going tomorrow for a visit. My bathing suit is packed but I pray for rain and working AC!
What a cool idea - It's true there are some very unlikeable things about summer. I'm with you on most of these. Though as for killing insects, I know there are some exceptions, as with huge bugs like palmettos, but you could get a bug vacuum (get one that is used for catch and release) to safely scoop up an unwanted critter, and release it back where it should be - outside!

Also, very cool lightening stories!
Oh...and I have to confess....I kinda like "dumb" summer movies. From time to time, a good, profound, well-written movie is always welcome, but when it's hot, it's sometimes just too hard to go beyond robots-destroying-city-level comprehension.
I understand and enjoy your laments about summer but when I start to complain I remember my screams against the miserable cold and wind and slick roads and all and slap myself. "You like this and wished for it, sucker. Now enjoy it," I say as sweat dribbles down my neck and back. Thus, is the dilemma of humanity. You are very funny. Always love reading your humor.
come on over to my house and you'll remove BBQ's from that list! I just had some leftover brisket, slow cooked on the wood burning smoker last Friday for about 11 hours, and it is still delicious!
Love this post!
Summer is such a mixed bag for me.
I'd just write "Heat" nine times...except that allows swimming and sailing, which I love...which brings me to "bathing suits" which I'd also write nine times as a downer...
I get Fisherman Sweater fantasies in the summer ! Yet never have worn one in winter...it's the heat causing my brain to morph : )
It's so hot, I read your "seven things" as "nine"....
Very perceptive. My favorite gripe is sunscreen. I hate the way it feels. I was considering a move to Florida until I heard about palmatto bugs.
ah, lea, you and i are so 'of the era,' aren't we? reading this, my "yes, yes, yes" got a "whaaat?" from down the hall. i don't know how you live in FL, really don't. great, funny, real piece. "S'over" is brilliant.
I spend my Summer days counting down 'till Autumn...not a Summer person at all. We share some dislikes, especially reruns, insects and humidity. The upside to the reruns is I do tend to read more books.

Did you know our beloved "Mad Men" will not air until next year? that was always a late Summer highlight for me. Apparently they had some contract disputes so the shooting for next season has yet to begin...BUMMER!
Snakes are on my list, Lea!
I would quietly endure 1 through 6 gladly, in exchange for freedom from BUGS. Mosquitoes and other things that bite are drawn to me like to no other I know.

The horrible heat and humidity always creeps up from the Gulf of Mexico. I've suggested for years that we all chip in and pave the damn thing over. r.
I hate sun, heat, mosquitoes and my upcoming cleaning and cooking vacation.
I am a fall and spring person and love the June gloom in the bay area..
Okay I'm weird..:)

Worst of all it only lasts for a few months.
I'm going with Bathing suits & Bugs - nothing worse. But, there's always "gin & tonic"
You have a bathing suit that fits? I think that cuts the list down to six...

I'm holding my breath in Virginia until I can pull out my embarrassingly large collection of turtleneck sweaters and corduroy skirts. Til then, I'm happy to complain along with you. Fun post!
Funny. We don't have summer here long enough to get tired of any of these things. I so wish we did, except for the humidity. I can't take that any more, and I don't like air conditioning very much. But I do love BBQ since I get so little of it. Procopius' brisket sounds droolworthy.
Funny post. Leave it to a Floridian to tire of summer. Begging to differ here in Michigan where summer is a blink and it's gone. Heat? Bring it on! It's N'Awlins hot today, and I think that's just fine. Bathing suits -- well, you got me there. . . Reruns? What are those, when you have Showtime, HBO and endless summer movies on cable. Something sizzling on the grill, fireflies, mararitas, gin and tonics, sunburned shoulders. . . blackberries just picked from the garden, Summer in summary, can't get enough of it!!
Your list exactly matches mine! Right down to the House Hunters and (the saving grace of) So You Think You Can Dance.
Just the right post for today. Flies. Too many and too fast. They seem to fly right into my face. Muggy today with thunder in the distance. Heavy.
Cannot agree on BBQ, we do it well and the oven is not on. The others are all tempered for me by (and in no particular order)...Tomatoes, blackberries, blueberries and sweet corn.
Lea, under the "insects" category, summer is when I am watching for ticks. A friend caught Lyme Disease a couple of years ago and it was horrid.
"My favorite style is cover up"--that is hardcore funny, in a piece that is filled with rollicking funny. I have to admit, though, I like the humid hug of July and August; I guess I carry too vividly the harpooning cold of early morning snow shoveling in January and February. Yes, I like humidity, like it a lot--as long as I have an air-conditioned hourse to retreat to!
As a retired teacher, I still love summer but you are so right about bathing suits.
Reading from the Southern Hemisphere and a water bottle in my lap!! Great fun a good list...which looks like my list!!
I want to like summer more than I do. I think I'm with you on this one.
Yes, yes, the much awaited first breaths of summer, soon turning into the jaded boy on the beach who you no longer think is handsome because of his gross manners....the novelty, it wears off. But then, in the wistful remembrance, those trunks did look pretty good on him after all...and hence the winds, the cold, the ice, the snow and the cycle begins again..
I'm with you on all of it. I have a love/hate relationship with summer. I love the heat. I hate the heat. etc etc.

I feel the same way about winter but I think I hate it more. Until the end of August...then I'm starting to feel more receptive to it.

I love this. Very fun. And too true!~
I never knew there was so much to dislike about summer! I actually love summer, despite these problems. Great piece!
I like spring and fall. The other two seasons: not so much. "Low grade fever" - exactly. The first hot spell I go around wondering why I feel slightly sick - and then I remember: I don't do heat. I don't have red hair and freckles, well, not showing, but probably recessive: my sister is red-haired and freckled. At any rate, I have Scottish skin (and sinuses!), and I don't do *sun*. I go outside and get stuff done before 10 and then lie around in a pool of sweat for the rest of the day. Oh, and my bathing suit features a li'l skirt - life's too short. And I can't watch TV, cuz the leaves are out on the trees, blocking the signal. Actually some trimming has been done so that I can see CNN. And, hey, tonight it's still and dry, so I can see SYTYCD. (There's also a Canadian version, so I get a double dose.) (Those dancers trim and exfoliate and such all year round!)
Oh, and I'm with Sarah about sunscreen - it makes me feel hot and sweaty before I'm even h&s, plus greasy (or whatever the sensation is for the non-greasy kind).

Yeah, Emma, that brisket sounds droolworthy - but most BBQ is kinda gross... I guess I need friends who are better at it. (_I_ certainly am not going to do it - too much like cooking.)
Hey Lea, at least it's refreshing to trade in last season's kvetches for a new set.
Must be a Canadian thing: spring and summer.
Your list is my list!
Figures! Usually you wait for comments to come up. Today, when I hit the enter key by mistake, my comment popped right up there.
If I may complete my comment: spring and summer are our favourite seasons.
USA Network on Tues., Wed., and Thurs. from 9:00-11:00 P.M. Eastern. You're welcome. I still hold a childhood memory of the family driving through a swarm of Florida June bugs one summer. One messy windshield.
This was a fun read. Here is my summer lovin' rebuttal.
7 things I love about summer: Vacation time( I'm a teacher), staying up late, margaritas, more time to read, hanging laundry outside to dry, late nights on the patio listening to the fountain, daytrips with friends.
Excellent piece that should resonate with many, including those who look like hell in humidity (that would be me).

I'm sure you look better in your swimsuit than you think.
You covered the reasons for summer-bashing better than sunscreen on an Arctic tourist.
I am so with you on this. I live in a similar climate-- Louisiana-- so I know how miserable it is. I've got one to add to yours, and that's that I don't like my upper arms anymore, so I'm always on the lookout for light as a feather sweaters and a little bit longer than short, short sleeved shirts.

When I lived in Portland I loved summers, but that's because it is a civilized temperate temperature that always requires a little bit of a sweater and a sweatshirt more often than a swimming suit. denese
I would add "Back To School" advertisements that start before July 4th - Despicable.
Bravo! You always make me smile! Thanks for that.
Hey, Lea - you forgot one thing: that it ends!
I can't believe I missed the one with flatulent robots, but am grateful nonetheless. How about the bubble wrap popping sound when you crunch one of those overgrown, prehistoric grass hoppers between two bricks? Whaaat? you've done it, you know you have. I won't miss any of it. ::pulls underpants out of sweaty rear muscles::