It’s often said that we create our own reality. I’m a huge proponent of this kind of thinking. Which is why I’ve decided that it’s no longer July.
Keep your margaritas and your two-piece vintage playsuits. I want brooding, headstrong, temperamental fall, in all its cashmere-clad and cardamom-scented glory. I want fleece-wrapped morning runs that make my eyes sting and my lungs ache even as exhaustion runs in itchy rivulets down my spine. I want to peer out into pitch black at 6pm as I sip red wine and pile butternut squash caponata atop crusty bread, forgetting all about the tray of brussels sprouts roasting away for dinner. I want my bed to feel (and smell) like a fortress of luxurious refuge instead of a sweat-soaked six-hour prison term.
It’s not that I dislike summer. It’s just that I have a finite amount of patience for it. I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve already pretty much destroyed my summer bucket list. I’ve been to the beach. I’ve gotten a horrific sunburn. I’ve eaten all the berries and peaches and corn and Caprese I can stomach, and while I can appreciate a well-textured sundae, ice cream is just not my drug of choice. I’ve worn my sandals to literal shreds. I’ve run my carefree party playlist into the ground. I’ve weathered the annual Diet Coke relapse (this year’s arc from obsession to repulsion unfolded over a record three-day span).
I’m especially over summer’s passive-aggressive mandate that I Chill the Eff Out. Summer, you don’t know me! I’m all for whiling away the hours—just not on summer’s limited terms. My particular brand of leisure is better suited to cozy cafes than buzzing beer gardens, and I’m sick of beating down my desire to hole up and get creative. I want to be lazy, but I want to be lazy in a pretty sweater with the knowledge that my bangs won’t arrange themselves into a barcode the moment I step outside. I refuse to let my drive melt away like the ice cubes in my Americano.
So I’m starting an important social movement. Call it Eternal September of the Summerless Mind. Don’t call it that, that’s dumb. Just call it Faux Fall. Say it with me: Today is September 9th*. Feel the fall. Smell it. Taste it. It tastes like the spiced apple almond bread I just pulled from the oven with far more care than Imaginary Me gave the aforementioned tray of brussels sprouts. My roommate asked, “What are you baking?” I said, “Apple almond bread, to celebrate the first day of fall.” Real casual-like. That’s how you do it. That’s how you get them on board.
Tonight, I plan to curl up on the couch under a blanket, sipping maple pecan tea and listening to A Charlie Brown Christmas and enjoying the fact that my heavily air-conditioned corner of east Midtown smells like a nippy fall morning at the farmer’s market. I’m determined to create my own reality—and if that means getting sick of pumpkin before Starbucks starts serving seasonal lattes, so be it. I still have to present my case to Mother Nature (just wait until she tastes my apple almond bread), but in my way, I’m coping. This week, it is autumn in my mind.
*Unless some unforeseen issue of legal consequence finds me in need an alibi for July 9th, in which case…yeah, that’s totally what day it is.
What’s your favorite season? Join me in quitting summer?