A preemptive end-of-summer celebration
By Jillian McMullen, Staff Writer
Summer is often seen as a wondrous time. There’s something about the longer days that invites a little bit of magic into the season. The extra hours of sunlight can be spent with friends and family on patios over refreshing drinks, at beaches relaxing to the sound of crashing waves, or at music festivals dancing and singing. To top it all off, everyone has become beautifully bronzed doing these very summery activities.
Well, everyone but myself.
A relaxing day at the beach? I tried one of those, making sure to take all the precautions my pale skin demands. I wore the widest brimmed hat I could find and bathed in SPF 95 half an hour prior to allow for adequate absorption. However, within ten minutes of arriving, I was already beginning to cook. My shoulders were reddening by the second. My face completely flushed. Defeated, I resolved to spend my entire “relaxing beach day” hidden under an umbrella while constantly checking to be sure that no part of my person was exposed to the wrath of the beating sun and begrudgingly watching my friends enjoy the water I could not wade into for fear of washed-away sunscreen.
Summer had beaten me, as it does every year. For those of us not blessed with adequately self-protecting skin, there is no “tan.” We go from white to glowing red to white again with zero hint there may possibly be an in-between. Summer is a cycle of fresh, healing, and healed sunburns, and these burns act as reminders of that previously-mentioned magic we attempt to be a part of, but can never really touch.
We are the White Walkers. And just like the show I’ve stolen that term from, this season is over and fall is coming. We are those who welcome the incoming eight months of darkness and rain that Vancouver promises. It is the time during which we exit our shady refuges and actually participate in social events. At these events, we can wear our monochromatically dark hued wardrobes without being asked if we were “really hot wearing that.” On the other hand, we no longer feel societal guilt for days spent at home as supposedly “wasting a beautiful day inside” as it now endearingly called “nesting.”
So, instead of mourning the loss of long days and warm nights as summer comes to an end, remember the simple pleasures of fall—because although they are not “magical,” they are something that summer can never be: Comfortable.