I may have mentioned in these pages that I’m not very fond of summer. As my least favourite season, I’ve even been known to complain about it. Plus, every year around Labour Day, I jump the gun and start singing the praises of autumn. And – well – this year isn’t going to be any different, except … I have a confession to make. The summer of 2020 hasn’t been all that bad. That’s right, the worst summer this planet has seen since Marvin the Mongolian brought his pet rats to Genoa in 1347, was actually not as godawful as originally advertised. Hold it! Before you start gathering the torches and pitchforks, hear me out! Here are a few reasons why, even though the Summer 2020 isn’t anything I ever want to do again, it was certainly better than expected.
1 – People kept their clothes on. Normally, summers are awash with untethered flesh, wiggling and jiggling and … “Oh, God! My Eyes!” I don’t know what happened, but somehow a lot of us started channeling our inner dignity.
2 – We discovered what the word “brave” really means, and it’s got nothing to do with some celebrity playing victim on Twitter for twenty minutes.
3 – And speaking of celebrities, wasn’t it cool when they all shut up and went home?
4 – There were more regular people on the streets — walking, running, riding their bikes — and even though they kept their distance, they were friendly. Neighbours waved to each other, asked how things were going and called each other by their first names. (I didn’t even know the guy down the street had a name.)
5 – There was, on occasion, quiet. The parks and beaches and backyards weren’t constantly haunch to paunch with obnoxious crowds of loudmouths, cremating their meat to the 4,000 decimal beat of a heart/lung machine that somebody once mistakenly called “music.”
6 – It didn’t feel quite so hot without those penis envy motorcycles roaring through the afternoon like recently castrated lions.
7 – Zoom
8 – Professional sports didn’t show up until later, so we didn’t have to endure an endless, meaningless, boring parade of nobody-cares-who-wins baseball games.
9 – We all began finding out how much junk we’ve accumulated over the years, and not just useless household junk — emotional junk, lifestyle junk, ideas junk, even people junk. Last spring our world got ambushed and a bunch of stuff changed, so most of us have spent the summer — consciously or unconsciously — reassessing what’s important in our lives and what’s just junk.
And because of that:
10 – Even though it might not feel good right now, the best thing to happen this summer is a lot of people started thinking about, talking about and trying to do something about things that actually matter.