Look, I realize that it’s still hot out there. I know that even as you read this, sweat is dribbling from glands you never knew you had and wish you had never learned about. You wonder to yourself, “Isn’t it a miracle that the underwire from my bra hasn’t rusted over and cut me from underneath my shirt?” In short, you are delirious. Was that a beautiful hummingbird or just a comically large and horrifying wasp? Hard to tell. You have spent the entire summer sacrificing yourself to the mosquito gods, and your blood supply is low. You can no longer see the beauty in nature — but then again, perspiration has leaked into your eyes, so there’s no telling. But I bring good news.
Fall is about to arrive, and that means only one thing: Back-to-school time is on its way! Ring-a-ding-ding! And listen: It’s not important whether you have children, or if you have children who are no longer children; what’s important is that you yourself were a child way back when, and the first day of school left a gigantic indelible thumbprint on your soul. Probably.
The joy and/or pain of back-to-school lives in all of us to some degree, and, love it or hate it, there’s a tiny perpetual grade-schooler in us who still feels like we might want to put a jaunty new outfit together on that first workday following Labour Day. Except that when you’re an adult, September also kindles the flame of “finally getting it together once and for all,” making a plan, or at least pretending that you know what you’re doing. Maybe it’s just me. (It’s just me, isn’t it?)
All I know for sure is that I personally spent the entire summer not being organized, and in a state of personal disarray known to my husband as Hot Mess. For most of the summer, I let the heat dictate the day’s agenda, by which I mean that all worthwhile plans were summarily abandoned by 8:30a.m. at the latest. I cleverly hid all unpaid bills in a towering stack of children’s artwork that resembled a funnel cloud of paper and debris. Somewhere toward the end of July, my hairdo took on the distinct character of Lady Macbeth’s as she descended into madness. I haven’t exercised since June 12. Every day I ate double my body weight in tomatoes.
But early September brings much in the way of promise; the anticipation of cool weather is sorting my thoughts like tiles in a game of Tetris. Come on, I can’t be the only one who still wakes up that Back-to-school morning with a head full of wild ideas, like definitely making a big batch of freezable buckwheat waffles for an easy morning protein fix and definitely wearing ankle weights while I’m at work. In my opinion, fall is the time for renewal — or perhaps even more, reinvention. More than spring. (Except for real this time, I swear).
So, spring, you can keep your baby sheep and your slender tendrils: I’m a grown-up, thanks, and I’ll take autumn over you any day. By the way, I have some stuff to actually accomplish over the next four months, so I would really appreciate it if we could get a little chill in the air around here. A couple of leaves falling, please? My turtleneck collection is really excited to get fired up again, too, and since we’re on the subject, I’ve spent the better part of the summer devising new menu ideas for my Crock-Pot, so can we tone down the “sultry” and move at least in the direction of “flurry”? Thank you.
In the meantime, I’ll be over there in the corner dropping ice cubes down my cleavage. Or, better still, inserting both my feet into a chilled, hollowed-out watermelon. Yeah, that’s me. I’m full of good ideas.