Signifiers of Middle Class Summer

It is official.  The day we memorialize our veterans:  a seemingly somber “celebration”, is also in paradox with the generalized glee we associate with summer beginning.
And you don’t have to be a kid to appreciate the glee.  I still get giddy on days like today, when everyone opens up their pool for the summer and you have that first weekend BBQ.  And then you crash like a sun-drunk buzzard tired of circling the meat all day.

I thought I would capture some of the signifiers of summer:  what makes it “so”, and what does it say about us American folk: (and pardon the sarcasm but hope nobody takes offense as an American.  I assure you, some of my best friends are American, so I mean no harm.  😉  ).

Feel free to add to the list, but we start off with:

Swimming Pools: because you can’t stay inside when the sun is shining and you can’t tolerate the outdoors without a properly sanitized hole to cool your body in. Your ears are acutely tuned to the seasonal television adverts from places like United Pool Management and their catchy jingles. Pretty basic biology with a middle-class twist.

Barbeques: because at our primal best, when we spend our days as close to naked as possible we just want to make a fire and char some meat that was freshly killed (at some point not so long ago in a sanitized environment that we didn’t have to kill ourselves)

Beer:  because (especially if you are a parent with kids out for summer) you need beer to survive all that time in the back yard with your family.

Sunscreen:  because you are making a point to plant yourself in direct sunlight for entire days at a time, lest you waste one more minute than necessary inside planted in front of your computer.  We were trained to “go outside and play” doing the summer.  And for some reason it’s the only season where we really take the sun seriously.  Like a pot on a hot stove, the heat only burns if you can feel it.

Flip Flops:  because summer means relaxing.  There will be no exercise in this heat and we can’t possibly be expected to NOT have our head in the “sand” even thought we are supposed to be working.

Lazy blogs:  because you’ve just spent the day in a swimming pool, eating BBQ, drinking beer, forgetting to put on sunscreen and are ready to kick off your flip flops and take a nap.

Now go forth and be gleeful, but don’t be late for your first conference call in the morning…

Categories: Consumer Culture, Suburban Living | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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