Summer has officially arrived. The calendar told me so on Saturday.
That automatically started me thinking about what I like best -- and least -- concerning the summer months. While summer will always be the best season, if for no other than reason than there is no snow, it's hardly perfect.
Let's break down five of the best things about June, July, August and September that most of us like -- and five reasons why those particular staples of summer are far from perfect.
1. The heat
º Pro: Rarely do you ever have to wear anything heavier than a windbreaker this time of the year. The summer sun all but makes you completely forget about those sub-freezing days from just a few months earlier.
º Con: If you stay out in that much-appreciated sunlight too long, you can begin to smell your own skin burning. Or if you spend seven hours at, say, the Quincy Soap Box Derby in the bright sun, you are likely to find yourself peeling away two and three layers of that same skin a few days afterward.
º Pro: T-shirts and shorts are the norm most days after you get off work and enjoy a walk around the neighborhood with your significant other.
º Con: Those T-shirts and shorts do not exactly fit like they used to a few years ago. Like 20 years ago.
3. Air conditioning
º Pro: Is there anything better than coming in from the outside on a 90-degree muggy day and being greeted by that almost-brisk feeling created by central air conditioning?
º Con: No, there's not -- unless your wife is an air-conditioning addict (ACA). Houses where ACAs live rarely get above 60 degrees, which means even though it's 90 degrees and humid outside, you are bundled up in sweatshirts, sweatpants and gloves on the inside. It almost makes the spouse of an ACA long for winter when the heat can be turned on.
4. Summer movies
º Pro: For decades now, movie studios have slotted many of their major releases for the summer months, because more people have more time to do things like go to the movies. This phenomenon all started in the summer of 1975 with the release of "Jaws." Since then, most weekends in the summer will find some sort of major release finding its way to the local cineplex.
º Con: Unless you are into superheroes (Captain America, X-Men, etc.), a lot of today's big releases are rather uninteresting. One of the early summer movies that definitely looks intriguing is director Clint Eastwood's "Jersey Boys," the Four Seasons-inspired piece. I want to see this one because Eastwood never makes a bad movie and I'm dying to hear "December 1963 (Oh What a Night)."
5. The food
º Pro: The chilled beverages, the ice cream sundaes, the grilled burgers, the chilled potato salad ...
º Con: Getting on the bathroom scales the next morning.
Looking back over this list, the cons don't sound that bad.