Let the countdown begin.
Summer officially arrives Friday, which is a perfect day to kick off two or three months' worth of celebrating brats, burgers, boating and baseball.
But before we get all wrapped up in tan lines, convertible rides and weekend fishing expeditions, let's not forget that the upcoming warm weather is not all it is cracked up to be.
Granted, summer -- June, July and August, in particular -- is much more pleasant to deal with than December, January and February. But the next 12 weeks or so will be no day at the beach ... well, actually, it might be, but stay with me here.
Here's a quick refresher course on what can make summer a challenge:
º Bugs: Is it just me, or has this spring been the worst ever for bug bites and overall insect annoyance? Maybe it's all the rain, flooding and assorted wetness, but whatever the reason, I know it's been the worst time to be outside since I moved to Quincy in 1998.
º Sweat: The physician types will tell us that sweating is good for us, that it helps the human body cool. No, air conditioning keeps us cool, and sweat makes us feel sticky and creates those embarrassing pit stains.
º Smells: I am trying to be politically correct here, but let's be honest. How many times in the summer are you standing behind someone in a fast-food line or the checkout out at a grocery store, and they are in dire need of a shower and/or deodorant? I'm guessing most of those reading this just grimaced at the remembrance of being around someone in dire need of a good disinfection.
º Sunburns: I seriously doubt any of us have ever gotten through a summer without at least one aggravating sunburn. And not only is getting a sunburn painful and annoying, but trying not to get one may be even worse. Slathering on that oily sunscreen is hardly pleasant -- it's like wearing a Jell-O body suit. Or you can wear pants and long-sleeved shirts in 90-degree weather. Or you can simply stay indoors with the air conditioning.
º Yard work: This may be the ultimate summertime displeasure. Think about it -- while doing yardwork (mowing, planting things, trimming stuff, etc.) you are putting yourself our there for sunburn, all sorts of bug bites and a lot of sweating. And if you sweat a lot, you're going to stink. There's no way around it. The easiest way around the yard work negativity? Hire a guy who loves to do that kind of thing for a relatively small stipend and stay inside in the air conditioning.
You know, on second thought ... maybe winter isn't so bad after all.