Friday, May 14, 2021

Life & Style

What I Won’t Do This Summer

Summer on the shoreline is glorious. There are many things I know I will be doing and I’m really looking forward to them all. I’ll be boating, eating softshell crab, watching sunsets, and drinking fruity concoctions, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic.

Here’s a list of things I won’t be doing:

I won’t be playing lawn games. How do you ruin a perfectly pleasant lawn party? Have me play a lawn game, any lawn game. In an effort to be a good sport in the past, I’ve actually taken up sport at numerous outdoor parties. I’ve ended up with broken bones, broken teeth, and once I got a bruise that took up my entire arm for a month. Nothing skunks the mellow of a party more than a bad injury. So if you see me at a lawn party, expect me to say no to playing on your team and be thankful that I do. If I don’t, there will be blood, there will be tears, and there won’t be enough alcohol to erase everyone’s memory of my getting a racket or a softball in the face.

I won’t be singing karaoke. I’m as bad at singing as I am at sports. At least I don’t get injured when I take up a microphone, but you might. Your ears and your brain will want to turn themselves inside out just to escape my sound. I was in choir in high school, but it was the one that had to accept everyone. The one you had to try out for? I tried out and was rejected. Twice.

I won’t be sunbathing without buckets of sunscreen. If you’ve ever met me, I don’t have to explain this one. If you’ve never met me just know that I’m mostly Irish and Scandinavian. I was born to bask in dark pubs and in front of fires in woolens and furs. Still, I enjoy my beach time. So I’ll be out there hanging with El Sol, but it will be under a protective layer of Coppertone. Another way to ruin a good lawn party? Put me in the sun without sunscreen and watch me burst into flames. Not pretty.

I won’t be going to my high school reunion. I have nothing against my old school or the people that went to it. I just have no desire to go back. I rocketed out of town at 18, as fast and as soon as I could go. I was a nerd who couldn’t play sports or sing and that didn’t help my social situation, that’s for sure. So I have no glory days to relive. It’s nice that there’s a reunion being held and I hope everyone has a great time. I’ll raise a glass to toast my classmates from a deck overlooking Long Island Sound and leave it at that.

I won’t be gardening. I think I would probably like gardening even though I have black thumb. I kill plants, even hearty ones, by loving them too much (over-watering them) or not enough (forgetting all about them). So that’s not good. I also get poison ivy so bad it ends up coursing through my blood stream and I have to take super steroids so I don’t end up looking like The Thing and itching myself to death. The last time I gardened was in the 90s.

I won’t be going to an amusement park. At least I think I won’t. This one’s the iffiest one on the list. I love junk food, but the rides would be lost on me. I have a fear of heights and get terribly motion sick. So going on a rollercoaster is impossible. My best hope is that I’d pass out from fright before I threw up all over the place. I said that I was a nerd in high school. Do I need to say that I’m still a wimp and a nerd now? Well, at least I know my limits.

Even with this list, there’s still plenty for my nerdy, non-sporty, sun-screened, poison-ivy-avoiding self to do. Here’s to the long days and nights of summer activity ahead. Cheers!

Juliana Gribbins is a writer who believes that absurdity is the spice of life. Her book Date Expectations is winner of the 2017 Independent Press Awards, Humor Category and winner of the 2016 IPPY silver medal for humor. Write to her at Read more of her columns at

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