SUMMER IS THE BEST. Since it’s nearly here, it’s high time we debunked a myth that follows the season around like an indoor fart. Namely, the myth that you can’t enjoy summer nearly as much as an adult as when you were a kid. And with everybody over the age of 25 constantly equating the awesome things that happen to them to being a kid again (“Man, that roller coaster was so awesome, I felt like a kid again!”), it’s easy to see why.
But being a kid is overrated. Screw revisionist history. Screw selective memory. Summer is more enjoyable when you’re an adult. Here’s why.
1. SUMMER ISN’T BORING ANYMORE
When you’re a kid: Forget nostalgia for a sec and be honest here— seven-year-old you has only so many tags, hide-and-go-seeks, and red rovers to play before it gets boring. The lack of daily structure is the gift that stops giving about two weeks after school gets out. Remember, this is the same age where you’d rather not be around the opposite sex because of the whole cooties thing, so that kind of narrows down the entertainment possibilities.
Now that you’re all growd up: You a have a mountain’s worth of responsibilities crushing your spirit. That is, until the clock strikes five or the weekend rolls around. This sounds bad, but it isn’t in the context of enjoying summer because now you don’t have enough time to run out of awesome stuff to do, aaaand your attention span has been fattened by years of accumulated boogie problems, so your definition of awesome is lowered to the point where just sitting on a patio sipping on a beer counts as an awesome activity.
2. NO ONE’S MAKING YOU PLAY OUTSIDE
When you’re a kid: Mom or dad would catch you playing video games and whatnot in your room and proceed to yell at you for not being outside playing red rover, or building a clubhouse or something because it was a gorgeous day outside. You try and explain to them that their expectations of you are seriously warped from reading too much Calvin and Hobbes, but to no avail.
Now that you’re all growd up: Just sitting outside while the sun is still up counts as being summer-active. Nobody can judge you. Furthermore, if you have kids by this time the floor is now yours to be a dick and scold THEM for not being more active.
3. NON-COMPETITIVE SPORTS + BEER
When you’re a kid: You play baseball, or softball. Or attend football or volleyball camps. Or if you’re really good, do the whole AAU circuit and travel cross-country. Maybe you actually enjoy it because you’re good at it, or you merely love whatever game it is you play. Even so, odds are that you were poked and prodded into doing it by dad, because he says competition builds character, and you’ll regret it for the rest of your derp, and kids who don’t derp derp derp have worse grades than those who derp derp derp Lombardi derp sweep the leg derp derp derp.
Now that you’re all growd up: You play slow-pitch softball, or sand volleyball, or golf in a club league, aaaand it’s not nearly as gay as 13-year-old you would’ve thought if you went back in time and told him it was going to happen. This is because the dynamic is about 80 percent just having fun and only 20 percent competing. What, are we training for the Olympics or something?
4. YOU OWN THE GRILL
When you’re a kid: You wait around the mighty grill, powerless, and at the mercy of the grillmaster. You don’t know why, but you’re subordinate to whomever controls the grill like he’s the first caveman to figure out how to wield fire.
Now that you’re all growd up: You know that knowing how to man the grill is like knowing how to use your dick. Suffice to say, you aren’t a man until you know how to use it. So… yeah.
5. YOU CAN STILL DO SUMMER CAMP
When you’re a kid: You get sent off to a summer camp that hopefully (depending on what kind of camp it is) doubles as your first foray into finger banging. Don’t deny it. There’s a reason so many movies (and pre-Internet porn) take place at summer camps.
Now that you’re all growd up: You can do the same thing at camps designed for adults. Only now that you’re (presumably) not so new to sex anymore, the kinkiness ante gets upped tenfold.
6. YOU DECIDE WHERE TO GO ON VACATION
When you’re a kid: There’s a higher chance your summer vacations involve awkward social reunions between family members, long car rides, timetables, schedules, getting lost in East St. Louis, eating packed lunches soaked in dog piss, and annoying aunts who die while you’re driving them to Phoenix. You don’t have a choice in the matter. There are relatives that need visiting, and the parents think you’ll grow up to be a failure if you don’t see what Frommer’s says you need to see.
Now that you’re all growd up (and don’t have kids yet): Point me towards the nearest beach and don’t stop till we get there. National monuments and educational tour packages can eat a bag of AIDS. The true essence of vacation is kicking back and not doing a damn thing.
7. HANGING WITH PEOPLE YOU ACTUALLY LIKE
When you’re a kid: Everything you do defines what clique you’re going to be in, from the music you listen to, to the hobbies you adopt, to the way you dress. And since you don’t want your life to be a living hell, you sometimes spend your summers doing things that aren’t really ‘you’ and hanging out with people you might not like for the sake of fitting in. That’s a part of being a kid that nobody remembers.
Now that you’re all growd up: The popularity contest is over. You have a way better idea of who your real friends are, and you don’t need to interact with people you don’t want to. Except for family, but such is life.