Now there are the overachievers in the world who make their summer bucket lists and well, there are the rest of us who have the good intentions that the road to Hell was paved with. But either way, summer is our time to shine. The way I see it, we’re like bugs. We only come out when it’s warm. And well, before you smack into a windshield, let’s have a little fun. And don’t put all that pressure on yourself to accomplish miracles or see the whole freaking United States or do something “adventurous” just because that’s what cultured people do. Whatever! That’s for the good people of the world, not us.
Instead, muscle up for the easy stuff and I promise this is a list you’ll complete.
1. Number one on the anti-bucket list is to pay somebody else to do something for you that’s been on your to-do list for at least 2 years. Screw it! Get rid of it with $. You’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel with it marked off the list whether you did it or not. Plus, you’re helping the economy because people are willing to do stupid crap you hate pretty cheaply right now so let ‘em. Scrap planting the tomato plants that the deer will eat anyway and head to the farmer’s market. Call the guy down the street. Tell him there’s a new deck waiting for him to build it. And are you really going to paint the back bedroom? Yeah, get a painter ASAP. There’s no point in putting off till tomorrow what we can have somebody else do for us today!
2. Number 2 is all about hanging out in town and going to a cool place you only go to when visitors are in town. You know what I’m talking about. We all have a zoo, a museum, a landmark, or a water park that gets written up as the best place in town but yet we only manage to get our asses there when family and friends are visiting and we take them there because we know they will love it as much as we do. It’s the stories of the people who live in New York and have never been to the Statue of Liberty or the neighbors that used to live in Austin, MN but didn’t go to the Spam Museum. I mean, come on, people, live a little!
3. And if there’s some lame-ass cheesy event/festival/celebration going on in your town, then I sure as Hell hope you’ll be there. There’s nothing better than Hot Dog Dayz, Pyro parades, and Macarena marathon dance-offs. These are the things you can laugh about later or take pictures of to put on YouTube. I fully expect to see you in a sombrero carrying a watermelon in the 3-legged race or shoving a mammoth-sized turkey leg in your mouth. And there better be a lot of footage with you giving me the I’m-number-1 hand signal.
4. Number 4 is all about nostalgia. We all talk about the good old glory days, but why not relive them? Make some kool-aid and freeze it for cheap slushies. Break out the croquet set that hasn’t seen daylight since you got married. Crank up the Wang Chung cd you found in the basement, or make the kids get in the car to drive to Carhenge and stop at every historical marker like your parents made you do. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that we hold close to our hearts that end up being the most fun. Last summer, my dad, niece, and nephew were trapped in a vehicle with me. None of us could stay awake. I tortured them with the state capital game, the Going on a Vacation game, and the license plate game. Deemed dorky? Oh, yes. But not only were they wide awake but they invented some more ridiculous games I still laugh about. Lame is okay if you sell it.
5. And the last thing on the summer completion guide (because any good non-achiever knows you can’t have too much of a good thing): hide for the day. That’s right. Put out the note on facebook that your phone isn’t working but they promised you a new one by tomorrow. Get some take-out, load up on Netflix, kick the A/C up, shut the curtains, and hide the car in the garage. Hit the beer fridge. Throw on the ripped, faded 2002 taco eating championship t-shirt and paint splattered shorts. Then do whatever the hell you want. Maybe you can finally read that book that’s been sitting on your nightstand since last Christmas. You know the one – it’s the one that says you need to take time for yourself and love yourself and find pieces of happiness instead of working all the time. Yeah, that one.
Now don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with taking the kids to 6 Flags or running your first 5K. I’m just sayin’ I remember the days of laying awake listening to the Top 10 at 10 on the radio and taping the good songs (Yes, I said taping. You will get old too.) and going to the pool to play ships and sharks and laying on the couch watching Gidget re-runs and those are good memories. Life doesn’t have to be “hey look what we did” it can just be “here we are in all our glory or lack thereof.” Redneck, patriotic, superhuman, or slacker, as Ke$ha says: we are who we are.