Monday, July 11, 2005

My Florida Summer Outfit

and 10 reasons I’m sick of summer:

Okay, I really only have two hardcore reasons. No, make it three... the heat, the thick humid air and those colorful little plastic cups and bowls and stuff they sell at all the discount stores. I can’t explain it, but quietly as I walked through the drug store this evening, with Casey a few aisles over surveying the Almay Eye enhancing makeup again, without warning and for no apparant reason, my eyes unintentionally landed upon the colorful plastic seasonal summer accessories and I became sick of them, sick of summer. Like fingers snapped, and so did I. In a bizarre twist, I recognized it all for what it was, a cheap ploy that had one run too many. I was transformed, there in CVS, into a summer Scrooge. And the thing is, I’ve always loved that stuff, enjoyed it with a fervor like Scrooge’s dog Max would work up over Christmas. They were so festive and sparked thoughts of parties and friends and a fun start to the upcoming months of eternal heat, a reason to think happy thoughts about air so thick it hugs the insides of your nostrils when you try to suck it in, and it all made me forget that soon I’d be driving in an oven on wheels bonded to leather seats by my own sweat. I mean I really do buy in when I walk through Target in say, May or so, and I see all the really cute stuff with fresh retro polka dots, better yet, stripes of pink and green and purple and yellow. But now, just like that, I’ve been jaded. It is as if I blinked a couple of times, opened my eyes and accidentally stumbled into a harsh reality there in the seasonal aisle of the drug store. Like I grew up and lost my youthful innocence with one wrong turn down aisle 12. Oh that I had never walked that aisle. What have I done. Never again will I pour over the bright prints and imagine barbecues and patio furniture decked out with summer trimmings. Why I ever believed, now I’m not sure, as I have never once seen anyone actually deck out their patio with that stuff in summer; come on, it’s too hot to go out there. But I believed... somehow I always believed. It’s like Santa rolled up his sleeve revealing a tattoo on his arm. I just need a minute, really, I’ll be fine.

Maybe I’m just tired of the heat. After all, summer in Florida is like watching the movie, Groundhog Day over and over and over. It’s redundantly redundant. I think I loathe summer. The only thing I am happy about with this summer is the new skirt I have from Ross that I got for $8.99, 10.50 if you count tax, but I don’t count it technically because then it doesn’t sound like as great a deal. Unfortunately I have compulsive tendencies which behoove me to tell you the final price like I’m making up stories if I don’t. So even if I want to tell you it was $8.99, I have to tack on the tax for honesty’s sake. It’s hard being me. But it was a great deal and the fact that I can wear it outside and all over town, even in the car and feel all breezy and cute and summery, oblivious to the usual cares about the sweat greasing up my hair, is a special tribute to it’s allure. But only once a week. I’m limiting myself to once a week... wearing it, I mean. So I’m really only able to enjoy summer on that one day out of each 7. I am really trying to make the most of that day too, going lots of places in my cool “Florida Summery Outfit.” The fact that I in any way feel cute is even more of a tribute to it since the fact that it is summery lends to the idea that I am wearing something that shows legs, arms and back, and none of these body parts has seen the sun in over a year or so. This is equal to, if not more amazing than the fact that I have boldly nixed hairspray from my bathroom countertop. Have I mentioned that my skin isn’t all that perky and summer friendly either? So the whole thing is this huge paradox. I look like crap, like a snowbird in Hawaiian print, but it makes me feel as oblivious and chipper as Elle on “Legally Blonde.” (At this point my girls will be absolutely gagging, mortified that I would in anyway liken myself to Elle from Legally Blonde, saying very matter of factly in that authoritaive tone they use with me, “Mom. No.”) and all of this only testifies to the divine nature and the paradox of “a Florida Summer Outfit”. The halter top I have been wearing with the skirt is another countermeasure to the evils of summer. I got it two years ago for a class reunion, never really wore it again after that. Now I’m wearing it all over the place with the black and white hawaiian print skirt ($8.99 before tax) blending it into what is my “Florida summer look”, what with wearing my flip flops with it and all. That’s one of the very few blessings of Florida and the heat, you can wear flip flops with everything at just about anytime and Stacey and Clinton can’t touch you on that one. Yeah, this is my only “Florida summer look”, so I have to enjoy it. And now I find myself wanting to wear it every where I go. That’s another sign that summer has done a number on someone. They wear the same thing all the time because it’s the only thing they have that matches the weather, their one small attempt at happiness in an oppressively hot and humid world.

But summer has its perks. In case you didn’t know, today was national slurpee day, 7-11, 2005, or at least that’s what I’m calling it. All these years I missed out not knowing this entitled me to a free slurpee, just like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How have I missed that all these years?! Once again the public school system failed to teach yet something else about practical daily life. But maybe this is a relatively new trend. Cael called to tell us this news today. Bless him, high school graduates know a thing or two these days, and he knows what really matters to me. Casey and I took off to 7-11 and she was kind enough to go in and ask about it before going off whole hog for a super jumbo slurpee gulp. We made sure we scrounged up enough change just in case our “source” had steered us wrong or this was national-make-a-fool-of-your-mother-and-tell-her-slurpees-are-free day. Well, while she was in there, I should have had her find out the history, the details and whether we can hit them up next year. If so, we have a day-long plan for acquiring free slurpees all over town. We will by then, of course, have mapped out the precise locale of each and every 7-11 within a 25 mile radius and the most direct routes to each. It will be our mission to slurp all over Palm Beach County. Count on it. Okay, they were only giving a sample sized cup, but plenty big enough, like 6, maybe 8 oz. This is a great country! I love 7-11. Well, I love slurpees. I find 7-11 to be an icky place where I don’t want to touch anything, a grungy oasis for small unsupervised children turning slurpee handles at will and sweaty men leaving used napkins on the counter, a place where your flip flops stick to the floor and psychos hang out and try to hitch rides, and the gas pumps either don’t take your card and you have to end up going inside of all things when you only came because of the fast pay gas pump and the cheap price, or else the automatic shut off on the pump decides to go manual on you and 2 or 3 dollars of gas pours out all over your leg, the car and the concrete...but the slurpees, man, you can’t beat em, especially the oranage flavor they had last summer that tasted like those baby asprin we used to sneak and eat like candy when we were kids. Oh thank heaven!

Summer? I’m still over it in general, and in principle. And unfortunately we have about 4 more months to go. If a hurricane hits, you won’t hear from me about it because there will be no power, so I won’t be able to blog. I won’t be able to breathe for that matter. But be assured I will be making noise. I may even hit the highway if I am clever enough to get to the 7-11 pumps and gas up the car in time to get out of our “summerville” and find a cool and happy place to ride out the storm. It’s all theory, sort of like a dream. But dreams do come true, I mean today, while I was wearing my “Florida Summer Oufit”, we got free slurpees didn’t we?

PS: I may have a photo of my florida summer outfit sometime soon. Stay tuned.


  1. I want a picture! It's about time. And what the heck, if you are Elle in your mind, then you are Elle and don't let anyone tell you any different. I'm sure you are as beautiful as ever you were .

  2. I think you misunderstood. I was only Elle in the way she was oblivious and chipper about her outfits. See... you, like my girls, think I mean things I don't mean. That is why they would shush me, thinking I was likening myself to her in some other way. Oblivious and chipper, that's it.

  3. Perhaps, Liz, you should move to Santa Fe. This is the best summer ever for me...well perhaps there was a michigan summer when I was a child.

    I bought a little fan the other day, but have yet to use it. I sit here w/ my windows open and there's a fitful breeze that swirls thru, temp is 90'ish and there is thunder growling to the NE. "I'm wearing socks and long pants and am totally and completely comfortable. Check back w/ me in Feb when you have blue skies, and fabulous Fl weather and I'm freezing here w/ ice and snow. As for now I can say " na na na na na.
    My theory of when to wear that new favorite outfit is different than yours. I am the "wear it every single day, wash it out in the sink if necessary and don't stop until you have a new outfit " About a month ago, I bought two pairs of pants at a consignment shop. They're 80% linen and 20% silk, bright orange and bright pink. I believe I have worn one or the other every day since buying them. And tho they say DRY CLEAN ONLY [ the 3 most wretched words in fashion], I have hand washed them in the tub and they remain the most perfect pants in the world....snug in the butt, roomy everywhere else, 2 large cargo type pockets, perfect weight, and such gorgous colors !
    Also the no restraints on what you wear anywhere in SF, would encourage the oblivious chipperness of your wardrobe . Truly, SF is for you.



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