I am the person that really enjoys summer. I am the person that tells you it is summer by the fact that I wear shorts at feeling the first sunny warmth of the season. I am the person that tells my friends who complain it is too hot, to remember the hot of the days of summer when is it February. But I am also the person that really hates to sweat. You get all sticky and odoriferous. Yes odoriferous. Sound it out, it is a real word. But mostly sweating just is uncomfortable. I cannot though, see all of us humans panting like dogs do when they are hot because dogs do not sweat. Just picture that. Instead of your body releasing liquid from its pours and cooling off with evaporation we just all walk around or sit around panting. Tongues hanging out, drool dripping from the end of those tongues and onto the sidewalk when we stop to talk to friends. That’s not an attractive sight, so we sweat instead.
Now that you are in sweat mode here is where I want to take you next. Let’s say it is August, and outside it is hot as August will be. Activities in August include swimming, camping, lawn mowing, relaxing on vacation and every August there is a specific time honored activity that occurs if you have children, or are a child. It is going “back to school” shopping, specifically I want to talk about clothes shopping. Even with the advent of year ‘round schooling, there are still back to school sales in August. Now here is the correlation between sweating and back to school shopping. Even though the stores are full of shirts and pants and dresses, cute and desirable new things to wear for the school year there is one item that my mother made us get in August that was pure torture each year. She, I know, took just a bit too much pleasure in saying try on this one, and try on that one, and try on another one. Then finally when there was nothing left of us but a puddle of sweat on the shiny buffed tile floor of the store, she would pity us enough to select one and buy it. That item was a new winter coat. A new coat—in August when it was 100 degrees, did I mention that?
Now I know that I should be very grateful that I was lucky enough to get a new winter coat every year. Believe me I am. But did it have to be something that is purchased when it is 100 degrees outside? Mom would traipse my siblings and I into malls where we were fitted with new outfits for school and it was exciting. By the way there were two times a year when we got new under things; during those school clothes buying excursion and then again as Christmas gifts. That must be why I still to this day buy new unmentionables as a gift for my husband each year. I find if you hide them in a package with some sort of chocolate it is received better. You can set your calendar by underwear purchases in many a household I’m betting.
Let’s move back to the August coat buying frenzy event. Just the thought of it makes me all sticky and sweaty. You can tell the school year is getting close when you go into a department store and there they are; the coat racks. Packed with polyester, wool and nylon all calling out to unassuming children, “Come to me, I will make you hot and sweaty and leave an indelible memory in your brain for evermore.” Like zombies we were lead by our mother to rack after rack of big, heavy, stiff, hot, scratchy coats to try on. Grudgingly slipping your arms into the coat and pulling it up and onto your shoulders was her way of exacting her power over us. Each coat tried on making us hotter and sweatier than the last. No wonder there are usually cranky children and cranky parents in the coat isle. The stores must put sales people in those departments only if they have no ability to smell. It must get pretty ripe in the coat isle by the end of each day. Coat department jobs are second only to the poor salesmen in the shoe department. You are wrinkling your nose aren’t you?
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka, Nevada her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts or opinions with her at firstname.lastname@example.org