I miss summer vacation. Adults don’t get summer vacation.
Basically right until I graduated college, I had a summer vacation. Sure I worked in between semesters during undergrad, and high school---but it was different. I painted houses in cut off jean shorts then, now I sometimes wear ties.
Don’t get me wrong, being a grownup is pretty kick ass. I have my own apartment, kept clean and decorated at my own discretion. If I don’t want to do the dishes, no one tells me. If I decide I want to put up a Star Wars poster in my kitchen, just try and freaking stop me. On the weekends I can stay out as late as I want. I can sit on my couch in nothing but Spongebob boxer shorts that I consciously bought as a 27 year old, eat a whole tub of peppermint ice cream, and watch seven straight hours of COPS and my family won’t judge me. Unless I tell them.
Every month I get a paycheck, and while most of it goes right back into affording my lavish lifestyle of a one-bedroom palace where I can eat ice cream in my underwear, a lot of is left over at my discretion. Now? I can afford all the toys and games I wanted when I was a kid. I could buy a whole line of Lego’s tomorrow, every piece of the same set. No saving up $5 a week allowance necessary.
And unlike high school, if a girl I like comes over, we can totally make out on my couch and I don’t have to worry about my mom catching us. I mean like totally make out.
I think my best summer was right after my freshman year of high school. I wasn’t old enough that my parents wanted me to work, but old enough to be unsupervised for the whole summer. I spent every day riding my bike to see the new friends I made my first year as a high schooler, playing tennis, swimming, and shooting fireworks in parking lots until the police came. That was 13 years ago. I find that fact insane. The older you get, the faster time flies.
It’s not like this summer has been that bad. Actually pretty good compared to most people I know. I’m taking a creative writing class. I’m playing softball with some friends. I’ll even take a few trips. One weekend I’m going camping. New York City for another. But to have three whole months to myself, free to ride my bike, spend whole days at a pool, play baseball with my friends---to do nothing whatsoever. I don’t think I’ll ever have that again.
I miss nothing. I miss waking up and not knowing what day it was. I miss waking up on a Saturday and not feeling guilty about sleeping in. Last week I was angry at myself all day for sleeping in until 9:30! Because I had to do laundry, go grocery shopping, go to the gym, pick up my dry cleaning, take my car in to the shop, and do a bunch of other boring adult shit that frankly robots should be doing for us by now.
Grownups want to go outside and just “play” sometimes too. At least this one does. I wish I could go knock on my best friends door, come into his house and steal food from his freezer without even asking permission, and make plans on the spot for our next activity with no prior warning to my arrival. Now, I make plans with my friends a week in advance. Over email.
I shouldn’t complain so much about aging. This is normal. It’s what happens after you graduate college and have actual responsibilities. You’re in the “real world.” But I miss summer vacation terribly.
“Real” summer vacation that is.