Summer Bitterness

Yeah, I wish it would hurt other people.

Yeah, I wish it would hurt other people.

My childhood played a bitterly cruel trick on me. Why? Because according to 1-13 year old Bitter Ben, I was supposed to get a mandatory 3 month summer vacation and I was forced to have fun.  Summers were a bitter time where I was supposed to do run around without purpose, play bitterly cruel pranks on old people (my parents) and I was supposed to get lost in a forest somewhere for three days. 1-13 year old Bitter Ben and summer movies lied to me about a lot of things. Like these things below.

The weather.  It should be so bitterly hot that I should burn everytime I step outside.  I should stick to the sidewalk everytime I step and my skin should burn so bad that the sun should be jealous of how hot I am.  Also it should be so bright that I should want to wear shades even at night.  Unless I was misinformed as a young person the sun isn’t supposed to look like a bunch of clouds and its brightness shouldn’t look exactly like rain.

Chuck Norris threatening to punch the curviture of the earth.

Chuck Norris threatening to punch the curviture of the earth.

The movies.  Summer movies are supposed to be loud, actiony explosion riddled affairs.  Action heros should get in car chases that involve driving off the top of 40 story building, bailing out without a parachute, landing onto a moving car, grab the window, and a soda while hopping into the villians car without so much as getting a scratch, only to lose at the last second to the bitter villian.  So far, all the movies that have come out this summer have failed miserably at this one tiny request of mine.  Two bitter thumbs down.

The two week vacation.  There was nothing like the family defining trip each summer where my dad took two weeks off of work so that we could cram our whole family of seven into a van where it was hot, there was nothing to do and we got to pretend we liked each other, when deep down inside were arguing loudly at each other about every little thing that annoyed us about each other.  This way we could truly learn to resent each other outwardly, instead of passive aggressively.  There was nothing like annoying other tourists by trying to get them to take a picture of us at the World’s Largest Cat Hairball while trying to perfect our bitter stares at each other.  It always brought us farther apart and made us want to spend less time together.

All vacations should start like this.  Or at least middle like this.

All vacations should start like this. Or at least middle like this.

As I have grown older, I find that my bitter summer resentment comes from working all day, every day, just like every other day of fall, winter and spring and I think back to those bitter days of summer where I stayed home all day, every day, and was bitter because I didn’t have a job so I could have money to buy things like Slurpees that I would drop as soon as I bought them and have to resent my friend as they drank theirs.  Yes, summer just isn’t the same as back then.


Bitter Sunburned Ben


68 thoughts on “Summer Bitterness

  1. if you burn that easily I can only guess that not only are you bitter but possibly a bitter red head? I guess this because I am married to a bitter red head. For my wife: Red hair + Green eyes + Sun = bad sun burnt bitter choice


  2. Howdy Bitter friend,

    I suppose you’re bitter that you have white skin that gets sunburnt so easily. If you were a person of color you could withstand the sunburn.

    But then again, when not under the sun, you could be bitter because life as a Black (Afro-American) man would suck anyway compared to white skin privilege?…. hmmmmm


  3. Oooh, sunburn – that’s awful! Speaking of road trips & cars made me think of this kid’s book called Knucklehead. There is an incredibly hilarious chapter involving a long, hot, packed car trip, and a cat…


  4. I think you’re my new best friend. A co-worker once told me that I exuded hatred. I never thought I would find someone who not only gets that but revels in it. By the way, thanks for liking my post. I’m just a little bitter that you didn’t “follow”:)


  5. I’m grabbing a quick bit of summer vacation next week and it includes a road trip, so I’m hoping to recapture some of that “kid” summer feeling. (Minus the bitterness.)


  6. This is the worst part about being in the real world. Summer isn’t summer! anymore. It’s just like any other miserable working season but with better weather that I can’t even enjoy.


  7. There’s nothing quite like cramming your entire family into a car that isn’t technically or legally big enough for you, packed to the gills with bags of things you probably won’t need but are certain you can’t live a week without. Such is the joy of vacations with a big family. (And we’re a family of eight, so I should know).

    Also, if vacations started or middled like that photo above, it would be pretty much amazing. Or possibly a nightmare, like in the Goofy movie.


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