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.
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.
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