Rejoice all you want over the arrival of summer: It's not fun. The Houston heat and humidity simply renders one unpresentable.
With walking even short distances to light rail practically no longer an option, we're relinquished to our cars. There is no feeling so intolerable as diving solo into a scorching car, scrambling for sunglasses and testing new configurations of air conditioning vents until some semblance of comfort can be achieved. Worse, the heat precludes a litany of enjoyable occasions. Here's a short list of ruined activities because the mercury's rising:
- Wearing turtlenecks. Everyone knows that 2011 is the summer of the turtleneck, but the trend is lost on Houston residents. Take note: That also means that scarves in June are over.
- During cooler months, friends might text me that they see me walking to museums. Little do they know that I'm usually wandering around, looking for my car from the night before. Regardless, I like spreading the news that I go to museums other than for press previews.
- The Jim Mozola Memorial Disc Golf Course is less enjoyable when it's dangerously hot outside. I don't have a Wii, but I imagine that frou frou sports like frisbee golf, badminton and croquet are not supported platforms.
- Making friends on bar patios. I already got in my first conflict of the summer with a stranger in the backyard at Poison Girl over tilting the industrial-grade fan in my direction. She also didn't like that I was sitting next to her boyfriend.
- Not that I'm there yet, but I get the impression that S&M is not a good mix with the heat. Lest we forget the episode of Friends in which Ross' leather pants shrunk.
- Have a fire (in a fireplace). This is especially disconcerting since Subway is installing fireplaces.
- I think I learned in freshmen bio that most heat is released through feet, meaning that wearing shoes prevents the natural process of cooling down. The alternative is going barefoot — a tactic I attempted on Memorial Day that resulted in fire ant bites, purple bruises and a semipermanent ban from a free-range alpaca farm.
- Car canoodling is also incredibly uncomfortable. There's the option of leaving the engine and air conditioning on, but one finds it hard to "stay in the moment" while also tallying his or her carbon footprint.
- The prohibition on black in the summer makes it impossible to superficially indicate one's intellectual identity. If you can't wear a black turtleneck on a coffeehouse patio, then how will potential friends know that you're conversant on the more obscure works of Milan Kundera? All the while, beads of sweat are dropping on the pages of your copy of Cabinet. It's a lose-lose.