Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Single and Southern in the Summer

Summertime. It's often a favorite time of the year for many people. Numerous songs are written about it, especially here in the country music capital of the world. Tunes by Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw always come to mind. We break out the cute sundresses and flip flops and awesome toe nail colors. There are books to be read while sitting by the beach or the pool. We find more happy hours to attend with friends.

In my 25 years, I have created some really fabulous memories from my summers. Trips with my family to the beach or Disney World. Several trips to Europe. Staying out late with friends. Checking out new bands downtown. Riding rollercoasters at Six Flags. Unfortunately, there have also been a few summers that I would have preferred to skip over... like summers that started with break-ups. There's nothing fun about breaking up with the person you want to do tons of fun summer things with and not being ready to date again until fall.

On the bright side, most of my summer memories are warm and bring a feeling of cheer to remember them. Several things epitomize this sunny season for me, but one of those things is definitely dating. Is it just me or is it not a lot more fun to date in the summer than any other time of the year? It doesn't matter whether you're in a serious relationship or just getting to know someone new, there are a ton of possibilities for fun things to do. A lot of times these great date ideas are totally free or dirt cheap. Movies in the park. Live bands near the lake. Being able to go play tennis or hit the pool.

I find that whenever I'm not in a committed relationship, it's always famine or feast in my dating life. Either I'm not dating anyone and don't feel interested in a soul or there are 3-4 guys that I might want to spend some time getting to know. Last summer found me in the middle of a feast. I'm not really sure what was going on, but it seemed I was meeting all sorts of awesome guys everywhere I went and having the opportunity to spend some time talking, going to cool events and finding out more about each of them.

When it comes down to it, I'm not really into the whole "casual dating" thing, so once I decide I'm interested in someone then I invest myself in getting to know that one person. So by the middle of the summer, I was spending a lot of time with a really great guy. We'd watch movies on my couch. We hit up Frist Fridays (concerts at our local art museum). We drank unusual beers from other countries at local hot spots while sitting on the patio. We witnessed a "longest flight" record at the Red Bull Flugtag. We went to see a few of the summer blockbusters at the theater. We truly had a fantastic summer together before he headed to another city for grad school, and since we hadn't had enough time to really get to know each other we parted ways as friends.

I have vivid memories of riding around the local country backroads with my high school boyfriend (yes, there was only one - I was a late bloomer) and listening to Dave Matthews Band and talking for hours. This was of course back when gas was like $1.47 a gallon and you didn't care if you spent a half a tank driving around with someone you really liked. DMB is another quintessential element of my summers. While this year will be the first time I've made it to a concert in a few years, I spent 3 summers in a row making sure I attended the DMB concert that happened every year. He always plays outdoor amphitheaters, and there's nothing quite like standing outside in a crowd of 20,000 people who all know every word and join in singing and dancing. Whether I make it to a concert or not, I still love to flip the ipod over to DMB and sing along as I drive around town with my windows down (only now I drive directly to and from my destination).

This summer has (so far) been a bit of a famine, but I think this is partly because as I'm getting older I'm also figuring out what I'm looking for and not really interested in spending time with people who aren't it. Instead, I've been spending more time embracing my friends and hitting up some of the local summer events with them. On top of that, I decided that when you're young and single is really the best time to take trips and spend money and basically just embrace it that you don't have to consider another person's opinion on such things. This is why my summer has included 4 trips so far... and I've still got one more to go.

The summer's not over yet, and I don't mind saying that I wouldn't mind a little dating action before it turns cold again. It's always nice to turn fun summer things into dates. But I'm certainly doing my best to rock out this whole single in the summer thing. I've seen more of our fine country this summer. I'll be going to Canada soon if all goes as planned. I've taken advantage of a lot of the cool things that go on around Nashville this time of year. I'm buying an awesome computer I've been wanting. I've spent a LOT of time with some friends that I don't get to see often enough. I'm going to see Dave Matthews Band in a few days. And I'm going to bed at night with a smile on my face at the end of a long, full summer day.

The thing about being an adult is that we don't get a summer break anymore, but I have found that with some creativity and cashing in my air miles I can turn a summer into a fun couple of months that make me forget that I'm a responsible adult who has to work every day. I go to work. I get my stuff done. And then I leave it there to drive off into the hours of daylight I still have left and find a way to make the most of it.


Sarah said...

I definitely define summer as sundresses and good country music :)

Hope you had a great time in DC!

L Sass said...

Sigh. This summer has been all about dealing with a terrible boss, packing and saying goodbye to friends thus far. Lots of fun, too, but bittersweet.