"Best $2k I Ever Spent!" The Hidden Bonuses Of Summer

by Alex Gilman · May 5, 2011

This weekend, I plan on attending my first large-scale outdoor bar crawl and subsequent BBQ party of the year. If the weather stays the way it's been going, there's probably also an even-money bet that I'll be jumping into a pool sometime in the next 72 hours. Which is awesome, right? See, I know in the backlash-fueled world of internet comedy writing, there's some case to be made for why summer sucks. Oh, there's little kids at the beach, and I can't get my favorite table at Red Lobster, and there's no new episodes of SVU!

Well, let me be the first to tell you from the bottom of my heart: eff you.

Summer is awesome, and this is perhaps the biggest no-brainer in the history of direct statements. If you don't love summer, I have to assume that as a child, you were forced to attend weight-loss camp, work at the lumber yards, or watch the Baltimore Orioles, because otherwise I sincerely don't get it. As a child, summer means ice cream, fireworks, and praying nobody finds out you peed in the community pool. As a teenager, it's your first beer, your first kiss, and the first time you lie to your friends about having sex. In other words, magical times.

Granted, most of us no longer have anything resembling a summer vacation, and our lovely new annual tradition of gas prices shooting up to $4.75 plus a pint of blood per gallon has been less than optimal, but this doesn't even begin to diminish the enthusiasm I have for summer as a concept. But swimming pools and cow meat are hardly the only things that make summer parties great:


A good way to tell if someone you've just met is a serial killer is to take them someplace with a bunch of adorable puppies, and see what their reaction is. If, like you or I, they're filled with joy, and enthusiastically start to play with the puppies, you can breathe a sigh of relief. If, on the other hand, they don't react at all, or react negatively, you've most likely found yourself a serial killer, and congratulations on figuring this out before he/she tries to turn you into a lampshade.

Summer parties where somebody brings a really awesome dog are infinitely better than parties with no dog at all. Not only will this let you apply my helpful "serial killer test" to any potential romantic interest you may be talking to, but you also have a stalwart friend no matter how many margaritas you overindulge in. Rex doesn't care that you're puking in the Magnolia bushes!

Dressing Down

I have a good friend who works as an accountant for a "Big 3" firm. When he gets home at the end of the day, clad in his stifling business suit, the first thing he has to do, before cracking a beer or calling his girlfriend or whatever else, is remove his suit pants (yes, no matter who's watching) and throw on the same ratty pair of blue mesh athletic shorts that he's been wearing daily since probably freshman year of college. They're full of holes, covered in paint stains (I hope), and uniquely horrifying, and yet, they are the single most comfortable item of clothing he owns, and I have no doubt that he will be married and buried in them if given the option. Now, 9 months out of the year, wearing these biohazards out to a party would be supremely unacceptable. But the summer is different. In summer, you're dressing to expect sand, sun and pool water all over your threads anyway, so whether you rock $345 Armani jorts isn't really at issue. Above all else, be comfy.

Day Blazing

Let me be very clear: I love alcohol. I don't think I could have been hired to work here if I didn't. And there's very little question that booze is the king of nightlife. It keeps parties flowing, prevents as many fights as it causes, gets ugly people laid, and helps British people forget that they're British for a night at a time. But here in California, we grow a different kind of quasi-legal recreational substance that was made for summertime cookouts, pool parties, and afternoon lounging. And while showing up at Drai's on a Friday night baked out of your mind would probably be a terrifying experience similar to the boat tunnel scene from Willy Wonka and not highly recommended (note: showing up at Drai's in general is also not highly recommended), showing up at The Standard pool party a little crispy couldn't be a more pleasurable experience.