For as long as I can remember, summer has arrived later than I wanted and left before I was ready. But this year, I knew that things would be different.
I was sharing an apartment in New Haven with my friend Jon and his girlfriend Rebecca and living on my summer’s earnings away from home for the first time. This was a fantastic arrangement, but I soon discovered the pitfall of being single and living with a couple. You recognize the void in your schedule that comes from not having a partner and begin to search for a substitute.
It’s not an easy thing to watch two people canoodling while watching “Nanny 911” and realize that it’s four long hours before you go to bed — alone.
I began making lists of all the things I was going to accomplish between June and September, from reading “Freakonomics” to running five miles a day to learning how to cook Chinese food.
I don’t deny that my goals were overly-ambitions, but for some reason, as summer approached, I got stirred up inside and felt like I could accomplish anything. After years of yearning and inaction, I was going to do it; I was going to settle down and get serious with Summer. I made my move (it involved ice cream and the Saybrook hammock) and within a week, Summer and I were a couple.
Initially, things went well. I wrote down my promises and kept them and Summer was certainly making me happy. Summer was always around when I had a free moment so at first there was no reason to complain.
However, as the weeks wore on and my work increased, I found myself with less and less free time. I felt that I wasn’t giving enough of myself and grew more and more unfulfilled — despite the fact that most nights, I was the only one getting pleasure from our arrangement. I knew a distance was forming between the two of us when I developed a blister on my foot from walking to East Rock in my favorite pair of flip-flops.
The relationship was already showing signs of trouble, but it officially took its last breath on an afternoon in early August.
It was Tuesday and I returned home on my lunch break to make myself a sandwich. I heard the sweet, sweet crooning of Luther Vandross seeping from Jon’s room and, thinking he left the radio on when he went to work at the lab, I walked in the room to shut it off. To my horror, I found Summer in bed with Jon and his girlfriend.
I won’t detail here what I saw that afternoon, but it should suffice to say that it involved plain yogurt, a cup of granola, two bananas, and the New York Times Style Section. The thought of it still makes me a little queasy, and I don’t think I’ll ever look at plantains or faux-fur boots the same way again.
The news that my Summer was a harlot shouldn’t have come as such a shock. Thinking back on it, it seems like I was always seeing other people having fun with Summer. I would have never have guessed that my Summer was prepared for a menage a trois, though.
I’m not denying that our sex life was vanilla, but I always thought that Summer and I were good together. I was raised to believe that a kink was something you got in your neck, not in bed (though if you forget the “safety word,” one might lead to the other). Summer never mentioned feeling unsatisfied — in fact, I recall some pretty steamy nights in my un-air-conditioned bedroom.
Regardless of how I felt about Summer, one thing was clear: I was involved with a slut. I knew our spiritual tete-a-tete was finished, and I was determined to make a clean break. I packed up my flip-flops, sunglasses and shorts and went to work the next day in corduroys and a wool blazer.
I spent a few nights pouring over the pile of Post-it notes that had accumulated on my desk throughout the last few months. Looking over all that I might have accomplished if I hadn’t been so distracted by Summer, I began to cry.
Blowing my nose with a Post-it reminding me to buy Kleenex, I pulled myself together with renewed resolve. I was going to make the most of the last two weeks before returning to Yale or die trying.
This attitude lasted for two manic days before I gave up and decided that it was a lost cause. I drowned my sorrows in the pool while vacationing with my family.
Returning to Yale holds almost as much promise as Summer did. The opportunity for a new beginning often leads me to make promises to myself that I can’t keep. While this phenomenon is probably familiar to those of us returning to Yale, the class of 2009 are the ones who are in the position to make the most of Camp Yale and most vulnerable to this trap.
My advice: shop tons of classes, sleep little, socialize much (it’s the only two weeks when you’ll see all of campus out and partying), change that high school nickname you always hated, hook up with that hottie from your FOOT trip (or your FOOT leader) … or not. Take it a day at a time and enjoy yourself. Whatever you do, make sure to forget the things you promised to do for this summer but didn’t get around to.
After all, there’s always the next Summer.
Kevin Osowski is planning on having a rebound relationship with Autumn.