I've always hated August. And such is my hate, that the only other month that even comes close, is January. However, living in New Orleans has given me a chance to make peace with January – as it's not just a month of bleak nothingness any longer. In Ohio, the wasteland of days that must come after the celebration and merriment of December, were just a reminder that there was nothing to look forward to until Spring. But in New Orleans, the party continues through Mardi Gras, and by that time, having a break, or even some dreary weather, is a much-needed respite. Also, spring is never far around the corner. So, I'm good with January now.
But August? I might hate August even more.
I think part of why August is such a horrible month is because it's deeply ingrained in us; that it's a last hurrah of sorts, an ending. Sort of like Sunday. I used to hate Sundays as well, before the "Golden Age of Television" was upon us, before HBO and AMC had all the good shows. Now, Sunday can be the ice cream on top of the cake that is the weekend. You can spend your Sunday night in, watching The Walking Dead. You may even look forward to it. A little piece of happiness (or with The Walking Dead, more like misery, but misery that you love) before going back to the daily grind the next day – back to work, back to school. Sundays used to be the reminder that you weren't free at all. Friday night and Saturday were just a myth. Sunday made it all real again.
The same can be said with August. It was always time to start shopping for new clothes and school supplies, while trying to not dread going back to school. Summer was always such a dreamy span of time for a kid. Freedom from teachers, rules and vast amounts of homework. The freedom to watch cartoons all day. Freedom to go outside and run around and do whatever it is that kids do out there; I don't know. I do know that I spent hours and hours outside and loved it; but I only loved it until July 31st. After that, all I could think about was that summer was over, but not so over that all the cool fall stuff could happen.
So August is already subconsciously terrible. In New Orleans, it's also the ninth ring of hell. I go outside and I can't breath, it's so humid. Entergy must love me, because I don't care how much it costs, I'm cranking my air conditioning. I need to fall asleep under at least one blanket, dammit. And perhaps the sensitivity from the heat has something to do with getting older, because I watch kids run around in the hot weather, and it doesn't faze them. It didn't faze me when I was young. The dorms I stayed in while in college didn't have air conditioning, and yet I survived. I remember it being uncomfortable at times, but nothing I couldn't tolerate. But now, the heat keeps me indoors and a bit antisocial. I was in the French Quarter last Saturday and saw all the people in red dresses for the "Red Dress Run". They were drinking beer, walking (and later running!) around, many in very elaborate get-ups that HAD to have been like wearing an oven, in the nearly 100 degree heat – I thought, "LOL, no."
But it's not just the heat. August is a notoriously crappy month, historically. Wars start in August. Violent crime spikes in August. Movies like The Fantastic Four happen in August. And the only show worth watching, that hasn't been a rerun, was True Detective – and wow, was that a huge disappointment. I'm pretty sure where they went wrong, was the location. Louisiana had the best True Detective location. Move it to L.A.? You get a mess. And there are no fun holidays in August. At least in New Orleans, you get festivals on the weekends, but like I said before, drinking beer in the humidity and under the sweltering sun? LOL, no. Also, many restaurants take breaks for the off-season – like Pizza Delicious – making you stray to a place that doesn't have cookies sprinkled with the perfect touch of sea salt, to go along with your pizza.
So bring on September – such a lovely sounding word, next to August.