Thursday, March 6, 2008

Springtime, summertime

It's frosty cold here in Atlanta, after a lovely warm weekend, and so of course I'm daydreaming about spring. Spring in Georgia is this weird thing, almost nonexistent--the temperature goes 50, 60, 60, 90, usually in the space of a couple weeks. The 60 degree days are our spring. I love them for what they represent, all the promises of summer mostly without the unbearable heat and sweat. Those 60 degree days start me dreaming.

I always tell myself that this spring, this summer, will be the best one ever, I'll do all the stuff I always mean to do, have more fun than I've ever had, get more tan and drink more beer and party harder and worry less. It's hard to live up to; spring and summer now ain't like when we were in college. But I still try, every single year. I plan and plan and write down ideas and come up with crazy trips to take and party themes and spring-related music to listen to and books to read.

The best summer I ever had, actually, was the summer right after I graduated from college. I worked at the theatre in residence on campus, lived in a basement apartment a little ways north. Days at the theatre meant hanging out with friends, working in between long conversations and jokes and lots of silly things found on the internet. Getting off work before dark meant walking through the woods on campus, basking in the last bits of daylight, waiting for the show to end and everyone else to get done working. Then we'd spend our nights in the dorm parking lots, playing guitar and singing along, drinking more than we should've, getting into any kind of trouble we could think of. Weekends meant cookouts and trips to the lake to swim. I got tan and I got happy and I'm still trying to beat those three months.

The best springs were those college springs, especially when I lived on the third floor of the dorm that faced the woods. I slept with my window open, woke up to birds chirping, went to sleep to the sounds of frat boys partying on Greek Row. I sat out on the roof under our windows and read for class, soaked up the strengthening springtime sun. I watched shirtless boys play ultimate frisbee on the quad between classes. I laid down in the grass and felt like I had all the time in the world to enjoy these things.

Lots of stuff is different now, but better, I think. Jenny and I have office jobs and we live in an apartment surrounded by kudzu and pine trees. We have dogs, and a lake to walk them around, and a huge back porch to drink beer on. I'm going to miss those impromptu parking lot parties, but instead we have roadtrips and beach houses--though not enough musician friends.

This spring I'll walk my dog a lot (and maybe hopefully housebreak him so I don't have to clean up so much pee). This spring I'll go to North Carolina to see some hockey, to Alabama to see some country music. I'll make plans, get ready for an all-out, throw-down kind of summer. I'm still working on squeezing in as much fun as humanly possible--and getting a tan. A tan would be nice.

What we didn't tell you in our introduction is that Alex and I are married. Not married married, just hetero-life-partners married. Now, I have noticed a trend among the other married couples I know (real and hetero-life). Each couple has one planner and one go-along-er. After reading Alex's blog, you could probably guess which one she is.

So what does that mean for my spring plans in the south? Mostly, it means that I'll do whatever she puts on our wall calendar that we plan to buy imminently. Volunteer Jam in Alabama, AthFest in Athens, trips to Lake Lanier. These are things that I know will happen. They will happen because Alex will plan them, and I will get in the car.

Now, there are two varieties of go-along-ers. There are those who merely follow the planner, and only dream of making their own plans, and there are those who actually make their own plans. I am the former. What this means is that I have a few ideas of my own, but I have no illusions as to how probable their follow-through will be.

  1. Georgia Shakespeare opening nights -- there are three. Three chances to get dolled up and show some of my favorite people how much I've matured over the past 5 years. Three chances to reinvent what those opening nights mean to me. Three chances to catch up with old friends.
  2. Alex and I have a palatial back porch (for an apartment). Sitting on the porch in the dead of summer, listening to Otis Redding and Van Morrison, drinking cold Abita Purple Haze with our dogs lying (quietly) at our feet. This is my dream.
  3. A few weeks ago I went to Lake Sinclair with my main man and a few of his friends. We assumed 65+ degree, sunny, calm weather. We got 50ish and wind. Riding or rocking on a pontoon boat, fishing, enjoying my time as the only girl among good ol' southern boys, basking in rays of sunshine, belting David Allen Coe (the non-racists, non-sexist albums) and Willie Nelson. Possibly with a dog at my feet, again. Wrapping my sunburned skin with light cloth as the sun goes down, watching the bonfire in the back yard, and making s'mores.
  4. Road-tripping with people I love to a beach house in a crusty town, cooking in breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a combination of all three, eating ribs from Pineapple Willy's, seafood from just about anywhere, telling ghost stories or gossip stories, playing truth or dare, and drinking just because we can.

Barbecues, parties, sunburns, good beer, good friends, best friends, country music, classic rock, family dogs, road trips, bare feet. This is the summer I hope for.

Spring will be spent trying to train my dog.

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