Hamil with Care

Rationalizing Summer Regrets

Summertime in Seattle is over. I hate to be that guy, but it’s become clear that the warmer months are in our rearview. As we wait for the darkness to envelop us, it’s easy to get caught up in feelings of guilt about how you once again squandered the precious days of mild, sun-dappled bliss that the Pacific Northwest offers as its main consolation prize for nine months of low-grade depression. As a fellow squanderer, I’m here to show you how to put those feelings to rest so that you can march confidently and qualm-free into the grey veil of sadness inching closer by the minute.

I didn’t go swimming in Lake Washington
Seattle’s beloved, big-ass lake offers a refreshing escape from the occasional heat wave. Ringed by scenic views of the region’s lesser cities and crisscrossed by recreational boaters living out a scene from a Viagra ad, Lake Washington offers the best way to enjoy the summer in Seattle.

Unless, of course, you follow the local news and keep up to date on the raw sewage spills that dump into the lake with alarming regularity, a symptom of our ailing regional infrastructure. Does marinating in an ice-cold stew of your neighbors’ poo sound relaxing to you? 

Bonus anti-regret: If Lake Washington’s unofficial nude beach, Denny Blaine, is your jam, you also missed out on the several creepy naked guys who always hang out by the entrance striking up awkward conversations with their carefully shorn, excessively pierced dongs dangling.

I didn’t go to a single outdoor music festival
Live music takes on an especially vibrant quality in the open air, where you can spread out on a rolling lawn and bask in sunlight, sonic stimulation and communal feelings with like-minded groovers. I once saw Radiohead play Sasquatch as the sun set over the ridge and it was one of the most transcendent musical experiences of my life. However, I also spent $24 dollars to guzzle three warm beers in a crowded holding pen in order to attain the level of disinhibition that enabled me to achieve that peak experience.  

Given ever-escalating ticket prices for premium fests like Bumbershoot you’re most likely to find yourself surrounded by students from the city’s elite prep schools repeating the word “molly” too much in overly loud conversation or tech nerds haplessly defending their normie’s concept of personal concert space and clucking about all the pot smoke. Take the money you saved on a ticket and buy a decent set of headphones so you can hear the music as it was intended: without some guy on a Bluetooth trying to give his drunk friend directions back from the Porta-Johns.

I never wore a male romper
This is the viral summer trend I regret missing out on the most. The male romper—I refuse to use the contrived proprietary moniker “RompHim”—represented a fun, mildly outré attire perfectly suited for hot days, as well as a fashion Rorschach test for fragile masculinity. If a man among my cis hetero cohort found the male romper too funny and novel, or really oversold the irony of wearing one, or made sure everyone knew he’d never be caught dead in one, I could be sure that dude is one steamy gay onscreen kiss from an identity crisis. (Gay men were mostly nonplussed by the phenomenon, and many pointed out that the idea is not new.)

Personally, I don’t care about all the hype and marketing; I just think they look cool. I can see myself in one, out there in the sun living my best life. But as this column suggests, I refuse to be bound by seasonal obligations and ephemeral trends. That’s why I plan to wait until everyone’s forgotten about the hubbub. I’ll buy my romper in December when the prices have dropped, and I’ll wear it to announce the first warm day of 2018. The key to managing regrets is to give yourself something to look forward to.