By Scarlette Quille
Summer is here, and with it comes many exciting chances to socialize in the great outdoors. Because you are my people and I love you, I have compiled a list of summer faux pas. These faux pas should be universal but are especially relevant to the greater Sandpoint area. This is because we only get roughly seven weeks of summer weather and we have to make the most of it. If you are looking to increase your desirability at summer functions, check this list and ask yourself the tough questions.
1. Barbecue etiquette. There is no such thing as a vegan, gluten-free barbecue. That’s called a diet. Do you want people inviting you to their diet? No. Summer is the time of year when you can cook outdoors, but if you are inviting people over, and you are calling it a barbecue, people are going to expect burning meat and tangy sauce. So make sure you specify what kind of party you are having. If you have been invited to a “barbecue,” and you don’t eat meat or gluten, you may want to bring something you can eat. It helps in the instance that the host hasn’t created a separate menu for all the possible dietary concerns, or doesn’t want to clean a grill before cooking your frozen bean patty. Complaining about the host isn’t going to win you any friends or sympathy. Most gatherings in this area are pretty straightforward, if it says barbecue, it’s probably not a vegetarian event. Keep in mind what type of dish you are bringing for people to “share.” If you bring something like a “kale” salad or other leafy things, and the party is outdoors, unless you bring your own cooling system, your salad will look like the wilted greens in a lizard aquarium in a matter of hours. Also mayonnaise-based salads will probably become toxic in the same time frame and give everyone the shits. Avoid this travesty by bringing liquor and ice. Do you want to sit next to the guy who brought the pine nuts or the guy who brought Cuervo?
2. Beach etiquette. Public beaches are not exclusive resorts or members only. This means the old, young, fat, hairy and pale have a right to be there. If the thought of that bothers you, than you shouldn’t go. If little kids running around bother you, don’t go. If teenagers making out offends your delicate sensibilities, public beaches are not for you. Personally, I don’t give even the tiniest shit what swimsuit you wear, or whether or not it flatters your figure. People shouldn’t waste their time worrying about other people’s exposed fat rolls or saggy balls. It is a basic human right to experience the feeling of spandex crawling up your crack whilst you strut awkwardly in flip flops on the hot sand. The beach is the one place where it’s acceptable to be as naked as you are comfortable with in public. Everyone deserves the chance to cool off. If you go to the beach to make fun of people and complain, you are a dick, and sooner or later karma and gravity will have their way with you.
3. Swimsuits as clothes. We all have that one friend, aunt or co-worker who takes wearing their swimsuit to the next level. Not sure what I’m talking about? Have you ever been in the company of person who wears their bathing suit and nothing else for hours at a time—in the car, after the sun goes down, cooking, chasing their kids around, riding a bike, you name it. That’s only cute when you are four. When you are sitting at a barbecue in a bikini, and the nearest body of water is a mile away, it’s weird. I don’t care how banging your body is. After a couple of hours of watching someone hang out in their bathing suit, all present have an idea of how much detail goes into your work out and hair removal regimen. When you look around and you are the only adult wearing your swimming suit, it’s probably a good time to put some clothes on and remember to throw it in the wash later.
Spandex is a host home for bacteria and yeast. Another great rule of thumb is to count the amount of hours you have not been swimming. If it’s been more than two, and you aren’t even on the beach, now is the time to put on clothes. Now, now before you go calling me anti-woman, picture your male neighbor in a Brazilian-cut speedo, squatting in his front yard pumping up his kids bicycle tire. Awkward, regardless of what you’re packing.
4. Commenting on skin color. This should be a no-brainer, but pointing out how “pale” someone is and warning them of the dangers of sun burn and pale skin is irritating and condescending. After some point, usually age 12 or so, humans are able to apply their own sunscreen without prompting. No matter how pale the person is, chances are that they have actually been in the sun before and are aware of the exotic condition “sun burn” that you are referring to. Also, it’s really screwed up to comment that someone is so dark they look like a “fill in the blank.” Or stating that they are “naturally” dark and therefore “must not need sunscreen.” This is both not true and not your business.
5. Bitching about the weather. Mother Nature has heard you. You know who you are. First it was too much snow, then too much rain. Now, we finally have sun and it’s “waahh, wah, waaaahhh” way too hot. Just stop. You are testing the limits of Mother Nature’s patience, and she’s going to take us out. You know who you are. Quit cyber-bullying Mother Nature—there’s no need to announce daily the temperature and how it adversely affects your life. People who can read and use computers or even those who are very young understand what hot and cold is. Hit the lake, buy an air conditioner, but please, for the sake of summer, stop whining. Ask yourself “when is the last time someone told me that they ‘knew’ they had found their soul mate when they read her Facebook feed and every post was bitching about the weather…”
Sun’s out. I have skinny dipping to do and ice that needs vodka.