The Anatomy of a Small-Town Summer

As the month of May melts into June, the air is getting warmer, school is coming to a close, and small-town kids like me are rejoicing over the summer season. I’ve noticed that in between backroad Sunday drives with the windows down, all our summers can be boiled down to the same few activities.

1. The weekly movie theater run

It’s a beautiful summer night with your closest childhood friends, feeling mischievous with nothing to do, and all the sudden someone says the infamous words… “I don’t know, you wanna see a movie?” Although a good trip to the theatre is a year-round routine, there is something about summer that makes you extra desperate for a good blockbuster. Let’s just hope this one is better than Batman v Superman

2. Lake days

In the case, heaven forbid, that you have seen every available movie in the theaters (several times), you can still have some wholesome summer fun. If you have a friend, a floatie, or a rug-tug family pontoon that is older than you are, you can have yourself a beautiful day on the lake. Or, if you’re like me, you could take a minimum wage job on the lake and watch sunburnt retirees zoom by on motorboats while you’re elbow deep in soft serve ice cream and bug spray. But remember, if you choose the latter option, do not be bitter.

3. Part-time jobs

You may be surprised to learn that there are more jobs in a small town than a lakeside ice cream slinger. You could sling ice cream plenty of places: the shop by the elementary school, the shop by the high school, the shop in the next town over… someone must keep up the most sacred of small-town establishments.

4. Bonfires

Everyone strives to have a moment in their life as enchanting and timeless as a rom-com portrayal of a formal gala, but the closest any small-town kid will come is a summertime bonfire. Burnt hotdogs and muddy sneakers may not be romantic, but who are we to turn our nose up to a cultural essential? If you just ignore the country music and catch some lightening bugs, you will have a summer night to remember.

The truth is, as much as I laugh about my cliché small-town upbringing, I wouldn’t trade these quirks for the world. I look forward to more summers filled with superhero blockbusters and soft serve ice cream.  

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