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This Year, People Are Manifesting Very Specific Summers

After a series of failed themes, we’re customizing the season for ourselves

For the past few years, we’ve had to submit to a one-summer-fits-all approach, and it often didn’t work out. In 2021, Chet Hanks unilaterally declared a “White Boy Summer” — with all the problems that entailed. Alternatively, it could have been “Hot Vax Summer,” a season of sluttiness after everyone (lol) had been vaccinated against COVID-19. Instead, we wound up with “Down Bad Summer.” In fact, it feels like every summer since Megan Thee Stallion’s “Hot Girl Summer” of 2019 has gone off the rails in one way or another. It’s too much pressure!

That’s why I’m glad to see that the warmer months of 2022 are being met with niche, customized summer concepts that suit every taste and need. After what we’ve been through recently, I think it’s only right that we decide for ourselves what kind of summer to manifest. Are you a fan of 1980s and 1990s dream-pop with inscrutable lyrics? Try a Cocteau Twins Summer.

More than one person, meanwhile, is looking forward to a mobbed-up Tony Soprano Summer — though nobody defines it exactly the same way. That’s okay, they’re all valid summers. 

And hey, introverts need summers too. You could take a page from a famous vampire…

Or a singer-songwriter with a notoriously bleak outlook… 

Or just decide that you need some time to ponder life’s great questions.

Ah, yes. This is the way. Summer should be a celebration of freedom. School’s out, the sun is shining and you get to decide whether to make margaritas or mojitos for the pool party. No wonder the top-down approach to dictating summer themes was so glitchy. Of course we were meant to follow individual passions and experiment for ourselves. Save the herd mentality for the holidays, people. When the temperature goes up, you can go your own way. 

So, what’ll it be? A Gourmet Summer where you make every recipe in Julia Child’s The French Chef Cookbook? A Devolution Summer where you walk into the ocean and turn back into a fish? Or maybe you’ll join the comic book fans marking the Summer of Morbius. Supply chain issues be damned: There’s absolutely no shortage of summers these days. And if your first choice is a disappointment, you can always switch to a different one. 

Until the fall, I mean.