The funny thing about summer, in my eyes, is the way time simultaneously manages to speed up and slow down. How is it already late July? I feel like we just celebrated the Fourth and all of a sudden it's...well, wow.

Everything is a little bit brighter in the summer. I'm reaching the apex of the season, just tanned enough to feel confident in bright lipcolors. My ivory-skinned sister, Em, rocks reds, pinks, oranges year-round, but with my sallow olive undertone, I don't feel like I can get away with it until I'm verging on golden instead of yellow. Everything bright looks a little better against tanned skin...neon nail polish, a canary-yellow camisole, even the bright white of a sundress or my teeth, flashing in a smile. 

Everything takes a beating in the summer. The aforementioned golden skin? Fried to a crisp, the proverbial (albino) green tomato, after an afternoon on the boat. I'm peeling now, and wearing sleeves to work to cover it up. I spend my mornings overdosing on lotion and scrubs hoping to shed my skin just like I've shed the tights and sweaters that kept me company all winter and skin just another layer, tossed aside in the face of bone-deep heat and a bit too much vodka. My liver has taken its fair share of beatings since Memorial Day too, thanks in large part to the myriad glories of St. Germain and new flavors of Skinnygirl. I am the quintessential tipsy, giggling, summertime-saturated girl. 

Every day feels a little less lonely in the summer. In college, I sort of intentionally made sure I was single every summer...something about the higher heat index made independence particularly appealing, obligation to another person repellent. Two summers as one-half of a couple had me thinking about changing my tune; there was something to savor about having a built-in State Fair companion, someone to hold hands with during fireworks and slow-dance to the songs of outdoor concerts. These days, single again, are a swirl of entries in the day planner--a happy hour that goes too late, an all-day brewery crawl, patio evenings and sunbaked afternoons on the lake. The solitude of singlehood liberates me to fill that day planner to overflowing with people to whom I don't bear the ties of strings attached, in a sense. Just the way summer should be. 

Everything gets more exposed in the summer. My freckles pop out of hiding and turn my nose a shade darker, from a distance, than the rest of my face. Oh for cheek-freckles, to even out that discrepancy. My toes, my feet, my ankles...all out to play after months wearing UGGs, liberated in the kind of flat little sandal that provides so little support and protection it might as well not even be there. And hearts...hearts get more exposed, with the aforementioned St. Germain lubricating the tongue just enough to be a little too honest over a cocktail, the memory a little too willing to press rewind, the mind a little too devil-may-care to hold back.