Apart from the Christmas party season, summertime is the social peak of the year. Every evening, let alone every weekend, our calendars are filled with summer drinks, summer barbeques, summer festivals, summer being-outside-no-matter-what. The FOMO is particularly strong at this time of year, where every one of our online friends seems to be living their best lives, filtered beyond all recognition in the summer sunshine. We sit indoors, we contemplate the seemingly endless amounts of fun to be had out there in the world, and drag ourselves out of bed to spend at least 12 hours in the fresh (read: humid and dank) air. Because if we don’t? SUN GUILT sets in.
Sun guilt is a new phenomenon in Ireland, largely because we never get this type of weather. There is a low-lying panic in the air; a feeling that we must enjoy this now because it could be gone ANY minute. It’s basically the plot of that episode of Friends, where Chandler and Joey accidentally get porn as a cable TV channel and are so scared that it might disappear, that they leave it playing 24 hours a day. And, much like Chandler and Joey, when we spend all day in the sunshine, our brains turn to mush and we start to behave erratically and inappropriately. If you don’t believe me, just look at the number of men walking around Dublin city with their tops off. Chandler and Joey had to turn the porn off eventually, and we, at some point, need to get in out of that heat.
But is it only me who’s craving a day inside? I think not. I can feel the vibes from people, the silent screams from their eyes for a day in bed and a cup of tea, like the good old days. Our lips are sealed for fear of retaliation from our friends who seem to think the sun is a personal friend of theirs (“how dare you say that about the heatwave?”). But I know the truth. We all want a day off. We’re just too scared to admit it.
The niggling sense of guilt about missing out on fun in the sun stops us from taking a well-needed break. We’re so concerned about missing out on something that we bake our little Irish bodies to bits. But we are not built for this weather. We are pale-skinned, fair-haired Celts and we can only eat so many ham-and-boiled-eggs salads before we keel over.
There is zero shame in spending a day or two in a dark room, embracing your inner vampire. Picture it now. You wake up late, blissfully missing most of the early morning sunshine. You eat a full Irish breakfast, which you can finally stomach because you have the fan on full blast in the kitchen. You take the day to binge watch the extensive list of Netflix and TV shows you’ve been missing out on in a cool, dark room. And finally, joyously content after your roast dinner (yes, a roast dinner, because that fan is the gift that keeps on giving), you head to bed early, shamelessly skipping the fifth bout of summer drinks this week. It can wait, my friends. I am taking the day off.