Picture my right arm up and that I'm holding an imaginary sign.
It is red and spells the word S-T-O-P.
No, I'm not directing traffic.
It is my response to deflecting increasing commentary on how fast summer is going, comments to the effect that summer is slipping away (if it ever even officially arrived, in some people's estimation.)
I have had occasion to hold up my imaginary sign many times this past week in the newsroom and outside of it, including when a calendar-glancing co-worker mentioned not the dreaded "S" word (snow), but the accompanying cringe-inducing "C" word (Christmas).
Her casual comment was acknowledging that the arrival of July 25 meant a mere five months from then and, you know, ho, ho, ho and all that maddening merriment.
I glared at her, giving her the Janice hairy eyeball.
Up went "the sign."
And a verbal request to please refrain from saying that word out loud again until Dec. 24, thank you.
I grimaced and backed up away from my colleague in communications, returning to my work station and announcing that I was taking hostage with me what good mood I had left to sustain me for the rest of the day.
Observations echoing the summer's-over theory chipped away at my seasonal summer happiness, including the ones about how the days are getting shorter, how we're loosing daylight, that it's getting darker earlier in the evening and that that has been the case ever since the summer solstice of June 21.
Must you say so?
Up went the S-T-O-P sign, and this time around, I'm ready to arm wrestle. Honestly.
It's hard being positive about summer when people are perpetuating the myth that once we celebrate the Fourth of July, it's all downhill from there.
Really? Well, get me off that rollercoaster.
Up went the sign again when a newspaper patron solicited my assistance for a back-to-school story.
"It's the middle of July," I reminded her.
The bearer of grim news said the school year is fast approaching and comes right after the county fair.
S-T-O-P, I'm saying to myself, thinking, gee, I haven't even started working on my summer tan yet.
Some kids are going back to school even earlier this year, the patron assured, justifying the request for coverage.
Up went the sign.
Honestly, when I walk in a store and see summer stuff too soon on clearance and the school supplies on sale, I have to turn away. Like a vampire unable to deal with the light of day, I, too, have to look away from such horrors.
It's just too much of a shock for my system to handle.
But enough whining from me for this week's Sunday space.
I'm holding up that sign on your behalf.