Esther O’Moore Donohoe on wringing the very last out of summer 2022 and reminiscing about what a time we all had
I went full Drew Barrymore last week when it rained after The Heat. As soon as I heard the pitter patter of tiny raindrops, I shoved my head out my bathroom window and took it all in. ‘Never miss the opportunity’ I whispered to myself as I locked eyes with a Deliveroo driver on the road. I then looked to the apartments across the street half expecting the balconies to be full of people banging pots and holding their babies skyward which nobody was of course, because it was raining.
But there is plenty of rain and wind and shite galore ahead of us as autumn comes into view. However, I for one am not yet ready to burst my summer bubble. Instead, I’ve decided to pull my metaphorical bucket hat down over my ears and channel Mariah Carey ‘Cost of living crisis? I don’t know her.’ Worrying about bills and WHO KEEPS LEAVING THE IMMERSION ON, is for Future Me to worry about. Until the clock strikes 12:01 on the first of September, I will continue to enjoy myself in the space between Hot Cailín Summer and Hot Water Bottle September. In fact, we should all drag the arse out of summer 2022, the summer we all needed.
Going into it, we had all worked ourselves up into having ‘The Best Summer Everrrr’ after the flaming donkey turds of doom that were summers 2020 and 2021. Massive concerts were back. Beyonce returned like a musical Wizard of Oz. And a new generation of Irish children all across Ireland experienced a breakfast buffet for the very first time. Personally though, I didn’t want to put too much pressure on June, July and August so I kept my stakes low. If they were contestants on Ru Paul’s Drag Race I would click my fingers and scream ‘YES GIRLS. GIVE US NOTHING!’ There was just no way for them to live up to our long anticipated summer of freedom.
That said, the two weeks I spent in sensual and mobility scooter friendly Fuerteventura was something I had built up for months. It was my first time on a plane in over two years and I was ready for it. For 14 full days, I lay like a pale sausage in a bowl of coddle, doing nothing but reading and tipping myself into the pool every 20 minutes to cool down. It was heaven. And it was on this holiday that one of the books I inhaled set me up for the rest of the season. ‘Year of Yes’, by Shonda Rhimes. It was basically a ‘live your best life’ type that reminds the reader that we’re all going to die someday and that life will serve us misery and pain in ways that we can’t even imagine yet. So when someone asks if you want to do something nice like eat a donut in the middle of the work day, just say ‘yes’ instead of slowly atrophying like a wizened slug behind your laptop. It was just the type of woo woo fairy fart thinking that I am 100% open to whilst baking in the sun, completely removed from reality.
My first real test presented itself a few weeks later when my friends’ kids asked me to literally get in the sea with them, whilst on holiday in Mayo. The old me would have looked them square in their cute little faces, levitated three feet above ground and screeched ‘NOT IF JAVIER BARDEM HIMSELF WAS FROLICKING BETWIXT THE WAVES DRESSED AS A MERMAID WILL I SET FOOT FROM DRY LAND INTO THAT FREEZING, WATERY SOUP’. New and improved me however, somehow said the words ‘Yes, okay’ out loud. And so, for the first time since 2016, I flung myself into the water and felt like my lower intestines were going to drop clean out of my body with the shock.
I then kept saying yes to more tiny things whilst at the same time, still enjoying my favourite hobby of cancelling plans last minute in increasingly complicated and unhinged ways (‘No. I can’t come to book club this evening as a Cuisine de France display has just fallen on me in Spar and so I’m trapped and will be unable to attend. So sorry!). Nice requests that I’d have previously shot down immediately, I have strongly considered. I have consciously tried to fight my natural instinct to say no and retreat indoors and it’s made the summer for me. ‘Want to go for a swim?’ I do. ‘Want to travel from Mayo to Dublin, get car sick for the last hour and then immediately go straight to Vicar Street to see a singer you’ve never heard of before?’ Sounds like a complete nightmare, but let’s go!
And I intend to carry my woo woo yes-ness into pumpkin spice autumn. This will likely be harder to do as I love hiding away in my home like a reclusive sloth especially as the days get shorter. Although, given that I plan to push the first Turning On Of The Heating until late October, this year it may be easier than ever to prise me away from the sofa.
Undoubtedly, this autumn and winter will be challenging for many of us but there is still lots of great stuff that we can look forward to. There’s the new season of The Kardashians and the possibility of seeing Kim and Pete’s love story unfold before it tanked. We also get to take our duvet coats out of storage and instead of putting them on to go for walks, we can put them on to watch the TV. Then there’s Halloween, the release of Don’t Worry Darling starring Harry ‘Vico Baths’ Styles not to mention Hocus Pocus 2. Who knows – we may even get to see Brooklyn Beckham choose another career between now and Christmas and Kylie Jenner could finally reveal what she has named The Baby Formally Known As Wolf. What a rich and exciting time to be alive. Just make sure you say yes to putting the immersion on a timer. The January bill is going to be a real stinker.