The heat is on in the Western United States. When is it not in June? And why was this considered Breaking News last week? Then again, Breaking News is no longer “breaking” news as most people have given up on real news.
I have lived in Arizona for 33 years, and the temperature always tops 120 degrees by June 20th. It’s called “Summer in the Desert.” Global warming or not. Yes, we can fry an egg on our driveway by 9 AM. The top of my urgent call list is my A/C tech’s private cell number. I have been known to make the occasional lewd proposition to him in exchange for after-hours emergency A/C repair service. He always shows up and refuses my overtures (thank God) but fixes the cooling problem.
He is as important as any concierge doctor — perhaps more so. But this is life here in the West. We bake in triple digits from June till Halloween (sometimes later). Fire season is upon us (we have three distant ones ongoing at the moment). Evacuation plans are always in the back of our minds but the smokey, ashy sunsets are gorgeous.
Most of my desert rat pals who actually live here through the summer (no San Diego or Laguna escapes) have learned to suck it up and simmer down. We stop listening to the hourly temperature record breaking numbers. After 105 it feels all the same. You learn to open your car door with oven mitts. You never leave home without six frozen water bottles.
Arizona is considered a perfect post-Covid relocation state. But obviously there are no winners in that category anymore. The heat will scare off a lot of folks. But Maine has black flies, Montana can become a “cabinized” bore, Nantucket is sweet for eight days and then what? Every locale has its downside. Poor California has gotten the worst with bad air, increasing homeless tents, and earthquakes. More people are giving up on owning that second or third home and are downsizing into one locale. But where?
Actually, people are all looking for post-pandemic coping skills now more than ever. Changing locations may not be enough. The other side of Covid is hard to negotiate. After you’ve traveled the summer out … then what? You can run but you can’t hide.
I have noticed my personal resilience and patience is on a serious pause button. I have neither! I can’t find the new landscape just yet. I watch Covid rates dropping in cities while their crime rates soar. Another epidemic!
After 18 months of semi-isolation, it is nice to “think” we can get back out “on the road” to recovery like a touring rock band. But not so fast! It still feels “off.” Summer is always that fantasy of the “livin’ is easy.” But by fall, the ease of “livin” might not be so easy with rising gas prices and everything else. Heat blast or not.
One thing is for sure about surviving through this summer (or life) is the constant discussion of hydration. It is all I hear about now that I am old and dried out. Who knew the word “fluid” would mean so much lately. Look at “gender” fluid; now men can wear eyeliner and shadow to the office. Clothing companies are offering non-binary (not unisex – old term) styles that men or women can wear. But how do those clothes actually “fit” both sexes? Or is that considered too sexist to even ask nowadays?
Thankfully, I am considered irrelevant to the current culture and personally proud to be so. I am happy to sit on the sidelines and watch the disruptive parade go by. I have learned that if you care too much after 65, you become Norma Desmond on the giant stairway “ready for my close-up.” Not a great visual.
But back to hydration — a theme I keep seeing everywhere — where attention must be paid. Whether you are 20 or 90, apparently dehydration is THE cause of (here we go… drumroll please) aches and pains, high blood pressure, acid reflux, dementia, depression, brain fog, wrinkled skin, constipation, low energy, diabetes and Parkinson’s. So … drink up people!
Nowadays, everyone is drinking electrolyte liquid of some sort — in addition to your eight glasses of water. Apparently, the electrolytes KEEP the water in your system. Even Joe Biden doesn’t leave home without his bottle of orange Gatorade (which is apparently the worst electrolyte drink on the market because it can be high in sugar and low in the potassium/sodium balance). I wonder if it is actually working for him.
The height of all this dehydration money grab is now something called the hydrate IV bar or spa (remember oxygen “bars” of 12 years ago when you could hook yourself up to a face mask for a $25 inhale of a pure oxygen “hit?”). You can now join a “hydrate spa” and get a monthly IV in your arm of saline, B12, Vitamin C, and minerals that cures you of fatigue, aging, headaches, nausea, and sexual impotency.
Maybe that’s true … for an hour before you pee it all out. And that will cost you a mere $250 for a quick recliner charge recharge. If only Dr. Feelgood (Dr. Max Jacobson of Eddie Fisher and John F. Kennedy injection fame) was still here. Remember Michael Jackson’s Hyperbaric oxygen chamber and his nightly injections of Propofol? This is all about the new “wellness” and “living your best everyday,” and look where it got Michael.
I accept that I don’t feel great every day, and I am squirrely about getting needles administered by “spa attendants” without medical backgrounds. But I will gladly slurp my electrolytes and water to stay vertical any day. Then again, I am no longer “the market” for all this hot health hustle.
Speaking of not being current or “fluid” enough, I was recently “enlightened” by a very fashion forward homecare assistant of my Mother’s to try the latest Tik Tok tights. She wore them beautifully to work, and I was intrigued. Now I know nothing about Tik Tok, but clearly it has now gone from videos of teens twerking new dance steps in their bathrooms to the go-to platform for finding the latest products, be it “pore cleaning mousses” or cleaning gel for your car. Now it is clear that Tik Tok is giving fashion magazines and runways competition in trend spotting and hot fashion tips.
The latest example are the Seasum Women’s High Waist Yoga pants. Now offered on Amazon with 19,000 5-star ratings!! It is a high-waisted and ribbed honeycomb stretch fabric (supposedly conceals cellulite … no way). But the main feature is the “scrunched” seam that runs up the rear end to give you that Beyoncé booty lift. Priced from $19 – $30, the colors range from neon to tie dye to Tiffany blue. Now these leggings are called THE butt lifting legging and mostly sold out.
I live in leggings and TRIED on a pair in the popular neon yellow and couldn’t get past the discomfort of the giant backside scrunch seam. It was more than a lift — it was a proctology exam! And the rippled fabric made me look like a blowfish. Yet, these leggings are giving so many people (remember some men are wearing these too!) such happiness!
It made me think of what Vladimir Putin said at the end of his recent summit with Biden (remember, Putin is known for his bare-torso horseback rides and great plastic surgery). He brilliantly closed with a quote from Tolstoy which might be THE advice of our era:
‘There is no happiness in life, only a mirage of it on the horizon, so cherish that.’
Leave it to Vlad to warn us to get our heads out of our asses and be grateful for what we have.