5 Summer Disappointments - Image 1

Yes! This is it. Summer. Three months of reduced responsibilities and freedom. Long after you've graduated from school, even, you'll still be irreparably wired to think of summer as a time of respite and recharging—of free time.

Turns out, "free" isn't always good. Sometimes "free" is written in car-chalk on a mattress someone dragged out to the sidewalk. Just because it's free doesn't mean you should take it. Without purpose or direction, you feel restless and listless at the same time. Three days slip by and you can't remember if you were staring into the fridge or your Facebook feed. You can't waste your summer. You can't do this. Something needs to be done. Pile your friends into a car and go somewhere. Yes! Destination? Who cares. The journey is the destination.

5 Summer Disappointments - Image 1

The Journey is, indeed, the destination; the image of wailing out to "Don't Stop Believing" with the windows open is too intoxicating to resist. You've got it all planned. It's going to be mile after mile of adrenaline-fueled air guitar licks and sweet, sweet harmonies. You and your buddies are going to Wayne & Garth it through three Bohemian Rhapsodies in a row.

And what happens? You pull out of the driveway, speakers blazing, and by the time you're on the highway all you want to do is take turns napping and drive in shifts. You stop for gas, and as you full up the tank, you realize every drop you pay for you'll have to double up to get back. Back in the car, your friends are either faking sleep to avoid chipping in—no, they're actually asleep. You haven't even reached the "thunderbolt and lightning" part yet. Turns out making a road trip playlist is a lot more fun than taking a road trip. If you wanted Karaoke, you should have gone to a Karaoke Bar.

5 Summer Disappointments - Image 1

What do you want to do tonight? Movie? You just saw Dark Knight Rises for the third time yesterday. Bar? You're getting warmer—but what if there were some kind of bar where you could guarantee everyone would pay attention to you for at least two minutes? What if we lived in some weird alternate universe where there were bars made for amateur singers to get drunk and hone their craft, just like those bars that totally exist where amateur soccer fans can get drunk and kick a ball around the place. Weirdly enough, we do. For some reason there are Karaoke Bars! You can watch other people embarrass themselves, then step up when it's your turn and show them your chops. What could go wrong?

Plenty, because you have no chops—you actually manage to convince a room full of drunk people that "More Than A Feelin'" isn't the greatest song ever written. And watching other people fail? Turns out it's not actually that fun. It's just sort of painful and uncomfortable, because whether you like it or not, your brain is capable of empathy. Why not try watching people excel at something they're good at, like a baseball game, for chrissake.

5 Summer Disappointments - Image 1

Is there anything more American—more wholesome—than a good ol' ball game? You haven't been to one in ages and you remember having a blast last time. The smell of the stadium, the satisfying crack of ball against bat, the collective cheer as the guy who rounds the bases rounds the bases. It's like watching baseball on TV, except live!

Guess what? Watching baseball on TV is boring. And you can change the channel and you didn't pay 90 bucks for a ticket and 10 bucks for a hot dog. So you basically just bought a $100 hot dog. Also, the "prize" in the crackerjack box is a fold-up paper ring. I mean, the lenticular Scooby-Doo card you got when you were ten wasn't exactly a treasure, but seriously, a paper ring? That's not even a thing.

Ring. Engagement. Like engagement rings. Dating. The next one is a relationship.

5 Summer Disappointments - Image 1

If anything's going to give your summer a sense of purpose, it's going to be a relationship. Yeah, you heard you, a relationship. And you mean it this time. You're bored and it'd be nice to have someone around to liven up the seemingly endless days of summer. Everything's better with company. Curling up and watching a movie, making dinner, even just going out for a walk. Yeah, you need a partner to do this season right. Right?

Wrong. You've curled up and watched a few movies, you've made a few meals, and you've gone for a few walks. And then a few more. And then some of their stuff, and their friends' stuff, and their roommate's friends' stuff. And you've got plans for today, tomorrow, the weekend, and every day next week. Being in a relationship is a lot of work. You're out and about, going places and meeting new people, and it suuuuuuucks. You know enough people. Places are far away. You know what's not far away? The soft, inviting glow of your computer screen. You just want to kick back, relax, and spend some time doing nothing.

If only you had more free time.

5 Summer Disappointments - Image 1

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