Life Deconstructed: For some of us, summer is a bummer

Life Deconstructed - Maria Jiunta Heck


    Everyone is all: “Yay! Fourth of July! Let’s party! Let’s drink! Let’s party some more!”

    And here’s me: home and snug as a bug in the proverbial rug, reading, eating Cheez-Its and sipping tepid ginger ale. Just the way I like my celebrations.

    Every party has a pooper and I’m a summer holiday party pooper of the highest magnitude.

    There. I said it. Let the outrage begin.

    I can’t say for certain when and how this discomfort began, but I have a few ideas.

    We grew up with a massive built-in pool. The entire Jiunta clan were supreme swimmers, each one ranked higher than the next on the swim team of their designated school.

    Except me.

    I cannot swim.

    I know enough not to drown myself in anything other than Grey Goose, but just barely.

    My brother insists this neurosis began when a neighbor warned me if I paddle to the deep end of our pool, I’d never return. Such satanic meanderings to the ears of a very impressionable, non-athletic youngster. However it all began, I hate the water. I will go into the ocean only up to my hairy knee caps and then plop onto the sand like a beached whale. Hyperbole intended.

    I’ll sometimes also dip into a pool, but only to wrestle the raft from a small child.

    I will flip him right off that raft, with no second thoughts, especially if it has a cocktail holder.

    That’s my idea of a healthy swim.

    Also, like your dogs during these hot holidays, I’m terrified of the sound of fireworks. I feel like I age a quarter century every time one goes off near my house.

    It messes with my central nervous system. My mother was the same way. If I was inclined to Google this disorder, I’m certain it has a name. But I really don’t need one more psychosis to add to my ever-growing list of deep seated issues and hypochondria-based ailments.

    Plus, and this will only be understood by my BC counterparts, it doesn’t matter if you’ve had implants, one boob, a uni-boob or no boobs … bathing suits are an enormous summertime challenge. Even with a complete set, I never looked fabulous in bathing suits, and now! Now I look like a little boy playing dress up. And I’m not judging little boys who play dress up, believe me. They’d probably fit into my suit better than I do.

    Whenever I try on any number of shirts from my past life or a bathing suit, I can actually cry. My husband always rolls his eyes and says: “Who cares?”

    Ummm, me. I care.

    He wouldn’t understand unless his you-know-what was dismantled. Sure, they sell bathing suits with inserts, but that’s like plunging into the water with two honeydew melons stuffed into your suit.

    Just yuck.

    Kudos to you who manage this strategy, but it’s not for me.

    So, I wear a regular old suit with inverted cups and hope everyone else is just too drunk to notice.

    And, summer also means shorts.


    At a certain age, those varicose veins and broken capillary tattoos dotting our legs make them look more like Mapquest than extremities. I haven’t found a pair of shorts yet that make my legs look like something other than oak tree and, say, more like smooth stems.

    Not happening.

    But I do enjoy a nice capri! Capris are a middle-aged gals’ best friend. Along with Spanx, Jergen’s Natural Glow Moisturizer and Mira-Lax.

    Well, we’re almost halfway to Labor Day and I suppose I can capri it for a few more weeks.

    On the upside … only five more months until Christmas!

    You’re welcome and kids, protect your raft.

    Life Deconstructed

    Maria Jiunta Heck

    Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at

    Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at

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