What An Arizona Summer Feels Like

What An Arizona Summer Feels Like

What it's like to live through hell...I mean an Arizona summer.
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An excessive-heat warning this past weekend was just what we needed to kick-start this summer into full gear. Pools are open, water parks are running and air conditioners are pumping. Doors stay closed, windows are shaded and sane people stay indoors. Note that 115 degree weather is no joke and unless you live here or until you visit during the worst time of the year, you won't be able to understand the smothering and claustrophobic heat of Arizona's summer environment.

Arizona is great. There's a good chunk of the year where its residents are able to play sports, go hiking, go mountain biking, camp and participate in other outdoor activities without the weather being a problem. When May rolls around, temperatures start to pick up. Once June makes its grand entrance, it's all downhill from there. You can't go outside without feeling like your skin is baking under the sun. It honestly feels like we live in a giant oven that just keeps getting hotter as the summer weeks go by.

While it often feels like we live in an oven, here's another comparison of the heat we are forced to endure here in the southwest. Most of the time, the outside air is stiff, but when nature decides to let a little breeze through, it feels like your face is burning off and the hot wind momentarily blocks your ability to breathe.

This may seem silly, but to the common Arizonan, using an oven mitt to protect your hands while driving is up there with the most clever of ideas. You also know that leather seats are an absolute no-no, unless you want a few layers of skin to peel off when the time comes to get into your car. Another vehicle cautionary is the metal part of the seat-belt. You're basically being branded if you let that scorching piece of metal touch you because that's how quick and sharp the pain is.

At some point during the summer, you stop checking the weather forecast altogether. It's usually the same every day: hot and sunny. While temperatures can range from 100-120 degrees Fahrenheit on any given day, you know that ultimately it all feels the same — like death.

"But wait! It's a dry heat! That's so much better than the hot and humid combination."

I've experienced the scorching heat of the dry desert, as well as the hot and humid combination of summer in China. Heat is heat and it all sucks. Sure you might be constantly soaked in your own sweat if you add humidity to the summer mix, but if you're outside for more than 10 minutes in the dry heat, you'll be basking in your own sweat too.

I mean, while hell is assumed to be a fiery inferno, I'd be lying if I said I don't think the same of Arizona summers.

I've personally never seen a person chilling in an ice cooler, but it's definitely not a shabby idea. There are times when you're working or out running errands when you want nothing more than a cold shower or to be buried under a giant mounds of ice until it's safe to come out again.

Standing on the sun is a spot-on comparison to going outside in Phoenix, Arizona. It's hotter than many other cities in this state, often by 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit. It's honestly a disgrace to nature and it baffles me how one place can take so much heat. Somehow, despite the sickening heat, it still manages to be the sixth biggest and most populated city in the United States. Why so many people subject themselves to this torture is beyond me.


Yeah, Arizona summers really suck. There's not much to do besides work, go to summer school or spend hours in the pool. Even then, the water loses its feeling of refreshment after awhile. As summer ends and "fall," "winter" and "spring" takes its place, you forget how absurdly disgusting the summer heat is. However, being the desert rats we are, our bodies acclimate once again and the heat becomes more of an annoying constant rather than the topic of complaining conversation when it first arrives. Stay strong you beautiful Arizonans.




Cover Image Credit: nodepostitforum.com

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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What It Means To Raise Boys And Girls The Same

Their personalities matter more than their gender

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The year is now 2019. Gender equality has come a long way, but there is still progress to be made on both ends. Both men and women face prejudice and discrimination when assumptions are made about them based on their gender.

"Raise Boys and Girls the Same" is a popular saying and T-shirt slogan that has been circulating for as long as I can remember now. The premise is simple; boys and girls should not be treated differently from one another, especially not in the same family, simply based on their gender. Opponents of this idea, however, may claim that it is impractical to treat boys and girls the same because they're not the same. Some who are parents insist that boys naturally seem to gravitate towards the rough and more rowdy activities, while girls seem to naturally like more feminine activities.

Others say that it is subconscious societal influence on children that created such large gender dichotomies. For example, marketing that pushes girls towards dolls and boys towards legos, or parents that unconsciously encourage their girls to be more expressive with their emotions than boys.

Some psychological studies have supported the former view, while others have supported the latter.

However, I've never thought that the nature vs nurture debate in this case is as important as people make it out to be. Why? Because by and large, whether or not the differences exhibited by young children are natural or subconsciously taught, men and women still have more in common than not. We're all human, not species from different planets trying to understand one another. And it is a disservice to humankind to act like we are.

I've heard stories, sometimes heartbreaking, of boys who could never form bonds or relationships with their parents because they didn't behave enough "like a man", or didn't have the interests/hobbies their parents had assigned to them before birth based solely on their genitals. Or girls with parents who never respected or trusted them as much as they did their brothers.

A couple years ago, I was spending time with two friends (both male) and we somehow got on the subject of whether or not we were having children. One friend stated that he would prefer to have a boy over a girl, saying that he wanted to have someone he could teach how to play ball.

And I couldn't help wondering, is there any reason you couldn't do that with a girl? What if this friend ended up with a boy who hated sports and a girl who just wanted to spend time throwing a baseball around with her dad?

The problem with having a preconceived notion of how you should raise a child based on their gender is that every child, just like every person, is not exactly the same. Children should be raised to nurture the interests they have already have, not be pushed towards one thing or another based on their gender. If that means you end up with a boy who likes pink dolls and a girl who likes trucks, what's wrong with that? On the flipside, if it means a boy who loves sports and a girl who adores making bead necklaces and arts and crafts, there's nothing wrong with that either.

Raising boys and girls the same way means giving them the same amount of respect and consideration. It means not telling your 10-year old son that he's not allowed to cry because he's a man, while being fine with his teen sister crying her heart out. It means not telling your daughter that it's weird to wear certain clothes because she's a girl.

That's what it means to raise boys and girls the same. Masculinity and femininity are both traits that should be given an equal amount of respect. There is no set amount of masculinity that makes someone a "real man" just like there is no set amount of femininity that makes someone a "real woman." Some men are more feminine and some women are more masculine, and that's just the way it is.

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