Dig Baton Rouge

The Bitter Lemon

By Holly A. Phillips

We met on a porch swing after a baseball game. He was tall and tan, and his name was Zach.

When I got up from the swing, and walked out of earshot, he told my friends he liked what he saw in my white jeans.

He looked pretty good in his baseball pants, too.

We were only 18, living in Indiana. It was my last summer before I moved to Baton Rouge, to go to LSU.

Without much hesitation, we spent the summer together, knowing we’d part ways in August.
Many nights were spent driving through cornfields to get to his parents’ house, where he built a “Tiki hut” — a shed with windows and strings of flamingo lights — and we’d sip malt liquor until sunrise.

“Date night” consisted of dinner on a stick at the county fair, if he didn’t have a baseball game. I will always have a place in my heart for ball players.

I even started to like country music that summer, hearing it constantly while riding in Zach’s truck. To this day, “These Days,” by Rascal Flatts takes me down memory lane.

I didn’t know Zach long enough to say we were in love. But I’ve managed to romanticize the sunsets, dusty roads, and plastic flamingos surrounding us that summer.

I’m wondering if it’s possible for me to find a summer love just as hot as the one I had 10 years ago.

After all, I need a date to BBQs, weddings, and couples’ retreats during these next few months.

In grade school, and even through college, summer is a season set apart from all of the others. It was code for sleeping late, being outdoors, and working special, “summer” jobs — I scooped frozen custard.

My friend suggested that our minds associate summer with freedom, because of our schedules as children. As adults, there’s a chance we’re still pairing these months with special privileges. So, it’s only natural that such an exclusive season has its own agenda for love.

But as I’ve gotten older, I don’t notice quite as many people getting involved in relationships that are on a seasonal timer.

Is a summer love too frivolous for adults? Perhaps we’ve got too much at stake to bid our hearts adieu when September rolls around.

Maybe it’s a scheduling issue, because aside from teachers, many of us are working the same hours all year long.

Location is the other factor when it comes to summer love. If you don’t spend the summer months away, you’re spending all year with the same people.
But a summer fling can’t just be for those with summer homes and weekends in the Hamptons, can it?

Of course, our often-annoyingly high temperatures and humidity don’t often leave us wanting to snuggle up next to someone special.

A summer love in Baton Rouge can just be someone to have fun with; to share snowballs with, catch movies with, and go hunting for a decent pool with. What’s hotter than a midnight skinny dip with a summer love?

A good summer fling always has the possibility of lasting after Labor Day; after all, the cold front will be right around the corner.

“I’ve managed to romanticize the sunsets, dusty roads, and plastic flamingos surrounding us that summer.”

When the summer came to an end in 2003, I moved from Indiana to Baton Rouge, and I kept in touch with Zach a little bit. Naturally, we both met new people and moved on.

I went home for winter break my freshman year, and ended up at a house party, where he was playing cards. We didn’t speak.

I wondered if the cold had severed our ties, or if the summer’s heat was less powerful than I’d remembered.

A few years ago, Zach got married, and started a family. If I hadn’t left Indiana, perhaps we could’ve enjoyed an endless summer love. But I’ve got a hunch that seasons change, and so do people.

Read more about Holly’s search for summer love on her blog, TheBitterLemon.com

Find Your Summer Love
Tips for the Perfect Summer Romance:

1. New Places, New Faces- If you’re staying in town this summer, visit different places to put yourself in position to meet someone new.
2. Be Open Minded- You never know what a summer romance could have in store, so be open to trying something new.
3. Don’t Watch the Clock- While it’s okay to have your summer lust on a timer, consider the long haul, unless you can’t take the heat.

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