I don't need that bottle of Sun-In or the tiara now.

In this weather (I KNOW I talk about the weather a lot, but this isn't going to be a five paragraph whine, I promise), which right now is dry (hallelujah) but cool it reminds me of my summers at home in Northern NJ. Around this time of year it would be blazing hot during the day but at night there would be a cool breeze that would feel so lovely and good on my skin, making me and my friends downright hyper.

We would put on over-sized sweatshirts and shorts with our bright white Kaepa sneakers colored by little orange and white triangles which snapped into them that were oh-so-neato at the time, to go to cheerleading practice for TWO AND A HALF HOURS. How they got 15 girls to concentrate for two and a half hours is beyond me but those coaches were saints and one was Miss New Jersey in the Miss America Pageant. I'm sure together they had a force that could shut us up.

We went down to this place we called the flats which held two baseball fields, a playground, two soccer fields, a basketball court, and a football field but it couldn't manage to have a place for people to JUST STAND. Or jump, like us. We inevitably had to invade someone else's practice space, and it was usually the soccer players. Soccer and cheerleading are really similar so no one noticed except for the boys who were staring at the future Miss New Jersey.

After that much jumping and yelling in sweatshirts (because, again, I was really awesome) we would be so hot that we would jump into my family's pool to cool off. We would then get eaten alive by mosquitos and my father would sneak outside around the pool area and jump up out of no where yelling "ARRRRRRGGGGGG!" so 6 girls, AT A MINIMUM, would scream at the top of their lungs in fear, waking every dog and cranky old person in the neighborhood. Dad still doesn't understand why I run and constantly look over my shoulder while in the dark.

But I loved that pool. It's really weird because I absolutely HATED public bathing places, especially lakes, and my parents just KNEW that. I don't think I ever told them but they must have saw it in my tiny green eyes that walking into a seaweed filled lake for me is equivelant to rubbing maggots and poo all over my body. They built a pool in our backyard and instead of having to go to the local lake like all the other suckers, my friends and I got to spend the entire summer in a completely clean, and gorgeously chlorinated pool. So chlorinated my hair would turn blonde and I would be tan and then I knew I would have a boyfriend at the beginning of the school year.

Of all the things I learned those summers and everything I learned at a very young age, I always remembered the two most important things:

Boys like tan blondes. And Miss America Candidates.

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Liz in Dublin