Each year, I write so many columns about the balmy haze of midsummer that the other seasons get pissy—but here we are, in the dead center of beach month, our designer sunglasses long lost, dog-eared paperbacks flapping in the breeze, attempts at nutrition served exclusively from a coconut. Not to make this too much a summer column about summer columns, but one reason I spend so much time googling synonyms for sunshine in August is that this silly season yields little in the way of real news. As we’re following the herds down to Greece, the hard-hitting stuff evaporates like spilled Banana Boat Soothing Gel.
In light of that, celebrity couples have seemed to turn inward, dynamiting and detonating their long-term partnerships. Rosalía and Rauw Alejandro are uncoupled. Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied sont finis. Ariana Grande has possibly behaved Wicked-ly. (I don’t think being the woman someone leaves their wife for is inherently bad, but how could I miss out on that pun?) With the sudden influx of hot women back on the market, as they say, it’s obvious we’re entering Single Girl Summer.
Yet whether you are newly singly or more ingrown, Single Girl Summer has a lot of what ifs. What if you shunned the tired narrative of a holiday romance? What if you turned your emotional baggage into carry-on luggage, and stopped actively beachcombing for a partner? Forget the guy in the cockpit; forget the guy on the plane with the monogrammed attaché and the one in the sand smuggling a budgie. Forget that I could fix him waiter with the extra black pepper and penetrating eyes. Forget swiping any which way, the processed meat Tetris of Grindr, the local fuckbois. Forget Where is this going? Or, Am I settling? Or, What does this specific punctuation in this specific part of this DM mean?
I know this is a tough one, but what if you stopped grooming for a potential groom? The idea of attempting to draw suitors in this heat is hellish. What if you let your nails chip and your hair knot?You don’t have to give up mascara, but please ask yourself, Is this mascara for me or for someone else? before liberal application. What if there’s no “revenge body” or “revenge look”? What if all the hair on your body just joined together? What if you opted for outfits that weren’t so much about body confidence, as a psychotic break that lasts the exact tenure of you time outside the house? (Just me?)