|Dollar Tree, last Saturday morning|
This actually is an improvement over last July, where I'd seen my first big B2S display by July 12, and my first freaking Halloween candy on July 27. But I still think it's unfair.
I just don't remember retailers loading up the stores with this stuff before August when I was a kid. Maybe I was just in flat-out denial. "Noooo! It's not a stack of notebooks! They're... beach blankets! That's it! Little, rectangular, black-and-white beach blankets... by Mead..."
Not that my summers were an endless string of crazy, fun-filled activities. We didn't go to camp; we often didn't do any vacation trips at all. My folks worked a lot, and they did their best by us. What I remember best from my childhood are sweltering (A/C was not the omnipresent force it is today, neither in our home nor elsewhere), daytime TV, bugs, the playground with metal swings that could fry a steak, the local amusement park or mini-golf once in a while, helping Dad with the lawn and other chores, reading, and being bored.
So I've never gotten so hung up on summer that I can't bear to see it fade. But I do feel for the kids. Even the dullest, hottest, most miserable summer was better than going to school. Ah, freedom, sweet freedom!