Is it just me, or has this already been an insane summer? In the wake of the CDC’s declaration that fully vaccinated adults are OK to go out without a mask, provided they’re not in a crowded indoor area, the good people of Iowa City have totally lost their minds. People are licking the handrails on the bus, sharing ice cream cones with strangers. I was in a bar last night, and there was a couple making out in the doorway to the women’s bathroom. Of all the inconsiderate behavior! Of course, I couldn’t judge them too harshly, because I was making out with the bartender at the time. Consider this column my formal apology to those who did not get their drinks.
Yes, it seems as though the pandemic, in conjunction with Megan Thee Stallion, has revived the concept of the summer fling. I highly recommend you try it. What could possibly be more romantic than picnics in the park, day trips out to Lake Macbride and making promises you have no intention of keeping after the first leaf hits the ground in September? See below for some hot tips for your hot girl summer:
- Go easy on yourself. After a year of Facetiming your mom and stammering your way through weekly conversations with Bread Garden cashiers, there is no way you’re going to resume your pre-COVID game immediately. Forget about pick-up lines. If you can manage to brush your teeth, put some real pants on and get through a whole coffee date without listing all the brands of antiperspirant that didn’t work out for you, you’ll be fine. Everyone else is just as desperate as you are.
- Vet potential partners before you get too involved. This might seem obvious, but the list of questions has basically doubled in the last year. Now, along with “When was the last time you were tested for STDs?” and “You’re wearing that Hawaiian shirt ironically, right?” you have to ask questions like “Have you had your COVID vaccine? If not, is it because you think it contains a microchip that will allow Joe Biden to control your mind via remote, or do you just have an autoimmune disorder or something?” Don’t get caught unawares, people.
- Take all the usual precautions. I know it feels like the Earth was narrowly missed by an asteroid and every day is a blessed miracle, but you still need to use condoms. And wear sunscreen. And consume something other than piña coladas and mozzarella sticks from Yacht Club. You want to be fighting fit for cuffing season.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 296.