Full Disclosure: Summer, It’s Not About Me

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NC Spirit-mobile. Credit: Susan Gelvin

Do you know why New Canaan is spelled with three ‘A’s? It’s to account for the high concentration of Type ‘A’ personalities that have settled in our small, idyllic village. 

Yet it seems that even the most high-strung New Canaanites have embraced summer, or fled town entirely. In fact, I would like to report a mass evacu-cation and thank most of New Canaan for skipping town to enjoy summer elsewhere. 

During the seasonal mass exodus, some of us enjoy VIP parking along Elm Street and exceptional personal service-with-a-smile wherever we go. I even saw a benevolent parking enforcement officer let an infraction go—now, if that isn’t a harbinger of good things to come, then I don’t know what is. 

One could get used to this ease of everyday life in New Canaan. However, I am still wound as tight as ever trying to figure out my summer rhythm. I miss the school routine and its mostly predictable schedule.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been bouncing in and out of town and feeling a bit stressed about my masochistic cycle of packing, unpacking, doing endless laundry and repacking. 

Don’t get me wrong—it’s always nice to get away, and we are fortunate to be able to do so, but packing for everyone in my house can really “snuff out the joy” (that’s my new anti-Marie Kondo trademarked catch phrase). 

#NCPride from head to toe. Credit: Susan Gelvin

My husband is easygoing and low maintenance, which is very un-New Canaan. But my kids have extremely specific clothing requirements-slash-demands. Currently, we are on the NC-Ram spirit-wear clothing carousel. My son refuses to wear anything that doesn’t have ‘New Canaan’ emblazoned from head to toe. Donning any color other than red and black isn’t even a consideration, and please note that he is dangerously allergic to anything royal ‘Darien’ blue. 

Essentially, he is a walking New Canaan billboard—you’re super welcome, Board of Realtors. I should be getting a cut of all new home purchases. 

My laundry room (OK, it’s a closet) is a sea of red-and-black NC glory. God forbid I want to run a cycle of white laundry (that will have to wait forever). My Everest-sized pile of dirty clothes is summited less often than the actual Everest, though no one has died during any attempts to reach the top of mine. Yet. The mound even puts a shiver down my spine. It stares back at me, the Ram mascot’s eyes peeping out from all angles of the pile, just to creep me out—not that I need another reason to hate the laundry, but this is legitimately disturbing. 

I would love to find the marketing genius who subtly brainwashed my kid into becoming New Canaan’s youngest, unpaid global brand ambassador. Aren’t there child labor laws against this? We need to talk.

As of now, I am between trips and still in search of my summer mojo. Living in and out of overstuffed duffel bags, suitcases and even environmentally unfriendly shopping bags is not my idea of a good time. Since I am fully losing my marbles, I find myself exhilarated when we travel via our family truckster—it’s like having a mobile closet with endless packing possibilities. Just shove everything in all loosey-goosey and drive off without worrying about TSA infractions, liquid overages and appropriately sized carry-on bags. And FYI, even my car is a New Canaan sports themed billboard, thanks to the magnets from youth football, baseball and soccer. It doesn’t matter where I go in this world, New Canaan is always by my side and in my face. 

Good thing I don’t mind the place.

Summertime is indeed an odd time for us ‘Type A’ New Canaanites, who thrive on a routine and structure, and I will just have to get on board. I have found that summer vacation is not about me any more—it’s truly a respite for our kids (unless they’re globetrotting brand ambassadors) and for the teachers who deserve time to decompress and regroup. 

My rhythm will normalize come glorious September, but until then, I take comfort knowing that I can park anywhere on Elm Street and sweet-talk that parking enforcement officer as needed.

9 thoughts on “Full Disclosure: Summer, It’s Not About Me

  1. Bravo, I love everything you write, Susan Gelvin! Right now I too am living out of the family truck, a KARL Chevrolet Suburban at the beach, ready to come back to a quieter, summertime New Canaan.

  2. Another awesome and relatable article Suzie!!! I also love summer in New Canaan when everyone leaves and we can park anywhere. Thanks for the laughs!

  3. Great article, so funny and very relatable! We have one New Canaan “brand ambassador’ left in the house, our other two (boys) have moved on to college/fraternity fashion couture. ? Thanks for sharing your perspective and humor!

  4. Love it Susan! I used to love when I was in high school, working at Woodway, and my whole family was gone (parents on Nantucket, bro and sis our on their own already), and I loved driving around the ghost town of NC! I, too, had “NC Rams” emblazoned on everything I owned – especially my car – the big ass Chevy Celebrity grocery getter – also from KARL Chevrolet. Life was simpler in the summers. A nice break from everything. Thank goodness I had to work! 🙂

  5. I always had thought we spelled Canaan that way because that was how it was spelled in the Bible. Thanks for setting this straight!

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