The Single Mama Speaks

by Amelia Killcreas

Y’ALL! It is hotter than the hammered-down hinges of Hades, is it not? Well, don’t worry, because I’ve got some ideas to help you keep cool. (Wait. You don’t know me, do you? Hi there, I’m Amelia. I’m a single mama, which is just like being a regular mama except I get the added drama of trying to figure out how I’m gonna get my legs shaved before dates. Assuming I can locate an unmarried male who wants to ask me on dates. Ahem.)

So. About the heat. I swear, I have lived in the South my whole entire life, and the summer heat never fails to whack me upside the head and make me scream uncle. But. I was raised in a house that had no central air conditioning.

I’m gonna give you a minute to take that in: NO CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING, Y’ALL. What I’m saying is that I have done more than my fair share of sweating.

Now that I’m an adult, I have central air. But I’m still out of luck, because I apparently gave birth to a lizard. She’d much rather be outside in the heat than inside in the niiiiice, cool house. So here are some tips from a semi-professional for how to stay cool…even when it’s so hot and humid you feel like you’re swimming to your car.

Move as little as possible.

This is a tough one if you have kids, but it is an essential strategy in the Battle Against Sweat. To make this one work, you’re going to have to come up with a way to keep your kids entertained, preferably with something that requires them to run around and around and around until they flop, exhausted, into the bathtub at night. Theoretically, Vacation Bible School will work for a week or so, but all too often, you’ll find yourself crouched in the church parking lot, spray-painting lima beans silver for the kids to use in the “ancient Egyptian” marketplace…and THEN what will you be doing? That’s right, you’ll be sweating. So I think you can see that VBS does not even count.

No, you’re really going to need to find something for your kids to do that is cheap and easy. (Feel free to insert a joke here about that hussy who stole your boyfriend in high school.) What I’m talking about, my people, is water. Sure, you could get some fancy pool, but in keeping with my personal motto of keeping my kid’s standards low, I feel that a water hose and a large plastic bucket is sufficient. Water squirters work well, too, and if you are the nonviolent type, you can even get them in shapes other than pistols. We have a hippo that shoots water out of its nose, a fact that I find endlessly entertaining, perhaps because I have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy.

Wear trashy clothing.

Look, I’m talking about wearing knit shorts around your house, not breaking out the tube top for your cousin’s wedding, OK? I am aware that we in the South have something of a Reputation for putting on Astonishing Displays of Flesh, and it’s well deserved. But it’s well deserved because it’s HOT, y’all, not because we have some secret fetish for short shorts. (Well, most of us don’t, anyway. I can’t speak for YOU.) A word of warning, though: make sure you live in a place you can get away with this, somewhere quiet and secluded. I personally live in the kind of neighborhood where men routinely stick their heads out their car windows to holler, “Heeeeyyyyyy, girrrrrrrrrrrl!” at me while I sit on the front porch. I can assure you they would do this even if I were wearing a turtleneck and an ankle-length denim jumper. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a friendly “Hello” to the neighbor, but these men are using that tone of voice that implies that they’re REALLY thinking if they say girrrrrrrrl long enough maybe I’ll hop right in the car with them and ask about their woofers and tweeters. And the truth is, y’all, I’M JUST NOT THAT GOOD LOOKING, which is how I know it’s my neighborhood and not me. If you, too, live in an area full of creepers, I will not be held responsible for who or what will come knocking on your door if you follow this tip.

Don’t be pregnant during summer.

I am aware that the math does not work out right on this one. Let’s be generous and say we have only 6 months of summer down here, May to October. That leaves you just 6 months to do your gestating. Good luck with that.

Being pregnant in December is hot enough. Being pregnant in Alabama in August is a fate worse than labor. You will realize this if you are currently heavy with child and drop a pen under your car this month. The moment you reach down to retrieve it and feel yourself sloooowly falling forward, very nearly causing third-degree burns as your belly hits the pavement, is the moment you realize that a summer pregnancy is something no Southern woman should have to endure. (It is also the moment you realize that no pen, including an Epi-Pen, is worth retrieving when you are pregnant. But I digress.)

If you are already pregnant, congratulations! But it IS summer already, and there’s not a lot I can do for you. Try the first two tips, but go easy on the trashy clothes, eh? (No offense, but that’s how you got into this situation, remember?) I’d say we could look to pharmaceutical research for answers, but it seems like they’re pretty tied up creating eyelash growth enhancers that will probably not make you dead or blind. So I guess you’re on your own. Let me know what you come up with.

Eat something cold.

Sure, you could be healthy and eat some cold tomatoes. And I think cold tomatoes are great…provided they are partnered with sufficient bread, mayo, and bacon. But in the dog days of summer, you need something REALLY cold. Something frozen, even. Something…like ice cream. (You knew that was coming, didn’t you? Show me a woman who omits “eat lots of ice cream” from a list of tips for staying cool, and I will show you a woman who hates life.) If you think I’m going to presume to tell you HOW to eat your ice cream, you have mistaken me for someone who knows nothing about Southern women. Y’all eat it any old way you like it, but GET TO IT.

That’s all for now. Keep cool, y’all!

You can read more about Ameilia on her Blog: The Single Mama Speaks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *