To Whom It May Concern:
I would like please to return one (1) summer of 2021. I regret to inform you that it did not live up to my expectations, and I feel that I am entitled to a full refund.
When I entered into my agreement to experience the summer of 2021, I did so with an understanding that the season would be a non-stop festival of orgiastic pleasure. Instead, it was pretty similar to most other summers I have experienced, and actually worse in a few respects. It was definitely hotter and rainier than some prior summers, for instance, and I got bored much earlier than anticipated, to the point where I had enough free time to look up the definition of “orgiastic.”
Also, in mid-July, I stubbed my toe really, really hard. It turned purple and hurt for, like, six days. I know it was never explicitly stated that this would not happen during the summer of 2021, but I feel like it was pretty strongly implied.
The point is that I am clearly a victim of false advertising—since mid-December, 2020, I have been told repeatedly that the summer of 2021 would not only mark a full return to normalcy but also that people would be happier to see one another, that ice cream would taste better, and that I would be six inches taller. When the summer finally arrived, however, none of those things happened, and my attempt to compensate for my lack of a growth spurt by wearing platform shoes was greeted with nothing but derisive comments about how it was no longer 1978.
I even had some events get cancelled again, and these were the fun events that I actually wanted to attend. Of course, the events that I would have been fine skipping all still happened and somehow all ended with me trapped in the same lengthy conversation with my great-uncle about how music peaked with Pat Boone’s 1956 album “Howdy!” But I guess this was preferable to talking with him about anything related to the pandemic.
I also did not experience any memorable summer loves, summer road trips, or summer songs. This may have been because I did not attempt to go on any dates, plan any road trips, or turn on any radios, but I am still convinced that none of that should have mattered.
To be totally honest, the only part of the summer that ended up meeting my expectations was writing this letter, and that’s not even because I had a particularly good time writing it. I had just about as good a time writing it as I expected. I even waited until after the autumnal equinox to send it, on the off chance that all the really good stuff wasn’t going to happen until summer felt like it was over but was technically ongoing. But, unless you count an unexpected sale on Pop-Tarts as really good stuff, that is not what happened.
Anyway, if it turns out that I am ineligible for a refund for the summer of 2021, I would also accept an exchange for another summer of equal or greater value—so, basically, any summer before 2020 but after 1945. My top choices would be 1967’s famed Summer of Love, 1978’s famed Summer of Platform Shoes, or 2006, which my older brother has always insisted was the greatest summer of all time, even though I’m pretty sure it’s just his way of rubbing in the fact that our parents let him go to Bonnaroo that year but said that I was too young.
Please let me know as soon as you can about the status of my request, and do not attempt to placate me by simply offering to make the other seasons of the year hotter. I have said no to that many times before, and, even though you seem to be committed to doing it anyway, I will say no again.
Everyone Under Thirty-five