How To Comport Yourself When It’s Hot And Sticky And Horrible Outside

It is August, and September’s chilly winds are just down the hall, waiting for their time to enter, but for right now, summer is still here. August is swamp weather. August is when you think seriously about cutting off all your hair and figuring out an effective way to wear your bathing suit to work without recourse. August is when you’ve given up on makeup and most hair products and whatever else it is that you put on your flesh suit when the air is not a soupy mix of weird smells and oppressive heat. August is when everyone who lives in a city exits en masse every weekend, if they can, leaving the streets empty on a Saturday. If you love being hot, August is sometimes even too much for you. If you don’t cherish the feeling of sweat trickling down your spine as you walk three blocks to get a salad, August is when you consider leaving it all behind and moving to a cave somewhere to make cheese — it will be damp, but it will be cool and you can wear a sweater.

This cave-cheese-hermit solution is a nice fantasy, a pleasant mental space to visit when you’ve been standing under someone else’s AC-runoff for the past hour, thinking it was just your body’s own sweat. There are ways to deal with this. Let us help you help yourself.

The more you talk about how hot it is, the hotter it will get.

That person standing next to you on the train platform knows it’s hot. The security guard at the desk in your office building knows its hot; he’s wearing a suit for Christ’s sake. Your roommate and your boyfriend and your sister and your parents know it’s hot, too. Guess what — they can’t do shit about it! Talking about how hot it is pointless.

Your hair probably looks weird, so just roll with it.

Humidity wrecks havoc on hair. Put it up in a ponytail. Get crazy with bobby pins. Finally master the topknot of your dreams. Or, if you’re literally too hot to move your body, here’s a radical thought — just leave it where it is. If it’s really bothering you, put it up, or acquaint yourself with a headband. Everyone looks like they just got back from the beach or is on their way to catch the Jitney or whatever it is people do when it’s this warm, so do yourself a favor and go with whatever’s happening. Think of it this way — if you’re so hot that you can only think about the sun’s rays beating down on your skin, that’s probably what everyone else is thinking about, too. No one cares what your hair looks like, except for you, sunshine.

The only makeup you need is lipstick. And sunscreen. But, mostly lipstick.

Foundation will slide off your face. Mascara, unless it’s waterproof and designed for synchronized swimmers, will run and smudge and ugh. Wear sunscreen, unless you enjoy flirting with cancer, and wear it every day. Also, lipstick. Wear lipstick. Everyone looks good in lipstick! Red lipstick, pink lipstick, lilac lipstick, that baby blue lipstick that your 17 year old cousin wears with such panache. Try it all out. Also, the fashion mags say that your skin should be “glowy” – I don’t know if the slick sheen across my t-zone counts as a glow, but I’m going with it.

Wear as little clothes as possible without freeing the nipple.

The dream is to be able to work nude in front of a whirring window fan every day, but most of us have to put on clothing and go to an office. That is most unfortunate when it’s horrible outside, so do your best to limit the amount of clothes you wear without showing up to work in a bathing suit. Wear a dress. Wear a caftan. Wear short shorts and a crop top. Wear that tapestry you used to to drape over your bed in college as some sort of skirt-shirt-onesie combo. Wear a beach cover-up that you don’t realize is sheer until you get to the train and catch a glimpse of your reflection in the glass. Just wear clothes, but not too many.

Enjoy. Winter is coming.

Remember pants? Remember sweaters? What about putting socks on? Coats. Scarves. Gloves. Hats. And yet you’re stilllll freezing. Be grateful that summer exists. Enjoy it.