Summer, Summer, Summertime…Oooh, Summertime

Summertime Flossin

Ah, Memorial Day. The unofficial start of summer…and the official start of flossing season. It is now that time when people bring out their leased and over-paid for “summer” vehicles (usually from the garage of their parents’ home), go on a wild summer clothing shopping spree, and begin to brag about all of the places they’ll be traveling to for the next three months. Never mind that they’ll probably have to miss a couple of bills, disconnect a few services, and stock up on Ramen noodles. I mean, c’mon…it’s summer (YOLO, right???)!!!

Y.O.L.O.

This is the season where it becomes extremely evident that my generation, the Millennials (usually ages 20-30), have got it twisted. All of the hard work we’ve put in throughout the other nine months of the year gets blown with just three months of partying and bullshit. Most of us haven’t gotten out of the summer vacation mindset, and damn it, June, July and August are just synonyms for no work, all play. Unfortunately though, once the “new year” (September) begins, we’re stuck trying to fill the holes we put ourselves in during the previous months. Now, as I stated, I am part of the Millennial generation, so I’m not trying to make you all go to summer school. I do however, think there are some things you can do to make sure you don’t spend the rest of your months in detention (see what I did there?).

Detention

1. You don’t need to go on several different overseas vacations this summer.

Really, you don’t. If you were smart during the other nine months, you would have saved for one really good trip. If you didn’t, well, you better make Miami via bus or car your big trip of the summer. Otherwise, you’ll be sitting in the dark in your apartment eating a can of baked beans. Or worse, you’ll have to stay with your parents. *shudders*

Yum  -__-

2. Explore some “stay-cation” possibilities.

Not everyone lives in the boring state I’m trapped in, and even here there are some interesting places. Visit your state’s tourist website, and find something new. Even a day trip to a neighboring state could make for a great experience (thank you, Northeast, for giving me so many options). It doesn’t always have to be a wild time for you to have a great experience. But if you are looking to have a wild time, don’t forget about…

Stay-cation, All I Ever Wanted...

3. The infamous house party.

For the most part, you all still think you’re in college anyway (How many times have you gone to dinner at a friend’s and ended the night in flip cup and Kings? Don’t pretend it’s just me). Be creative. Or don’t. All you need is a liquor store, some good music, and a pool…turn that mutha into an all-inclusive resort for the night.

The Pajama Jam

4. Look for last-minute vacation deals on sites like Groupon and Expedia.

Even if you’re dead-set on taking a couple of trips this year, you don’t have to break the bank to do it. Be a grown-up and put some money aside, so when those deals pop up, you can grab them quickly. You don’t need that new pair of Jay’s or Jimmy Choo’s right now, right? And sure, the deals are pretty last-minute, but so what? Spontaneity makes up 87% of the fun (such a random percentage…I made it up).

Expedia

5. Do what you did last year, and prepare yourself to be broke.

I know, not really a good option, right? But for some of you, having pictures on Instagram illustrating the wonderful time you had in Belize is far more important than living comfortably September through May. If this is you, forget anything I said prior to this last point. Hopefully those memories will keep you warm in January.

Broke Phi Broke

Point is, there’s nothing wrong with summertime flossing, but do it the right way. Stop pretending you’re all baby ballers, and live within your means. In a few years, with better financial management and careful planning, you’ll be able to spend a couple of weeks in Italy. And you’ll have a much better time, knowing that you can actually pay for it.

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I Ain’t One of the Cosbys, I Ain’t Go to Hillman

Thursday, April 30th, 1992. A sad, sad day…well, at least for me. From the moment I began watching television, Thursday nights at 8pm were reserved for one thing, and one thing only: a new episode of The Cosby Show. The show, I believe, played an integral part in raising me: it showed me that there could be such a thing as an affluent, educated, well-adjusted Black family; that I could dream beyond the pavement of the inner city I was raised in. I became accustomed to the characters in the show, thinking of them as the people I wanted to get to know, the sort of people I wanted to be. So on that day, the day the last episode aired, I felt like I had lost more than a favorite show: I had lost a family.

The Huxtables

The Cosby Show was ground-breaking for so many reasons. For the most part, its premise wasn’t something that was prominent on prime time television at the time (or now, for that matter). It was about a professional Black couple, that honestly could have been any race, raising five “normal” children. The family dealt with everyday issues through humor, but they also tackled more serious topics, like theft (remember Rudy stealing money for that stupid light up sweater??), learning disabilities, and teen pregnancy. Let me tell you, their problems seemed sooo much easier than the crap I was dealing with. They provided us with a glimpse into what some consider the  “bougie” side of American Black culture – jazz music, HBCUs, etc. (Not to mention that wonderful 80s and 90s fashion…trust me, I will rock a Cosby Coogi sweater today with no issue). There wasn’t a day that would go by that I didn’t wish I was one of the Huxtable children – it didn’t matter that they were fictitious – it just mattered that they could be real.

Infamous Cosby Sweater! Well, one of them.

Where I grew up, living in a city where the parents were lawyers and doctors was a rare occurrence – the more likely scenario was that they were unemployed, on drugs, or working menial jobs. In a place that lacked hope, the show provided me with an abundance of it. It was the first time (at a very young age) that I expressed the desire to attend college, something my older siblings nor my parents had completed. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen positive Black role models (since my elementary school had a large number of Black professionals working there), but it perpetuated the idea that they didn’t exist just in my school…they could have been anywhere.

Cliff and Claire

As I mourn the 20th anniversary of the show’s closure, I rejoice in the fact that it lives on in syndication and YouTube clips. So I leave you with this clip of the last episode, and a question: Which episode was your favorite?

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