photo: Unsplash/Glenn Carstens-Peters

I had a lot of items on my bucket list this summer. Most of them were fairly cliché and moderately ridiculous … reading a beach book, getting waxed, making healthy summer salads … not in combination obviously but you get the idea. Seriously, it was enough to make Pinterest puke, my “vision” board, or whatnot.

Fast forward to the end of July, half the summer is basically over and I’ve done exactly none of the 182 things on my shortlist.

“You’ve got a little (ahem) situation on your upper lip there,” my younger daughter took the liberty of reminding me during dinner.


“You know I think you need a nanny,” she continued. “Like a live-in, that’s what [insert name of someone Kardashian sounding] has … like somebody to do all the cooking and cleaning and … whatever else it is that you do … What do you do, actually? Like, what’s your purpose here?”

Besides looking at pictures of salads I’m never going to make or eat? I’m not sure, really.

“I’m home. With a 2-year-old,” and no nanny and no money because I spent it all on oat milk lattes and Village Market sushi but so what?

It’s summer. The lazy days of no schedules, no semblance of routine and not nearly enough alcohol from here to Albuquerque to keep me from losing my shit because, holy hell, it’s a long eight weeks to keep it together. But at some point you just have to resign yourself, right? At some point, you just have to admit that salad is really only healthy if you don’t chase it with a bag of sea salt and vinegar chips, and while you really want that ‘stash sitch taken care of and maybe your toenails painted, watching your toddler take out 12 bottles of nail polish will only find you permanently banned from Coco Nails and its worthy competitors.

And while we’re at it, who needs books when Pinterest has so many to look at that you actually feel like you read them? I’m assuming This Too Shall Pass by Milena Busquets is really just the story of watching my 2-year-old crack the code on that child-proof fridge lock and then cracking egg after egg on the hardwood floor because he’s convinced himself baby dinosaurs are living inside, followed by some fun-filled finger painting and a sulfur smell that will likely leave us all suffocating well into September. Oh, joy!

So here it goes … when you find yourself longing for Aug. 29 or even just five o’clock somewhere (Albuquerque perhaps?), remember to set the bar low — really, really low (think those Dole bagged salads and a Bic razor) — and if by chance you’re looking for a little inspiration, I’ve got you covered. And don’t worry, the yolk’s on me.

Lesley Kirschner’s ‘Eff It’ Summer Bucket List

  • Let someone under the age of five hand you a popsicle because they’re “done with it.” Isn’t summer dripping with fun?
  • Post a photo of just your feet in the kiddie pool. Change your location to Aruba.
  • Nap in a hammock. Flip over before you even get in. Twice. Look around to see if anybody saw you. Flip a third time. Lay down in the grass.
  • Go to a wine tasting. Swear you’re rationing yourself. Start talking to a topiary mid-way through then puke the whole way home. Pull into your driveway and realize the topiary’s buckled into the backseat of your car.
  • Make s’mores in the microwave. Don’t tell your kids.
  • Have a backyard barbecue. Forget to invite everyone. Eat hot dogs/hamburgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next week and a half.
  • Bury someone you don’t like in the sand. Tell them you’ll be back tomorrow.
  • Dig out your very best grass skirt from that Luau circa 1999, plaster on a pair of coconuts and head to camp to pick up your tween. Tell her it’s payback for her pointing out your mustache.
  • Take a little person to the Maritime Aquarium. Try to exit without spending $45 at the gift shop. Leave with a stuffed sea turtle the size of Shamu.
  • For all the “young people” out there: Attempt getting sunscreen, a swim diaper and floaties on a two-year old. Consider this an effective form of birth control.
  • Set up a hard lemonade stand at the end of your driveway. Pour at least a dozen paper cups full. Drink all of them.
  • Drive to Albuquerque. Send a postcard to your significant other. Tell them you’ll be back in about 18 years.
  • Drive home. Delete Pinterest from your phone. Watch the sunset over Ambler Farm. Turn to your Topiary and toast to summer, may it fill your bucket.

Columnist Lesley Kirschner grew up quiet, in the woods, and devoid of siblings so her hobbies quickly became reading, writing, and talking to inanimate objects. She also spent a considerable amount of time doing voice-overs for her dolls and watching too much daytime television–channel 3, sometimes channel 8, if the weather was good and the antenna wasn’t acting up. She was in attendance at school, graduated from a very much not notable college not worth mentioning, and was transplanted to Wilton with her husband, Ambler Farm‘s Farmer Jonathan and their (baby makes) three children almost a decade ago. Although she never quite found her calling in life, other than perhaps the doll voice-overs, which in hindsight were eerily convincing, she’s happy to try her hand at writing and is thankful for the support and community she found on Facebook’s Buy Nothing Wilton. Lesley realizes while this is all very exciting, she’s not winning a Pulitzer so she’ll wrap it up and be quiet. She’s had a lot of practice.