Every Summer Festival, Ever


If I posted the photo to Facebook (which I won’t, because I got the angle wrong and the lower left corner is nothing but the elongated blob of my face), you’d see a cute couple celebrating Bastille Day in front of an Eiffel Tower. “Adventuring it up on the weekend! #stegersrus,” the caption would say.

And you’d probably think, “Aw, man. Why didn’t I take a boy out through a downtown summer festival and snap a selfie in front of a little Eiffel Tower and enjoy a fun weekend instead of alternating between Pinterest and Twitter all of Sunday afternoon?”

And you might think, “Those Stegers got their newlywed game on — just randomly popping into a city-wide party on a Sunday afternoon, enjoying each other’s company, knocking out that once-a-week scheduled date night.”

Ah, those Stegers. Just another cute, cute, cute couple on Facebook making you question your life decisions and the health of your relationship.

In reality?

“What’s Bastille Day?” Erich asked as I loaded him into our Escape with no air conditioning.

“I don’t know. Let’s just do something,” I said, after spending a weekend guiltily contemplating my boring, plugged-in summer that never amounted to anything except late bedtimes to avoid going to sleep and late rising to avoid waking up.

We drove three times around the block to find the entrance to the public parking lot after I missed the right turn by being in a left turn only lane and then overcompensated by pulling into the ally instead of the parking lot entrance.

We paid $10 for two hours of parking for this free event.

Erich started crossing the street before the little white buddy flashed up. I chastised him for breaking the law right as our little buddy flashed up. Erich muttered something about me knowing nothing about big cities. I sulked, but grabbed his arm ten seconds later for pretenses as we walked into the festival.

The festival turned out to be nothing but lines of tents selling beer, overpriced food, and those drapey, crepey, colorful tunic dresses they always sell at festivals.

We walked past every single one of them for pretenses.

I stopped to look at the Celtic photograph booth for pretenses and let out an excited sigh for pretenses about how cool that one photograph was (even though it, honestly, wasn’t).

I prayed under my breath the entire time, “Please don’t let that vendor talk to me. Please don’t let him make eye contact with me. Please.”

I determined the fashion of the summer was simple shift dresses and half-buns.

I wanted fried cheese curds, but we didn’t have any cash. I wanted crepes, but we didn’t have any cash. I wanted Belgian waffles and lemonade and ice cream, but, “Bailey, we spent all our cash yesterday, remember?”

I realized Erich and I weren’t doing any happy summer lover banter and complained that he never said anything as I took his arm for pretenses again.

I dropped his arm because the humidity turned to sticky sweat between our skin.

Everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves immensely. I wondered why. I determined it was an incurable flaw in my own self.

I wanted to go home and be an introvert forever.

We passed the little Eiffel Tower, and I thought, “Let’s get a cute selfie in front of the cute Eiffel Tower to remember this great day by!”

I realized the irony of that statement as I snapped a bad selfie.

It was hot.

I stepped on a piece of gum and said I hated my life right now as I dragged my sole across the asphalt.

“What do you want to do now?” he asked.

“Do you want to listen to music and then go?”


We walked to the other end of the festival grounds. “Wait, this isn’t the band with the washboard! Where’s the band with the washboard?”

“On the other side.”

“I bet when we get there, the band with the washboard will be gone.”

I was right. There was a French man teaching French. Finally, something fun to watch. “Do you want to sit in those chairs over there?”

“No, I want to sit in the shade.” So we stood in the direct sunlight.

The French man came into the audience and made them say Je m’apelle, and I said, “Never mind, let’s just go.”

And then we went to the mall, browsed through Barnes and Noble, and sat next to a fountain full of screaming happy children while splitting a large root beer float.

“I had a lot of fun today,” I lied, but only because the wind was cool, the Sprecher store accepted debit cards, and gosh dang it, we did something that weekend.

But I decided not to post about it on Facebook. For honesty’s sake.

Enjoy your weekend!

12 thoughts on “Every Summer Festival, Ever

  1. Bethany

    Haha! This was absolutely hilarious. Makes me feel less guilty about our grocery shopping date nights that definitely don’t make it to Facebook, either. ;)


  2. Korie

    Whenever we attend things like this, I always ask my husband, “What is fun about this? Like really. I want to know. Why do people find this fun? Like what part is enjoyable? I just don’t get it.”

    And spend the rest of the time trying to analyze people’s behavior and what they find so intriguing.

    We’ve had more fun finding events on meetup.com. A local group does a Saturday morning drum circle that everyone is welcome to, and my husband has enough of a sense of beat to join in. We’ve taken historical tours of our town, and a class on how to raise bees, where we actually put on the suit and harvested beeswax. We’ve also gotten to meet people with the same interests.


  3. Bethany C

    Too real : / I have always heard a lot about how social media enables us to both present a sanitized image of ourselves and to become rather envious of the image others present, but it hasn’t really sunk in until this summer.
    I think some of the impulse is sort of the private wish to not air our problems in public and make a big dramatic ‘scene’ about how our health or our relationship or whatever is in trouble. I don’t know that there’s necessarily anything wrong with it. But yeah, I have definitely thought a lot about the very chipper spider-anecdotes-and-funny-escapades image I present on social media, and how that is really just one side of my life right now. This year has been filled with serious illness and sort of tragic problems that have touched many of the people close to me, and yet on Facebook it’s all fairly positive. I don’t know that there’s really anything wrong with that as long as we do have people that we can be more honest with, but it is definitely weird to think about.

    And yeah, summer festivities in particular are host to a bevy of less-than-Instagrammable moments :P


    • Bailey Steger

      Right. That’s how I feel about social media. I want to be authentic and not contribute to the too-good-to-be-true stuff out there, but I don’t want to spill my guts about personal things either. I have no idea how to strike that balance!


  4. Justine

    This has given me an idea for a blog post :) – introverted date nights! I think social media pressures us to enjoy what others enjoy, but we don’t have to. My motto is, figure out what works for you and do that. For us one thing that works is to hang out on the couch playing card games. It wouldn’t work as well for us to hang out with hordes of other people in the hot sun.


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