Ain't no fling

Keeping a summer fling contained can be tough, but a little creativity goes a long way.

Get on top of the end-of-summer letdown. - ALYSON HARDWICK
Alyson Hardwick
Get on top of the end-of-summer letdown.

Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsen were onto something until they dropped the l-bomb. The splashing around, the arcade trips, the late-night lemonade, the under-the-dock makeouts...they had a good thing going. Their fun-filled fling allegedly didn't mean a thing, it was easy, but once the summer nights turned into autumn afternoons, it got complicated.

OK, it's Grease, but it's understandable. The season changes, it gets colder, and the next thing you know that summer lover's transitioned to your all-the-time lover and the tan's worn off, so to speak. That spark you felt in June has fizzled just like the Canada Day fireworks. Not to knock smouldering seasonal romance, but it's called a summer fling for a reason. Hence why we don't have fireworks on every occasion—there's a time and place for (usually disappointing) spectacles. With summer impending, here are some tips on playing good defence when your just-for-fun affair creeps into relationship zone, assuming of course you're pretty cowardly when it comes to doing the ditching, slightly dishonest and 100 percent crafty.

Let your hygiene rituals deteriorate (except for flossing and nail-cutting, those should be done in public places). This is actually a pretty easy thing to do in the summer, because swimming is essentially the same as bathing, right? Wean off the post-lake showers, wear your swimsuit as your underwear even on non-beach days and bike harder than you've ever biked before. Nothing says pheromones like murky lake water residue, old sweat and remnants of that messy lobster cook-out, am I right?

Summon your most artistic friend and an indelible marker. Wipe off a greasy spot on your chest or neck to make room for the clingiest (secretly temporary) tattoo possible. Take some inspiration from Johnny Depp's Winona Forever bicep banner, a true testament of luv tats gone wrong and mutter, "No pressure," as you reveal your new ink.

In hopes that your partner is a commitment-phobe too, start lots of "next summer we should..." conversations. If they're unfazed by these, or ignore your sudden concern for the future, take it up a notch. "Next summer I'd really like to play the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. I think that's doable, don't you?" you'll ask rhetorically before announcing your plan to master the bagpipes. Get your hands on a loaner set and insist on practicing at inopportune times. And because who knows where one actually rents bagpipes, remember there's plenty of turning off to be done while cranking amateur videos in the research phase. This might ward off lovers (and neighbours) but it'll likely lure noise complaints. Let's hope it's a fast-acting solution.

Adding insult to nasal injury is a surefire way to cut things off at the pulse—the bedroom. As the weather cools off it'll become more difficult to say goodbye to your bedfellow, so act while humidity is still in the air. Jam that itty-bitty bedroom window of yours shut and and pre-heat the space before your boo comes over (sorry power bill). With your room shaping up to be a hot yoga studio, assume the big spoon position. Real assholes would take that lone, shriveled, leftover hot dog and bury it in their lover's pillow case. I'm into barbecues so that smell wouldn't send me packing, but a couple of lobster shells and it'd be a done deal. I'll leave this one in your capable, slimy hands.

Finally, if the above steps aren't doing much more than turning you into a nasty- smelling (and -acting), individual, grow a pair and use your words. Be considerate but blunt while telling your fling your summer loving has an expiry date...just before the final fireworks of the summer explode noisily into the air, muting any rebuttal that's coming your way, be it sad, happy or a big fuck you. As you creep away into the crowd, watching the colours fade in the sky, you can be sure this fling won't be lingering. But now your summer nights likely won't be worthy of a singalong.

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