(Pictured: Not my summer)

Everyone’s favorite April-May small talk question has a
tendency to make some of us feel left out.

My summer, for instance, will be working in an office on
campus. Occasionally I’ll go outside and get sunburned to remind myself that I’m
alive, and make sure I’m drunk just often enough to not worry about technically
being an alcoholic.

Admitting this to friends and acquaintances usually makes
them uncomfortable. When I lie, I lie for them. Others of you may be interested
in appearing cooler, or other euphemisms for sexually appealing; in these
circumstances the truth is available to be stretched or replaced entirely,
depending on the literal size of your figurative balls.

Firstly, whether you actually have to worry about having an
awesome answer depends on the plans of whoever you’re talking to. If they say they’re
around getting units out of the way in summer school, their dad is paying them
to organize his filing cabinets, or they took one of those full-time flyer
canvassing jobs (how do people DO that?) don’t kick them when they’re down.
Show some class. Share your real plans and commiserate, or nod politely and
move on.

If, though, they’re going to work the dream job you wish you
landed, discover themself backpacking and doing charity work somewhere exotic, or
woo and bone someone you wouldn’t mind spending the summer woo/boning (or in
especially obnoxious cases, all three): prepare to lie!

And you’ve grown since that time you tried just yelling “samesies!”
and changing the subject.

The vague,
condescending angle
is one of the easiest. It can be called lying by
omission or, depending on your personal moral boundaries, “not lying.”

Sample conversation:

Jerk: Well, this summer, I get to return to my first love,
getting paid to care for and ride ponies. And gender-wise, I’m completely
outnumbered at the barn. It’s gonna be a handful. What are you up to?

You: Oh god, this really similar opportunity came up for me,
but it’d be hard to help you understand it in this amount of time. I’ll see you
when I have time to see you! Which I probably won’t.


You: What am I not
up to?

 (Revel in

If you’d prefer something more concrete and grounded in
truth, you can always exaggerate your
actual plans

Sample conversation:

Jerk: I won a contest where I have to travel around the
country receiving awards, respect, and adoration all summer. What about you?

You: (If your actual plans are “summer school:”) The school
asked me to help teach classes for a few months, as a part of their “younger,
sexier voices in education” program. It’s an honor to serve.


You: (If your actual plans are “working in an office:”) This
company needed someone to contribute to their workplace beautification program,
but also increase productivity. Like, a lot. Because I’m good at things. It’s an honor to serve.

Alternatively, the great part about straight-up lying is the sky’s the limit. Don’t mess this up,
though. It’s easy to.

Sample conversation:

Jerk: My friend got me this incredible j-

You: I got discovered as a model, for charity.

You: I met my favorite celebrity, who is also your favorite
celebrity, and they want to spend this summer teaching me how to love.

You: I’m going to a beautiful foreign location to build
houses, with all the people who didn’t like you in high school. And I get to
keep them.

Final: Pop Quiz!

Q: Can you spot the place where you reached too far?

You: Racing underprivileged endangered cruise backpacking
internship unicorns surfing money, losing weight. My parents are proud of me.

A: Anyone who’s met your parents knows this isn’t true.

Photo: Sebastian Beshk