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The Biggest Summer Time-Sucks

You envisioned beach days and long weekends -- but your calendar is full of chores and events you'd rather not attend. Here's how to handle those pesky things that hijack your summer.

The Culprit: A sorta-kinda friend's wedding
The Fix:
Sure, you were close in college (remember crawling back to your dorm together post-Jell-O shots?), but for the past few years, you've only spoken through your Facebook walls -- not exactly the upper crust of social interaction. If you don't see her being a part of your life going forward, decline, and just send a gift. She might be relieved -- especially if you were a courtesy invite (no offense).

The Culprit: Your "wtf's a summer friday?" boss
The Fix:
The thought of going into the office on a gorgeous July day makes your stomach turn while your boss can't seem to get enough of the place. You're trying to have a -- oh, what's the word -- life. She's scheduling meetings for Friday afternoons. You can't tell her to take her strategy session and shove it, but you can ask to split up some vacation time into half-days so you're out of there after lunch.

The Culprit: Your fixer-upper
The Fix:
When you bought your home, you actually thought you'd enjoy spending a happy afternoon painting the shutters. What you didn't think about was how many days it would take to retile the bathroom or that wallpapering a hallway requires the patience of a Buddhist monk (hence the mark on the wall where you threw the glue brush). Reclaim your sunny Saturdays meant for fun, not labor, by only working on outdoor projects that need attention now.

The Culprit: Birthday parties...for one year olds
The Fix:
You couldn't be happier for your pals who've taken the baby plunge -- you even let your wife drag you to their coed showers and acted interested in the latest breast pump design. (Oh yeah, that model's so hot right now. Did I mention I have testicles?) Thought you were off the hook? Think again! First birthdays are a big deal to parents; and yes, they expect you to join in on the celebration. So...show up just as the party starts, take a load of pictures, and then sneak out after an hour or so (we guarantee they won't notice). The next day, email the photos to your friends or upload them online -- it'll confirm you went (and make you look way awesome).

The Culprit: Grass
The Fix:
You love the idea of having a yard (it's part of the reason you chose your house). But in order to get the look and smell of freshly cut grass, you have to, well, cut the grass. And in case you didn't get the memo, all that green stuff grows faster in warmer months, meaning you have some serious work in front of you (fact: It takes about 45 minutes to mow an acre). Cut your mow time in half by swapping each week with your partner. Better yet, ask around to see if there's a teenager with a summer side biz who'll do it for you (and for cheaper than a landscaper). Whatever you do, don't ignore your yard; your neighbors won't appreciate you killing their curb appeal. You don't want to be the bad seed on the block, now, do you?

-- The Nest Editors