I have hated February for as long as I can remember. When I was teaching, I would mention this to my students and they would look at me like I had three heads. “Don’t you like Valentine’s Day?” Well, no, but that’s not why. Valentine’s is ok, Black History is interesting, and it is a nice, short month, so there’s less time between pay days. But every time February approached, my heart would drop and I would be filled with this immense, enduring dread. Imagine that you are in a room infinitely wide, tall, and deep, and that this room is full of dirty dishes that you have to wash before you can go to bed. Then imagine that there is a proportionately infinite feast/cocktail party going on in the next room, and people keep adding the dirty dishes from that to the stack. That is how February feels to me.
I lived away from the northeast for so long that I actually forgot why I feel this way about this poor little month. Living here again, though, I’ve realized that it’s the weather. Winter in December is charming, and only really established by January, but by February, it’s outworn its welcome. The past couple of weeks, my Arkansas and Texas friends have spent a good deal of time telling facebook how much they hate snow (though it took most of them at least four days to get there). I read these things and think, Welcome to my world. What they are feeling is February, even if it happened in January.
During February, easy things are hard and hard things are nigh impossible. I am poorer, smellier, hairier, hungrier, fatter, lazier, busier, and just plain more tired than at any other time of the year. It’s a month of Mondays, or, worse, a month of 3 pm on Sunday afternoon when you can’t take a nap, a bath, or go anywhere. While everyday in February is not a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, many are. At best, all a typical February day can hope for is “fine.” And while I know gratitude leads to lasting happiness, satisfaction, and joy, I used up my gratitude getting through all thirty-one days of January. I am not grateful for snow. Most of it isn’t even pretty anymore. All I want to do is take a five-minute walk outside without half an hour of preparation before and after.
I’m whining; I know. There are some bright spots. Valentine’s Day is nice enough. My friend Julie just discovered a cheese with bacon in it. Jacob gets cuter everyday. Come July in Texas, I’d be wishing for the winter. But you know what? I still wouldn’t be wishing for February.
Just twenty-one days until March…