Wednesday, February 1, 2017

I Hate February . . . The Cruelest Month

OK, let's get it over with. I hate February. I always have and I always will. True, it is a short month, but not short enough. Not in my book.  It lasts only 28 days (and sometimes 29 although thankfully not this year).  Only 28 days and yet they always seem to be the longest days of the year.  I hate February.  My wife tells me to “get over it,” but it’s not an easy thing to do.  Here’s why.  It’s not a pretty picture.

February is not quite winter, and nowhere close to being spring.  A dreary month indeed.  Tomorrow we observe Ground Hog Day when the critter interrupts its hibernation to emerge from his hole to see his shadow or not, and to decide how much winter remains before returning to his slumber.  Is it possible he looks out and realizes “Holy shit, it’s February,” and sees no reason to stay awake?   I know the feeling well.  “Hey,” says Lewis Black looking down at his wrists in February.  “Maybe I should slit 'em to see color!”

There is nothing to looks forward to forward to in February.  But what about Ground Hog’s Day?  It’s just a reason to remind you how much February sucks.  But what about Valentine’s Day.  Originally a Christian liturgical feast day, it has morphed into a highly commercialized franchise (run by a big eastern syndicate, you know).  Cards, candy, expensive dinners, and rose petal strewn sheets on a heart-shaped bed in some bungalow in the Poconos (too much information?) . . . it has become my Scrooge “holiday.”  A “bogus holiday at best” to once again quote Mr. Black [].  I love my wife of 42 years for 365 (and sometimes 366) days a year, and I don’t need a special day . . . least of all one in February (you will see Mr. Black put it more succinctly if you click on the link) . . . to demonstrate that fact.  Does that make me a Scrooge?  If so, so be it.  Bah, humbug! 

When I was a kid we celebrated both Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (February 12) and George Washington’s (February 22) as public holidays, although today only a few states recognize Lincoln’s birthday as a separate holiday.  Washington’s birthday is a federally recognized holiday, but now it is celebrated on the third Monday of February (this year on 20th) and is more popularly known as Presidents Day.  Now we are obliged to celebrate all presidents, whether they were born in February or not (besides Washington and Lincoln, only Ronald Reagan and William Henry Harrison were born in February).  So now we are called upon to celebrate the likes of Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S Grants . . . . oh, the list goes on right up until today.  I don’t want to celebrate these guys, and I certainly don’t want to do it in February when everything already seems grim and hopeless.  Sanctuary now!

Come to think of it. why are the prettiest young ladies on the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendar always consigned to the February???  It’s just not right.  So my apologies to any of my readers, friends, or family who were born in February.  I know it is not your fault.  You can’t help when you were born.  Still, couldn’t you have been early or late.  Babies are always early or late.  So, in some small way, it's really your own damned fault.  Even I, whose timing is not always the greatest, managed to hold off until March.

I told you it was not a pretty picture.  So yes, I hate February.  I always have and I always will.

Check out the "Looking Toward Portugal" Facebook page for more information and photos.

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