Monday, October 5, 2009

October? Love it. February? Not so much.

I don't know any other way to put it but October is awesome. The weather cools off for the first time here, the wind picks up and we get ready for the merry season of Halloween. But there's one month I prefer to wipe off the calendar: February.

Damn it, I hate February. In Wisconsin, it was the worst month EVER. That fat groundhog always pops up, sees his shadow and pisses on the snow.

The holidays are over. The snow and mud mix to an unpleasant sludge. And nobody bothers to scrape their car windows of snow. So they drive relying on their instruments only.

In February, football season is over. Those were the last words Hunter Thompson wrote before he killed himself - in February. So writes Douglas Brinkley for Rolling Stone:

February was always the cruelest month for Hunter S. Thompson. An avid NFL fan,
Hunter traditionally embraced the Super Bowl in January as the high-water mark
of his year. February, by contrast, was doldrums time. Nothing but monstrous
blizzards, bad colds and the lackluster Denver Nuggets.

Then there's Valentine's Day. Talk about pressure for the gentlemen. Guys buy last minute gifts enduring dirty looks from mall employees. If they buy chocolate, ladies cry because their New Year's resolution to lose weight is shot. Flowers are nice but they may cause allergic reactions. They die anyway. Usually in February.

So expensive gifts like jewelry and iPods are pushed by the free market but I wonder: when did Valentine's Day become Christmas? Is this what St. Valentine had in mind when he wed couples on the sly? Did he say, "You may now kiss the bride and for Valentine's Day you better spend no less than a thousand dollars or you get no nooky that night?"

Seriously, the main reason I hate February is because my brother suffered a brain aneurysm last year. My favorite memory of him was a simple ordinary night. We went to Wal-Mart. My youngest daughter, instead of holding my hand in the parking lot, ran and grabbed his hand instead of mine. Then he picked her up and pushed her around in the shopping cart.

Before we left the store, I spotted a sticker in a vending machine that read TATER TOTS RULE. My nickname as a baby was Tater. When I told my brother I was pregnant with my first child, he said, "You're gonna have a tater tot!" I put a quarter in the machine and by chance, luck, or fate, out popped the sticker.

I still have that sticker in my kitchen along with his memorial candle. As I write this, the weather cools off and I'm about to grab my jacket to take my girls and dog to the park to enjoy this awesome day in this wonderful month.

But if there's a new law to erase February from the calendar, I'm all for it.

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