Hang on, here comes February

Sigh. I want my editorials to be positive, but it’s just not in me. February, the worst month of the year, is just three weeks away.

Each month has a unique character. February’s placement mid-winter makes it particularly bleak and interminable. At the start of the month, we peer down a long tunnel and see bright light at the other end, but we soon realize we’re seeing daylight reflecting off road ice.

Maybe February is so gloomy because we’re coming off the holidays. January has its own upbeat start, and the kids get an extra week of free time. January weather can be harsh, but winter still feels fresh and exciting then, just off the holidays with colored lights sparkling in fresh snow. By February, that’s ancient history. Some would argue March can be the most brutal, but here’s the difference: March can contain a hint of the spring to come, a sprinkling of hope. In February? Forget about it.

I’ll no doubt hear from ski fanatics hollering about the best conditions, but for those of us unable to hit the slopes each weekend, it’s cold comfort.

February is automatically an anomaly, with its 28 or 29 days while every other month has 30 or 31. Leap year is that bizarre little adjustment feature that lets us keep the calendar year synchronized with the changing seasons. If the year were a pair of pants, February would be the hem, rising or falling to make sure everything fits. Functional, but really dull.

We have a leap year in 2012, so there’s one extra day of the eternity that is February.

If the winter were the Boston Marathon, February is Heartbreak Hill.

Remember that scene in “The Shining” when Jack Nicholson goes after his family with an ax? I’m pretty sure that happened in February. A person can feel trapped by February, with no way to escape down the mountain to more colors than white, brown and gray.

February was the last month to be added to the Roman calendar, seemingly an afterthought, an overlooked stepchild. We can’t even get the kid’s name right; most people pronounce it “Feb-u-ary.”

If the winter were a cross-country drive, February would be Kansas.

Sorry if I’ve upset people who have birthdays in February. I Googled to find uplifting famous February birthdays, but I only found Dan Quayle, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Kim Jong-Il. No others.

Actually, that’s not true. A couple of presidents were born in February, creating a holiday, nice if you work for the federal government, which I don’t.

Every other month has a great holiday, like Leif Erikson Day, Black Friday and International Talk Like a Pirate Day. February only has Valentine’s Day, which stands for a massacre by Chicago gangsters and romance, the latter being a pleasant idea until it was hijacked by Hallmark, Russell Stover and DeBeers.

Valentine’s Day is actually a mean-spirited holiday. People not currently in a romantic relationship feel left out, like bald people feel on National Hair Day. For those currently in a romantic relationship, the holiday seems to be saying, “Okay, pal, express your love, do it on this day, and you better do it right!” I just can’t take that much pressure.

Sorry for the gloom. I’ll be better by St. Patrick’s Day.

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