I’ve never really been a fan of winter. I’m a summer person. I like fresh air that isn’t cold. I like sleeping with the windows open at night (consequently, I hate red tail hawks, roosters, barking dogs, and pre-dawn walkers who forget that voices carry, especially at 5:15 a.m.). Anyway, as I was saying, I don’t like the cold. I like heat. I like being in the sun and getting tanned and not looking all pasty. I like being outside at night without needing a sweater, or pants. I like heading out to the porch, whether it’s in the evening, with a glass of wine, or in the morning, with a hot mug of scotch.
In the winter, I can’t do that. I’m stuck inside, looking at walls and dishes and laundry and people who call me names, like “Mom” and “Honey.” So I stretch the porch season out as far as I can, clinging to it until early November, and sometimes longer if I feel like grabbing a blanket and dragging it along with me. But it’s not as much fun as the summertime, when the living is easy. The kids and hubby are off from school, and nobody is stressed out. When my people can’t find me, they know where to look: On the porch, under a chair, hiding.
So back to February, which has become yet another reason to hate winter. I’m calling it the F-word month now, because not only is it winter (though I must say this little early spring spell we’ve had lately is appreciated), it’s deadline mania month, now that we’ve got a graduating senior on scene. I’ve got local scholarship deadlines, college entrance exam deadlines, federal aid deadlines, and a host of other deadlines for registering for this or choosing that, all up in my grill. On top of all that, I’m a writer and editor, so deadlines already consume my brain. Like, literally, they eat my brain. Nom, nom, nom.
Reminds me of a story I heard once about a guy who was hiking and got attacked by a Grizzly bear. He played dead, because the Internet is full of conflicting reports about whether you play dead with a big cat and run from a hungry bear, or run from a big cat and play dead for a hungry bear. So he played dead, and the bear swatted him around a little and then made a meal out of his head. He lived to tell about it obviously, and the one terrible thing I can’t get out of my mind about the story, which I’m going to tell you about now so it’s stuck in your head because I hate February, is the way he described the sound of the bear crunching on his scalp. Big crunchy ripping sounds exploded in his ears for what seemed like hours, but probably amounted to a minute or two. Then the bear left, presumably to find a toothpick, and the guy ran to safety holding flapping chunks of his scalp in place.
That’s how it feels right now being in the jaws of February. I want out. And I know this warm weather is just a tease, taunting me to pack away my flannel pajamas and cozy sweaters, only to be hit with that witchy north wind in a few weeks, when I’m freezing one second and sweating the next. As if my thermostat wasn’t already haywire, but that’s another story. I just want these deadlines off my back. Every time I tick one off the list, another three hop onto it. And there seems to be a $36 or $55 fee attached to every cotton-picking thing I attempt to do this month. See there? Another F-bomb! Fee!
And because I’m a big believer in the idea that just when you think things can’t get any worse, they do, my husband came up with this bright idea a couple days ago (actually, 49 hours, 26 minutes and 14 seconds, to be exact, at the time of this writing):
“Let’s go two weeks without drinking.”
What the February is he thinking?