February is such a pain!

It comes in like the hottest cheerleader at the prom: vivacious, stunningly beautiful, yet cold, and totally out of reach – a complete tease.

The snow and ice in the first weeks and the crisp but freezing temperatures only occasionally allow a few warmer days. The grey skies, the frigid rain and sleet that follow the soft snow of January, hold the promise of relief from December’s and January’s spirit-breaking cold. Every February, up pop snow drops, delicate little white flowers that promise an early spring. Then, just as I consider putting the shovels back into the far recesses of the garage, February breaks those promises every stinking, bone chilling year, with a snow-storm. 

March is a lot more honest. It starts out cold and wet and then, slowly and unfailingly, introduces longer days and more sun, along with leaf buds and flower buds here and there. But, instead of retreating back into winter cold and darkness, February-like, it adds more sun and more buds until, “Hey, Spring is here!” 

(Of course, March ends with “Hey Mr. Handsome! Oh, sorry! Not you Henry. I was talking to that hunk behind you” moments, too. Why else have April Fool’s Day?).

And then there’s Ground Hog day.  Imagine, the first country to travel to the moon, the country that invented the telephone, Hollywood, and the internet, asking a Ground Hog – who can’t even speak English – how long winter will last. Really?

And don’t get me started on Valentine’s Day. Several hundred years ago, so the story goes, a really nice cleric named Valentine, defied the powers that demanded fealty and fighting from young soldiers and instead encouraged yummy-mummy times between the soldiers and their girl friends. The cleric got sent to purgatory, but that’s nothing compared to today. 

Today’s Valentine’s Day requires, not just the young, but all men, to pony up romantic gifts for their girl friends. And if the gifts don’t meet expectations, no more yummy-mummy times, just sad eyes, followed by couch purgatory. I can’t swear to it, but I’ve heard there’s clear evidence that this is the real cause of lower birth rates in many parts of the world.

February is such a pain in so many ways. What other month has an extra “r” after the “b”, an “r” that is completely superfluous? It’s “Feb-U-ary”, not “Feb-Ru-ary”, for crying out loud. 

All of which is probably why February is the shortest month of the year. This Feb 28th I am going to hoist a few in honor of our forbears and thank them for ending the gloom of winter after 28 days instead of 30 or 31. Attaway, you guys!

Wait! It’s 29 days long this year? What!! Are you kidding!? That stupid ground hog!

(If you like this, pass it on. If you don't, pass it on anyway. Why should you suffer alone?)