As I watched the snow swirl outside the 3rd floor window, I said to my coworker, "I hate February. It's only a couple of days past the halfway mark of a short month and it has already gone on for too long. It needs to go away."
"Oh spring will be here before you know it," he said, and implied that I was a drama queen which is sometimes true. Or usually.
After weeks of celebrating the holidays, January is almost a relief. Organize your house, get your paperwork in order, settle into bed early with a good book. The hors d'oeuvres and wine and interesting conversation are over. It is needed rest for the weary.
But after a month of that comes February and what are you supposed to do with all twenty-eight days of that?
The stores are filled with spring clothes in colors that are too cheery to even consider. The home improvement centers have started stacking the mulch and wheeling out the grills while the remaining ice melt and shovels keep each other company in a forgotten pile in the corner.
It is Groundhog Day over and over. Same coat, salt-stained boots, the 10th pair of cheap gloves because you have left nine pairs at the grocery store, in the parking lot, and God Knows Where.
I told Mark my writing well was frozen solid. "Not one single thing of interest has happened to me in weeks." Then I read a blog post about being present and there were all kinds of comments as if this was the most fascinating thing to consider. "Mark.....can you even? I think I read about being present ten times a day and somebody writes about it AGAIN and everyone raves about it like they've never heard it before. This kind of stuff is making me bitter."
"Just that?" he asked.
"Well, maybe everything."
We celebrated Valentine's Day. He got me a mug for left-handers. I got him a Lego Zamboni, and if you ever asked him he'd tell you about back in the day when he got to work the coolest thing at the ice rink.
I sip from my new mug and complain that maybe the coffee maker isn't working right because it's just not hot enough.
I wear something black. Again. I scrape the windows and kick gray snow off the wheel wells. I go to Target and try to find wool socks on clearance because my only pair has disappeared. I have no luck but bikinis are plentiful. I shake my flaky, dry hands at the gray skies that have settled over the slushy parking lot and my mood. Then I go home and look at my husband, who is many things including an experienced Zamboni operator, and try for his sake to not say aloud every whiny thought that crosses my mind.
It is the hardest thing I do in an already hard month.