Thursday, February 02, 2006

Groundhogs, Candy Hearts, Etc.

While no one likely cares, I'll go ahead and reveal that I'm an August baby. If you have a moment, please turn with me in your calendars to the month of August. Take your time and scan that month well. You'll have to look long and hard to find any sort of makeshift holiday in the month of August. Nah, those are the dog days of summer, and if you want to celebrate something, you better turn back time a month and shoot off fireworks or head forward a month and celebrate all the laborers, because in August, you ain't finding much. It's the desert of the calendar, and as an August kid, I'll hold to that with pride.

Not so with February. The proverbial "they" take this short little month and jam pack it with all kinds of little "holidays" so we won't forget just how bleak it really is.

This morning my oldest son awoke all excited and shouted, "It's Groundhog Day!" as if we had left rusted buckets on our mantle waiting for the Groundhog to leave his furry little home in Pennsylvania and visit all the good little boys and girls and fill those buckets with goodies. Sorry, big boy, he didn't make it this year -- that makes seven in a row, huh? When you've got short legs and no flying reindeer, it makes it hard to get past Philly, I guess.

What we get instead in this dreary month is six more weeks of winter. Has it ever been otherwise? But they celebrate Groundhog Day at his school like it's actually something rather than nothing. The kids love it, so if February was just about groundhogs, I could certainly live with it.

But no. Abe Lincoln's birthday descends on the 12th of the month, and then Washington's birthday hops up on us on the 22nd. You'll get no argument out of me that these two paragons of our American Presidency should be recognized at some point in time -- November around Election Day sounds good, as that is right smack in Holiday Season when it makes sense to have days of celebration. Of course, that's no good. And, obviously, their birthdays in and of themselves aren't enough. So what's logical here? I know!!! Pick me! Pick me! We can make yet another holiday in the middle of the month. Lest we forget that Ronald Reagan's birthday is February 6th and William Henry Harrison's is the 9th - heck maybe every president was born in February. Let's make a President's Day!!! And we did, on the Monday before Washington's B-day. Genius. We should have every day in February celebrating someone famous' birthday. We got Hank Aaron's birthday on the 5th of February and Babe Ruth's on the 6th. Reason dictates we ought to have a Hall of Fame Slugger's Day on the 7th, right? Edison, Darwin, Galileo, and Copernicus were born on the 11th, 12th, 15th, and 19th respectively. How about a Happy Scientist's Day on the 13th? Handel, Renoir, Hugo, and Longfellow were all February birthdays, so a Fine Arts holiday shouldn't be out of the question.

As if President's Day isn't patriotic enough, we've got Flag Day coming up on Feb. 24th. Now, here's a holiday everyone gets excited about. Down here in Alabama, I can see the Bama, Auburn, and UT (Tennessee, not Texas) flags trumping the Stars and Stripes in most people's yards. It's nice to have priorities.

And don't look now, but this month Mardi Gras falls on the 28th. Which, no doubt, means that amidst all the other February celebrating we get to partake in, it wouldn't be right not (oops, double negative) to get totally plastered at the end of the month so we can start fresh with our repenting in March with Ash Wednesday and Lent kicking in.

Don't think it ends there, no. Seems like half the time, another holiday gets thrown onto the end of February to make us smile more... actually, it's a quarter of the time. Leap Year!!! Hurray! We get to live an extra day every fours years. Now, that's special.

My personal favorite, though, has to be that glorious day in the middle of the month where we get to bankrupt ourselves by purchasing candy, flowers, and gifts for that special someone in our lives that wouldn't know we loved them if it weren't for the greatest holiday of them all: St. Valentine's Day. Somehow, St. Valentine, which legend has was a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity, grew in stature to become the patron saint of lovers. Think that guy's rolling in his grave? Before I'm ostracized from humanity for my loveless whining, I'll caveat by saying that there's nothing wrong with a day for sweethearts, a day when we can examine ourselves and how we're really loving the one person with whom we've chosen to spend our lives. We don't have that, though, unless we make it such ourselves. What we have is yet another over-commercialized day to buy presents for someone else to make them feel good for a day. Wisdom says that it's better to do it than not, however, because the one day of happiness for your sweety is a WHOLE lot better than living the rest of the month in agony. Don't blow the rest of February's plethora of holidays by blowing Valentine's. It just isn't worth it.

February. February? Let's take the whole month off.

1 comment:

Rich said...

If I sound a little out of sorts today, I apologize. It gets old as an excuse, I know, but I don't sleep much.

What I really meant to say in this fabulouspost is that every day is a great day, and we should celebrate them all. I hope that's how it came out. Most of the time on the blog I don't read what I've written after I write it, and this time I'll just assume that's the case.

My skin's thick enough, however, if you just want to tell me, "Aw, shuttup, ya jerk!" It certainly wouldn't be the first time someone's said that.

If you were born in February, er, um, uh... happy birthday?