Wednesday, February 11, 2015
I'm not sure what it is about this month.
Maybe it's the almost constant haze, or the way that--when the weather is working-- you can go the whole month without seeing the sun proper.
Maybe it's the financial thing-- this is the month when the excesses of the holiday season come charging through the mailbox and hit us right in the bank account. When Mate and I were both working at Friday's, I remember this was the month we arrived at Friday's every day and ordered soup and salad, because we knew the waitresses would take pity on us and not charge us. February was the month I almost got fired for filing a police report, because the cops called me at work, during lunch rush, and I needed to file that report or I'd get evicted. (It also has something to do with me screaming "This is fucking important!" to my manager when he tried to get me off the phone.)
Maybe it's the fact that for about fifteen years, either my children or myself all got sick during February. There were a number of years where I missed an entire week of school, and picking back up after that mess was a pita.
Maybe it's that it's the shortest month of the year, made shorter by holidays that people never knew how to schedule and made longer by sheer misery.
I'm not sure where the blame for February can be placed, but I have got to tell you, there is something about that Dar Williams song that really yanks on my feels.
You said "That's a crocus," and I said, "What's a crocus?" and you said "That's a flower."
And I tried to remember, but I couldn't remember and I said "What's a flower?"
And you said "I still love you!"
There is an unquestionable bleakness about this month, a sorrow for a year we thought we'd said goodbye to months ago, a yearning for a year that hasn't achieved flower yet.
And sometime in the middle of this month, the world turns pink.
And we give each other goofy cards and chocolate and hearts and flowers and stuffed animals and dinner and movies and the occasional baby. (Aherm. Zoomboy's B-day is November 15th. Somebody do that math for me?)
I know it's commercial. It's a made up holiday. We took a terrible legend about St. Valentine and turned it into something beautiful and hokey and kitschy and wonderful. We made spring before it was spring.
We made birds and bees copulate and be joyful, because we picked a day and said, EVERYBODY GET BUSY AND SHOW AFFECTION!
And I can't hold it against us that we do that. I mean I can hold it against grade school students who use this as a chance to bully-- I pulled my own kid out of school for Valentines Day when she was being bullied. But now? I send her packages 500 miles away so she knows she's loved.
And I buy my other kids flowers.
And we give silly gifts and kisses.
And Mate tries to take me out to dinner.
And I said what's a flower?
And you said I still love you.
And sometimes, we don't lose to February. Sometimes, February lets us win, right?
And to show some win--I discovered this song and this band this month. A little melancholy? Yes. But it's beautiful, and I see flowers in it.