Ah, February. I won’t be sad to see it go. I won’t. A hint of warm blue sky, balmy breezes, whispering that spring’s just around the corner—Slam! Arctic gales, dumps and dumps of snow, the heart of winter—Sploosh, slog, sleet and slop—buckets of rain that turn everything to slush again—repeat, repeat, repeat.
It’s hard to get out of bed in the morning during February, let alone be cheery—so much gray, so much cold, no festive events to look forward to except Valentine’s Day (which would be much more romantic if it was a civic holiday!).
Yesterday, I admit the month tricked me. I saw the brilliant sun outside my window and recalled the lovely mild temperature of the previous day and headed out in flats without socks to rush the kids to school and get to an appointment. Imagine my poor feet’s surprise when they realized six inches or more of snow had fallen in the night!
The day only got better from there. As I was frantically clearing the car, having not allowed time in my schedule for doing so, my daughter, already feeling miserably sick, slipped on ice. Then she spilled tea across her lap just as we were pulling out of the driveway and had to go back to the house and change.
I followed her inside so I could call my appointment, tell them I was running late—and stepped in, tipped over my dogs’ full water dish. The dogs and cat, sure the noise was somehow connected to the onslaught of a canine/feline apocalypse, took off in separate directions for the four corners of the house.
I tried to cajole the smallest dog—a Pomeranian I dog-sit regularly—back to the dog room. The blond beast took, “Heeeeeere Foxy, heeeere Foxy,” (or some such call) to mean: “Run, run! Go through her legs, jump up on the couch!”
As I lunged to grab the creature, apparently I frightened it again—or rather, scared the crap out of it. Literally.
There’s nothing like cleaning up dog doo—no matter how little and deer-like the pellets—when you’re already late.
Back at the car, pulling out of the driveway, Take 2, I turned on the stereo—AND WAS HIT BY A HORRIFIC NOISE SO LOUD I ALMOST COULDN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT WAS. I hit the off button as fast as I could, heart and ears bleeding. No one should have to listen to Ke$ha at the best of times. They should definitely not have to listen to her blasting, “D.I.N.O. YOU ARE a dinosaur,” at sonic-boom decibels before 9:00 in the morning. At least my kids were cheered up by my trauma. They even laughed.
Not long after that I made the mistake of repeating the superstition that bad things happen in threes and telling the kids we should be home free for the rest of the day. And in quick succession I: was stopped by the train, lost my keys in the office where I finally had my meeting (after going to the completely wrong building), and got my son to school almost a full-hour late.
Some of you are thinking it’s ridiculous to blame a month, especially a tiny, pathetic, no statutory holiday one, for my bad day—but others of you are wiser. You know full well that February is shorter than other months so that we have a better chance of surviving it. You know that bad days can hit anytime, but in February, they are worse.
The end of the day came, finally, and the sky held no trace of the day’s foulness. It was soft and inky black and clear. The moon, full and round and benevolent, was a bright glowy white; the sympathetic shadows on its face clearly visible. Saying so is a cliché, perhaps, but it was breathtaking. I’m sure it was the evening’s way of celebrating with me: Ah, February. Almost done for another full year!