Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Why I hate February

Here's my entry for this month's Blogging for Books contest. We're supposed to write something about the weather. This is a little difficult to write today because it is a beautiful, sunny and surprisingly warm fall day here in Chicago. But having lived through a few too many Midwest winters, I can summon the painful memories long enough to write this . . .

Why I hate February - specifically.

  • When I was a junior in high school, it got so cold that there was ice on the walls of our house. On the inside. I remember doing my homework in front of the fire with a crocheted blanket on my lap. Kinda like Little House on the Prairie in the suburbs.
  • In college I went to a toga party. Don't ask me why someone had a toga party in February in Michigan. We were 19, and apparently we weren't very bright. So, at this toga party I sprained my ankle. The very next day there was an ice storm. Picture me trying to "walk" on crutches across The Quad, on the ice, with a backpack.
  • In law school, for reasons that are now lost to me, I had to get up at Oh My God O'clock and serve coffee to my fellow law students a few times. One particularly lovely "morning" as I walked to school I felt the tears in my eyes freezing upon contact with the cold wind. When I walked into the over heated building, I felt those tears melting down my cheeks, along with my mascara.
  • Let's go back to college, shall we? Ski trip with the girls up to Boyne Mountain. There's so much damn snow piled up at the side of the road that the streets are no longer wide enough for two cars. When the driver of our car tries to slow down to try to navigate past an oncoming car, the rear of our car slides out into the street and collides with the oncoming car. Not only was the car nearly totalled, one of the girls in the back seat broke her pelvis. Seriously.
  • And finally, have you ever tried to push a 20 pound stroller containing a 10 pound child along a slippery, snowy unplowed sidewalk? How about trying to get that stroller across the street after the plows have been through and there's a foot of snow along the curb? So - don't use a stroller, you might say. Well, it's also not fun carrying your precious child in the Baby Bjorn while attempting to navigate around ice patches and over piles of snow all the while praying that you don't fall over and crush the baby. (Try while dangerously sleep deprived, that's when it's the most terrifying).

Did all these things happen in February, as opposed to January or December? Probably not. But I blame February for all of winter's ills. I like winter in December - it's essential to have a white Christmas. Otherwise how does Santa get his sleigh on your roof? (Forget for a moment that we live in a 50+ story high-rise. "Santa uses magic. That's how.") Also, I'm cool with winter in January. It's a new year, a new beginning. The cool air is rejuvenating and refreshing. Until February. At that point, winter needs to go away, but it hangs on and on and on. And that's why I hate February.

So after reading this, you're probably wondering why the hell I still live in Chicago. Partly because it's a vibrant city with lots of cultural and culinary delights. It's diverse, down to earth and still relatively affordable. But in part, I still live in Chicago because of days like today - sunny, 60 degrees, crisp and beautiful. When the weather is like this, there's no better place to live. So I guess just have suck it up and deal with the winter (at least until we're wealthy enough to be snowbirds).


dodo said...

Down with February!

February when I was a kid, and for a while we lived inthe country (in a house that also got ice on the inside)(have a a thing about tropically heated bathrooms all my adult life), it was a five mile walk to school. We would have to leave hours early to walk through snow up to our waists (aged 7 and 12) to get to school on time (no buses). only to find the kids who lived in the housing estate opposite school had stayed home because there was too much snow.

all kinds of wrong.

Perhaps it could have a rebrand/makeover? what would we replace it with?

Jessica said...

dodo - What's funny is that our parents used to say (to get us to stop whining about our lives) "When I was a kid, we had to walk five miles to school. Barefoot. In the snow." ha ha - but in your case it's at least 1/3 true!

Bimbo said...

Jessica~ It truly is all February's fault for wrecking the season. It just goes too far. I was born on Mardi Gras (2/8 that year), my father says 'deliberately'. I had a total of two birthday parties as a kid - all the others were cancelled due to the weather. They're living large during Carnavale in Rio and Venice and New Orleans, but I can't even get a piece of cake? I may be bitter.

dodo said...

oh yes - there were shoes! that we carried, (virtually) balanced on our heads like an inelegant, undignified version of picturebook african ladies, so as to keep them from the snow. along with a complete change of clothes for when we got there, soaked to the bone. we'd then have to leave our wet stuff on a radiator somewhere, and hope it dried because we'd have to put it back on at 3pm.

makes me shiver just thinking about it . . .

Missy said...

I know exactly what you're talking about.
February just goes too far.

Nancy said...

Hi! I quoted a bit of your blog in mine on a similar topic: http://emperorsclothes.blogspot.com/


Sebastian said...

I want February to be short, because I hate the winter.