I fixed February today. Well, at least for the afternoon. In the midst of the dreariest, least enchanting month of the year, I pried my frozen, mindless fingers from the TV remote and refused to be a victim any longer. The sun was dazzling and rather than curl up with the cat for another brief basting in the southern exposure, I scraped up all my loose change and headed to the drive-thru. With a sweet tea in the console, I cranked up the Jeep heat, opened the moon roof and dug out my Beach Boys CD. Singing along with Brian and the boys of eternal summer was wonderfully cathartic and started me wondering. How can I can fix February on a more permanent basis?
It appears to me that the long-term solution is a move for reapportionment. Let’s right-size February. It happens all the time in government; why not on the calendar? After all, the Romans used to steal and borrow days from other months –which is why February has always been a little odd.
February has no character and no shame to my way of thinking. In January, we’re still a bit enthralled by the beauty of winter but February only slinks in on its coat tails. February is selfish and self-indulgent; it denies even the tiniest green buds of snow drops and forsythia that follow in March to remind us that spring will be coming after all.
My suggestion is that we cut February off at Valentine’s Day. Fourteen cold and bloomless February days is really all we need. We want to keep Punxsutawney’s celebration intact, of course, because how else would a large, small-town rodent garner continued international attention. The economy also demands we keep Cupid off unemployment but what about the remaining 14 days? I say apply that time where we really need it.
For starters, my plan gives everyone an entire free “floater” week to schedule when they need it. That could mean an extra week at the beach, perhaps, or just the freedom to just call it on those spontaneous days you’d rather spend the morning in bed. The remaining seven days could be inserted near the other holidays.
Because all the best stuff gets done at the very last minute, I propose adding more last minutes, 1,440 of them to be exact, in advance of the seven major holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s all get another full day on the calendar, a BOGO if you will, to make sure we run out of money before we run out of time for those last-minute gifts. At Easter, add another day to revel in spring and there are still enough days left over to plump up Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day to extend our picnicking pleasure. During leap year, we all get another floater.
I do realize this change poses a fundamental problem for all the folks born in the latter half of February. Rather than over-regulate this process, I recommend allowing the affected population to make their own decisions in picking a new celebration day. On a happier note, my proposal does have the added benefit of cutting your household budget by 4.166% because we would eliminate one whole cycle of bills that need to be paid between the 15th and the end of the month.
It’s started to sound pretty compelling, isn’t it?
I realize this will take some time to catch on and there may be a lot of red tape but every positive change has to start somewhere. In the meantime, here are 15 suggestions I can make on fixing February for yourself right now.
1. Take down your drapes and replace them with beach towels.
2. Make sand castles in the snow instead of snow men.
3. Scatter the shells from last year’s beach trip in your driveway and spray the bottom of the snow mounds with windshield wiper fluid until they turn blue and look like ocean white caps.
4. Gather all your fuel bills into a big pile in the center of the driveway and set them on fire. Pull out the lawn chair and roast hot dogs.
5. Change your screen saver and ring tone to reflect an exotic escape.
6. Rent Blue Crush or Captain Ron or Couples Retreat and wear your flip-flops with toe socks while watching from your beach chair.
7. Replace your Mom’s Apple Pie and Winterberry candles with citronella.
8. Reset your phone, watch, radio, computer and microwave to reflect Fixing February time. Start today at 5:30 pm and set your clock ahead three hours. Tomorrow evening it will still be daylight at 8:30.
9. Hang some fake flowers on your front porch. Wait until the neighbors are watching, then step outside in your flip-flops to water them. (Thanks for this tip, Paw Paw!)
10. Pour a little corn meal in your bathtub, your bed, your shoes and your undies. Remember what it’s really like to come home after a day at the beach.
11. Invite five winter-weary friends to share a therapy session with Dr. Margo Rita.
12. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Squeeze the juice from one fresh lime. (Set juice aside for Dr. Rita.) Place peels in a small saucepan with 3 cups water and cook on low. Refill water as needed. Place one Tbsp coconut tanning oil in electric tart burner. Open oven door. Pull beach chair close to the oven, maintaining safe distance. Toast gently on all sides while sinking into a good trashy novel. (My perennial favorite is Summer Sisters by Judy Blume.) Note: If you enjoy the smell of coastal tidewaters, open a can of sardines one day ahead and allow to come to room temperature on the kitchen counter.
13. Call you boss and tell her you’re down with a case of the Go Blootz. (You LUCY fans will know exactly what I’m talking about.) Jump on one of those four-day $499 hoppers to the Bahamas.
14. Visit the archives of Mitchell Kyd’s blog and warm up by reading: Oh! Those Summer Nights!, It’s Summertime and the Living is Juicy or Dancing Naked in the Moonlight.
15. Buy a quart of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia if this all seems like too much work. Consume the whole thing and take a big nap. Repeat each day until February is over. Some things can’t be conquered, only out-lasted.