January, February and March are the worst months of the year. Everything is colder, darker. Our entire life seems more claustrophobic, as if every drop in temperature moves the walls of our home a few feet inward. We feel like a rat in a cage, or Superman in glasses, or Donny Ness in a mayor’s office.
Even the snow turns filthy and brittle this time of year. The once fluffy and pretty piles of it are now brown and moist, as if Clifford the Big Red Dog accidentally ate a giant bowl of eggs and chose our lawn to unload his mountain of feces. Nothing adds to the bitterness of a homeowner like a brown lawn and the looming threat of taxes in April.
Everything innocent turns sour in these bleak times. The whole world seems to grow older in a few short months. Everyone’s a little fatter, a little more grizzled and beaten down. Snowball fights that were carefree and fun in December are now angsty and bitter, like war. February “snowballs” are jagged shards of ice, and you can be certain that anyone who arms themselves with one doesn’t have fun on their mind. Their heart is filled only with icy cold vengeance. That son of a bitch wants to take out your eye.
Even the simplest things become more difficult while deep in the heart of a Minnesota winter – navigating the steep, icy roads to the store, feeling the chill edging its way into our shoes as we wait for the bus, drunkenly urinating on a bench that features that realtor we don’t like. The little inconveniences cause our tempers to become as short as the days.
Also, if you’re into astrology, this is the time of year when Uranus is out of retro, which explains why almost everyone you meet is a complete ass.
I might not have researched that as well as I could have. I might not know anything about astrology. I might think astrology is for morons. The fact that I’m using the word “might” means you’re not allowed to send me angry letters about this.
In the medical world, doctors refer to this part of the year by the Latin phrase “Frigidus Assidere”, which translates to “Chilly Shitty.” These Latin speaking Romans from the sixth century – “Latinos”, as they called themselves back then – adored this time of year because there was nothing else to do but bang. Every person you saw, you would have sex with them. That elderly cashier at the grocery store? That’s a bang. That Armenian weirdo in bicycle shorts jingling his keys in his pocket a little too much at the laundromat? That’s a bang. That stray cat meowing outside your window every night? Boom. Banged. No one could criticize any of it, because it was cold as balls and Netflix hadn’t been invented yet.
These days people are decidedly less slutty, so we no longer combat our winter doldrums with joy. We instead build up reserves of depression and anger. We’re building our own personal mental wards. We wake up every day wanting to punch a stranger in the face. That guy at work who parks crooked? Want to punch. That kid down the street who always meanders his stupid bike back and forth in the road, waiting until the last possible moment to get out of your way? Winter doldrums punch! That weird homeless lady on the bus who smells like Doritos? I actually don’t mind her. It’s hard not to like the smell of Doritos. They’re a tasty treat.
But still, rage! So much daily rage! We can’t even control it, these emotions just come out of nowhere GET OUT OF MY DAMN WAY, LEARN TO WALK DOWN THE SIDEWALK LIKE A NORMAL PERSON! I’m sorry. That was rude. It’s the winter. It makes me do unnatural things, like drink wine by myself or answer phone calls from telemarketers because I’m lonely. If I focus really hard, I can control myself. Instead of reacting angrily to things, I’ll say something nice instead, no matter how ridiculous it is. Thank you for cutting me off, fellow driver! That was very kind of you! Thank you for adding a little excitement to my day! Whew. Okay, I think I’m good. I think the anger’s gone now.
No, David from accounting! Don’t send me that spreadsheet again you spineless twat! I’ve seen it three times before and it’s always wrong, wrong, WRONG! I have two sick days left, not one! Did you not see my carefully filled out sickness timesheet!? Have you no soul?! I have slaved and worked for these penances for far too long to be stunted by a man with an unattractive mustache! Do you hear me, David?! I will kill you! I will kill you until thy scrotum is in thine own bloody throat! You vacant son of a bitch, David!
Of course, I live in California these days, so I don’t have any of these problems. It’s actually quite warm here right now. A high of 65 degrees tomorrow. I’m going to bring a light jacket to work. It gets a little chilly after the sun goes down. Yessir, I’m not depressed at all. I am quite comfy and content.