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The Cruelest Month

February Men's Room

February sucks. Okay, I said it. But you know what? It needed to be said. First of all, February is cold and dark. Sure, you can say the same about December, but December cold and dark is cozy and fun after so many warm months. Plus, the holidays are just around the corner. But by February, the holidays are long over, you’ve broken your New Year’s resolutions, and the credit card bills have arrived.

February’s like the end of a relationship with a guy you should’ve dumped long ago. You’re sick of the jerk and just want him gone. Enough already, February. Just stop. Okay? Stop.

Second, February has three questionable holidays: one cruel, one lame, one bizarre.

Valentine’s Day is a double-edged sword that leaves devastation either way it slices, cruelly forcing you to confront the pathetic isolation that is your singleness or raising your romantic expectations to vertiginous heights only to dash them with overpriced, mediocre prix fixe meals at trendy restaurants or clumsy attempts at romantic dinners by guys too cheap to take you out.

Presidents’ Day is about as exciting as Mrs. Fendlebarb’s seventh- grade civics.

And, then there’s Groundhog Day. A tradition no doubt loved by the people of Punxsutawney, but proof that the rest of us are so miserable in February that we’ll even look to an overgrown rodent’s amateur experiments in meteorology for distraction.

Some people say, “Well, at least February is the shortest month,” but I don’t buy that logic. You wouldn’t give a restaurant with terrible food a higher Yelp rating because the portions were small, would you? Let’s stop cutting February slack just because it’s short.

Plus, it’s not even that short. If February only lasted two weeks, then fine. You can deal with anything for two weeks, but February lasts a full twenty-eight days. Actually, the fact that February’s just two days short of a normal month is annoying. February’s like that roommate from college who would do the dishes but always left a couple of dirty glasses on the counter. What’s the deal? You were so close. Just finish the job.

And, don’t get me started on the whole leap year business. Imagine the uproar if any other month tacked on an extra day every four years. But since it’s February, which sucks already, we all just roll our eyes and deal with it. And, can anyone actually spell February? Think I would’ve remembered that first “r” without spell-check? And even if you can spell it, I dare you to pronounce February correctly and not sound like you’re either a pretentious twit or suffering an aneurysm.

I’m not the first to point out how much February sucks. Google “worst month of the year.” Top of everyone’s list? You guessed it. So, I say we simply cut February from the calendar altogether. It was only added to the Roman calendar as an afterthought anyway. Last hired, first fired. We’ll just add two or three days to the other months. Sure, the February birthday crowd will be upset at first, but they’ll get over it because even they know the truth: February sucks.


Dylan Patterson is a writer and filmmaker who teaches English at Cape Fear Community College.

To view more of illustrator Mark Weber’s work, go to www.markweberart.blogspot.com

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