‘The case for just skipping February already.’
So. 2016 is a Leap Year, which means that February got an extra day. I won’t go into all the scientific and historical stuff you probably skimmed in yesterday’s paper about why we have to tack on a 29th every four years, except to say that it has something to do with the Earth’s Rotation and the Gregorian Calendar.
Your paper no doubt also had at least one cute story about some Grownup who is ‘really’ only 6 years old because his/her birthday falls on Feb. 29. (The NY Times’ choice was a male underwear model.)
Anyway. If I sound a tad cranky, blame February. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks February is sort of a bummer. I mean, it’s four long weeks of not-yet-spring that comes along when you’re getting really sick and tired of winter. I bet even the Groundhog doesn’t get that excited about his Day.
Speaking of Days, other than Valentine’s, which can be kind of fun — unless you’re a Mom who has to whip up 36 red-construction-paper-heart valentines and/or pink-frosting’d cupcakes for school — there aren’t even any good holidays in February. Have you ever heard of anyone putting up Presidents’ Day decorations? Poor February. It’s even hard to spell.
When I was a kid I heard a very funny radio essay, probably by Charles Kuralt (very droll, of the late lamented ‘On the Road’ and ‘CBS Sunday Morning’) making a case for eliminating February altogether. Darn it, even with mad googling I couldn’t find the actual piece, but the gist of it was that since February is kind of a downer, we should just, you know, repurpose it.
You could take February’s 28-and-sometimes-29 days and stick them on all the Good Holidays. Halloween and Mothers’ Day could be 3-day weekends. OK, so could Fathers’ Day. Heck, go crazy and make Christmas a whole week. Same thing, of course, for my Personal Favorite, Thanksgiving. And, come to think of it, doesn’t ‘Memorial Week’ have a nice ring to it?
Just be sure to save some days to pad out the Fourth of July. Now that’s a holiday that really deserves to be turned into a week-long revel. Fourth of July means great food like hot dogs and hamburgers, and you get to eat it outside. Where, if you’re really lucky, you can hold watermelon-seed-spitting contests. And doesn’t leaping into a lake (which is what The Dude and The Child are doing at Carlyle Lake in the photo at the top of this post) in the middle of ‘Chunk of July’ sound way more fun than any leaping you can do on Leap Day?
But since we’re stuck with it (at least for the time being), I’ll leave you with this photo chosen specially to commemorate Leap Day:
And, of course, I leave you with my best wishes for a most marvelous March.
New York City. March 2016