Ah, February. The second month, the shortest month, the lone “F” month. Riddle me this: are you terrible, February?
I was thinking about this recently, in considering bills and how February intentionally screws us by being short. The realization led me to something I think we all know but rarely stop to think about: February is a terrible month. It’s designed to be a terrible month because calendars are terrible!
First, it’s short, perhaps the month’s most defining characteristic. At 28 days, you get stiffed of three days of potential weekend or workdays which means, at the end of the month, you had 28 days to make as much as you would have made with those three extra days. This is all to say you are expected to pay the same on bills for a 31 day month as you would a 28 day month. How fucking annoying is that, that your employer isn’t giving you more to compensate or that your bills aren’t docking themselves to match the number of days? That’s some capitalist garbage.
Moreover, it’s kind of a bummer that this short month is also when Black History Month is celebrated. Really? We’re going to stiff a community America has routinely stiffed by withholding three days? Yes, this occasion is on the occasion of both Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglas’ birthdays falling in this month but – Still. – this short month, short-end-of-the-stick synergy hasn’t been corrected. It’s also particularly strange given the month’s name – based on the Roman “februum” – which is related to ritual purification. Not a cute look for a country that has been fighting ingrown ideologies associated with racial purity.
“But what about leap years?” You know what? What about leap years? What a fucking sham that is. An extra day, which is forced upon us, which we forget about, which makes people born on that day – or celebrating anything that day – fall into an existential crisis of not having a day to call your own: what about that? It feels like a fucking prank. February is the empty wagon making the most noise. They are the unpopular opinion that has become the popular opinion. February is the Donald Trump of months.
It’s hard to spell too. Think of all the months. Think of when you were learning to spell the months. February stands out as the most challenging given the strange combination of the B with the R which falls into a vowel doubling up of the U and the A. And, unlike the three months ending in -ember, “February” as a name is a shitty carbon copy of “January” with a more complex ring to it.
February is also cold. It’s Winter and usually is the most bitter, disgusting, hopeless articulation of this season. As if to tease you, the month features Goundhog Day, a fake folk holiday intended to get your hopes up regarding Winter ending early. Does that ever happen? No! If it does, it’s probably related to climate change at this point and should be fretted about. (Groundhogs also are not cute, by the by. They’re horny, chubby, uncute prairie dogs in the non-prairie who threaten your home. Also: people will watch and watch and watch Groundhog Day and talk about Bill Murray. Enough with that dude, okay? I get it. You’re white and you still love Saturday Night Live.)
Speaking of holidays: the Super Bowl. Really? This celebration of the most toxic aspects of heteronormative culture, capitalist waste, and American “exceptionalism” kicks off the month, reclaiming the lord’s day as a lazy drinking affair for people with cable which makes them feel entitled to slack off at work the following day just because they watched television. The chaser? Valentine’s Day, a noted terrible holiday to force corporate love on us and remind us of our failings in relationships. This year? It falls on Ash Wednesday which means Catholics will hate themselves and the people they love. Lent – a Christian, most notably Catholic – time of self-flagellation usually starts in February as well which is why so many vaguely religious people are grumpy. Finally, President’s Day. This is typically a non-holiday holiday – but in Trump’s America? It’s a reminder of our stupid fucking “unpresidented” president. February really is the Trump of months.
In conclusion, February sucks. If I cared more about the month, I would dive into how astrology fits into this, whether or not Aquarius or Pisces people somehow solve the problem. Sadly, I really don’t care because February is just so bad. I apologize if your birthday is in this month, I wish there was a longer month for Black History Month to be celebrated, and I wish our bills would get smaller this month but alas: wishes and dreams that I scream into the void, in the hopes of secreting some sort of change (despite knowing better, that these things will not happen).
Unhappy February. I hate this month.