February 11th, 2017


In my life, I’ve had some problems with February. Perhaps you have, too.

It’s a short month, but it can be cold and gloomy. Its only holiday is Valentine’s Day, which can be a mixed bag.

As a freshman in college, my boyfriend had some sort of breakdown in February and had to precipitously leave school. I got ten minutes notice on that, and said a quick goodbye to him on the street, in the snow. I was also ill at the time, having had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic, and ended up having to drop out of school myself for the rest of the term. When I got home, my brother had just had major back surgery and was doing very poorly. It got so bad that he ended up in a hospital for a long course of inpatient physical therapy.

Two years later, in February of my junior year, my next boyfriend was inducted into the army—on Valentine’s Day, I might add—and ended up in Vietnam (story here). He was wounded in combat the next February.

And then, many years later, my marriage (to the next boyfriend, the one I was married to for three decades) broke up—in February.

There’s more, but I’ll spare you. Suffice to say I become rather wary when February rolls around.

Which makes me think of this 1996 song by Dar Williams:

Lyrics can be found here.

21 Responses to “February”

  1. Bilwick Says:

    I’ve come to look forward to February. I live in a Southeastern city where the local boosters like to brag about our “mild” winters. Mild compared to, say, Buffalo or Chicago or Minnesapolis; but chilly, dank and unpleasant nonetheless. Although this hasn’t been the case in recent winters–what with the Polar Vortex, etc.–by Valentine’s Day down here, Old Man Winter’s back has usually been broken. It can still get cold, but the prospect on oncoming spring makes it more bearable. I’m also an “Alamo nut,” and the anniversary of the siege begins with February 23rd and ends on March 6th. Often winters here are getting markedly milder by February 35rd, and by March 6th usually it has already begun to feel like Spring.

  2. rigeldog Says:

    Not a big fan of February either. I had a long-time boyfriend who tended to get depressive in February. We drifted apart but never lost touch. Then one February, when he was only 47, I learned through Facebook that he had been discovered dead in his apartment—no cause of death was ever determined, other than perhaps February.

  3. parker Says:

    To me February feels like the longest month. When February rolls around I am tired of winter and although there is more daylight; it is gray, damp, chilly daylight in Iowa and spring feels far away.

    Thanks for the Dar Williams. She is one of our favorites.

  4. Ripple Says:

    Even when I lived in New England I didn’t mind February nearly as much as December. Winter was more than half over and the days were getting longer. Out here in the Bay Area it is a glorious month with lots of flowering trees.

  5. Vanderleun Says:

    “But February made me shiver
    With every paper I’d deliver
    Bad news on the doorstep
    I couldn’t take one more step”

  6. Vanderleun Says:

    February is also raaaaacist…. True it is “Black History Month,” but it is also the shortest month. Raaaaacist.

  7. Griffin Says:

    I’m curious if you think about these things more in February than other times of the year? In some weird coincidence the three closest most impactful deaths in my life all happened in August (separate years) but I don’t really think about them more in August than other times.

    I know some people get really down around the anniversaries of deaths but I just never think that way. To me after maybe the first year it’s just another day.

  8. Susanamantha Says:

    I’m always glad to welcome February. I know March is near and I can make it through another winter.

  9. Mr. Frank Says:

    A friend used to tell a story about an old lady who was heard to remark that it was March so she would make it through the rest of the year. When asked to explain, she said “always have.”

  10. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    No particular month stands out for me but I’m not surprised when someone mentions an inexplicable pattern in their life. Such as a child born on the very same day of the year as their mother. I was born on the 22nd as was my older brother and my younger sister as well. My father was born in 1922 and my best friend’s father died (first impactful death for me) when I was… 22.

    Now if I could only get the other 5 lucky numbers… 😉

  11. lynndh Says:

    Go to bed, eat lots of chicken soup, and cover your head. Get up March 1.

  12. Lee Merrick Says:

    I hated February too. Grew up in Pittsburgh etc. Met my true love in February and moved to California to marry him. February has been great for the last 30 years!

  13. Brian Swisher Says:

    February is my bad luck month and February 9th is my personal bad luck day (car wreck, fell out of a tree and fractured a vertebra, back went out and required surgery – and, just for grins, the Sylmar ‘quake was on February 9th). My other car wreck was on February 18th. So I keep my head down during this month…

  14. charles Says:

    And, let’s not forget that both Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays used to be celebrated in this short month.

    Now, we just have the generic “President’s Day.” Kind of a let’s throw them all onto one day and be done with it holiday.

  15. Barry Meislin Says:

    Febrile month.

  16. Jayne Says:

    It is short and the days are getting longer, however February does seem interminable here in New England. Used to have a bright spot when my Mom was alive, though, as her birthday was on Valentine’s Day. Many in my extended family have February birthdays.

  17. leelu Says:

    My birthday is in February. 😀

    January and July used to give me fits, tho…

  18. Oldflyer Says:

    February is the best month because our youngest daughter (just turned 53) was born on Feb 1; and we had been waiting four and a half years for her. She still lights up our life.

    November used to be bad for my wife. For some reason, a long time ago, there was a stretch of fatal aircraft accidents in November; and she related it somehow to that month. I never really blamed November at all; pilot error. I do consider November an up and down month, depending on election results.

  19. eve Says:

    I love February! We spend the entire month down on Anna Maria Island, Florida. A nice escape from the brutal Wisconsin winter.

  20. Esther Says:

    In December people say, “what a nice winter this year.” Everyone forgets about February.

  21. Sam L. Says:

    I moved, many years ago, on the 14th, and soon thereafter met my first love. It’s good for me.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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