February is usually an extremely grim time for most humans on earth. December was a high of holiday parties and bodies on booze-control cruising through a cloud of delicious food and gifts.
Then in comes January with the crushing weight of reality, empty bank accounts and the first hint of snow. We’re cold, we’re poor, we’re struggling to maintain half-assed New Year’s resolutions.
Cue February, which is even colder and bleaker than the month before. The month basically kicks off with the Super Bowl which has to be the worst human invention of all time.
As someone who hates sports anyway – yes, all of them are equally heinous – the Super Bowl is embarrassing. Rumor has it that the advertising revenue for this GAME OF FOOTBALL could cure world hunger. Humans, you’ve outdone yourselves.
Also, this year’s halftime performance added to the already nauseating experience, with Chris Martin’s punch-able face trying so hard to not appear like a creepy uncle while Beyonce dwarfed Bruno Mars in a dance-off that was rounded off by a chorus of “Fix You” which I’m pretty sure Martin wrote to console his wife after her father died. The relevance of everything just became a giant blur of bros and beers and overwhelming Americanness.
It is no wonder that everyone ends up vomiting for the entire next day and can happily not blame it on a hangover or bad wings, because the Super Bowl is just completely sickening.
So February is off to a flying start. But suddenly it’s Pancake Day. And next week is Valentine’s Day. And the week after that is my birthday!
Everyone loves Pancake Day, or as we call it back on the island, Shrove Tuesday. This whole business came about because Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent would be coming up, so the missus of the house would round up all the leftover treats and whip up pancakes before the 40 days and 40 nights of starvation and punishment and sacrifice and whatnot would begin.
Over the years, Lent turned from an honorable Christian tradition to a parade of bratty kids agonizing over whether to give up sweets or chocolate or fizzy drinks – but never willing to go without all three.
I was never one for the whole “giving things up for Jesus” lark, and would often be caught cheating. Especially given the fact that my birthday would be kicking off soon, and no way was I making it through a kid’s birthday party without eating myself into a pre-diabetic oblivion.
So today, I will be cooking up a storm of hot buttery crepes, topped with Nutella, ice cream, maple syrup – anything I can get my hands on. This is a day to fill the bellies that were so tragically emptied during the post-Super Bowl nausea of yesterday.
Valentine’s Day is a cause for great soreness for most of the population, but not for me! This is primarily because I have decided to no longer waste my time caring about this Hallmark day that exploits the human heart.
As I wrote in last year’s Valentine’s Day rant, I have rarely (never?) been single on Valentine’s Day (I know, issues etc.) but it has always been a monumentally rubbish day, the pressure of which often results in an argument, massive disappointment or general tears and consternation.
This year I am back in the safe cubby-hole of long-distance, where obligation to abide by any traditional celebration is overridden by the miles and miles between us which is of a greater priority. So caught up in missing each other’s general day-to-day company we are, that Valentine’s Day isn’t even on our radar.
If I was at home, we would realistically just do what we do every other day and be spending it together because it’s a Sunday and we usually spend Sundays together. There would be no flowers or chocolates or spicy lingerie because that is vomit-inducing.
That is why, this year, I am totally unaffected by Valentine’s Day. The real tragedy is not that I can’t be with my boyfriend on that day, but the fact that I cannot be with him every minute of every hour of every day – or any day at all, because we have ended up living on different continents again. Oops?
So while the singletons and moans of the world decide to gather together and eat chocolate while watching Pretty Woman, and the couples of the world go out and spend a billion dollars on an evening that will likely end in an argument while watching Pretty Woman, I urge you all to abstain from all recognition of this day, and instead, appreciate the other 364 days of the year where your lives are free from pressure and inquiry into your romantic status.
Do not let this define you or your happiness! And spare a thought for fools like me who have to concoct Hallmark-hating theories like these in order to distract from the heartbreak of long-distance life.
Which brings me to the big bang of February – my birthday. Two years ago, He flew over to visit for my birthday and we dined out in Jean Georges at Central Park (my treat because I was working two full-time jobs and was temporarily a millionaire) and last year, back in Dublin, we had a more modest but equally lovely celebration.
Yesterday was our three year anniversary, and this is the first year we won’t be together for my birthday. Or Pancake Day. Or Valentine’s Day. But who’s counting? Who cares, right?
This year my birthday falls on a Friday, so I will go out with the girls and drink a thousand shots and wake up on Saturday needing my stomach pumped and considering hiring a nurse to hook me up to a drip. Just kidding. I’ll probably just wake up, cry alone, go to work, cry alone, come home, drink some wine, cry in company and then go to sleep – alone.
February is usually my favorite month of the year because I get to eat pancakes, be loved up and spend my birthday with the one I love. This year will not be quite so idyllic, but I will soldier on and not become a weeping, sobbing mess because this is just how long-distance is every, single day.
I refuse to let Hallmark make me feel worse for it. Roll on March, thank you very much.