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Salt stains in February

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Add an umbrella to your February (Photo by timbobee via Flickr)

The salt stains on winter boots have become so familiar they appear to be just another part of the design. The plastic sheeting on windows begins to lose its adhesive, peeling away and letting in the unwelcome winds. The furnace in our basement is now so worn out it needs to be restarted almost daily.

It must be February.

There’s no other time of the year when I can almost feel the clichéd ennui of the ages creeping into my routine. I begin to monitor my LinkedIn account, organize dresser drawers, even dust—always sure signs of ennui.

In what other month could a song like the Harlem Shake become an anthem? Is it boredom? Even the vastness of the Internet is not enough to fill the void of this month.

If February were a song it would be the blues. If it were on TV it would be an infomercial. If it were a vegetable, it would be the peas, reheated and unsalted. If it were a spice, it would be…well… it wouldn’t. And that’s the point. It’s boring.

This is usually the time of year when I take to my own devices to liven things up. Scissors come out and hair comes off. Chop it off. Dye it. Get a tattoo. Do something crazy.

I feel like a re-chargeable battery that’s been plugged in and emptied so often it needs to be jolted with something unworldly to gain its former strength.

Then I remember.

READING WEEK. The holiday that only February could warrant. A ridiculous and glorious piss off to the world topped by only those fancy umbrellas that a good daiquiri can buy.

Bring on the vacations. Or, if for whatever reason you are stuck in town, find a way to escape your normal routine. (Cue, “If you like pina coladas….”)

Take a stay-cation. Allow yourself to be cleansed. And if, like me, you don’t actually get a reading week this year, you’ll have to find your own way to beat those February blues.

Find a new way to spice up your diet, even if it just means getting a new cereal to bury your face in every morning. Stock up on vitamins and don’t avoid the sun despite the cold. Try a new look, although I recommend thinking twice about permanent changes. And the next time you reach for those old resented winter boots of yours, don’t despair. Take a little care to scrub off the salt stains.

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Katrina Pyne
Katrina Pyne
Katrina was Editor-in-chief of the Gazette for Volume 145 and News Editor for Volume 144.
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