Long ago I read a study that January 26th is the most depressing day of the year, statistically speaking. All your bills from Christmas have come due, it’s still cold and dark, there are no holidays coming up. The morning of January 26th, my eardrum ruptured in a hotel room in Philly. Let it be known that ALA Midwinter meetings in Philly have not been good to me. The previous conference I was deathly ill. I recall laying my head on some bar height table while the Indianapolis Colts played and thinking I just wanted to die. I rallied to be charming for approximately 45 minutes of a user group and then went back to my pitiful state. I think I also called the Copyright Clearance Center “clunky”. The time before that, our hosted database servers were hit with a virus and Bossman and I had to drive back through the snow in my Mini Cooper at 9pm in order to work on them. And the time before that was my first ALA as an Atlas Systems employee and I was so angry at Bossman and Dan, I left the show early and they weren’t sure I was going to come to work the next week. So Philly has not been great to me.
However, the urgent care on Pallyunk Avenue in South Philly was very nice. And even though my insurance numbers changed at the beginning of the year so I had to pay $197 cash for my antibiotics and Percocet, I at least got antibiotics and Percocet. I felt like the Gunslinger from Stephen King’s Dark Tower series trying to get Keflex.
Oh, and my Southwest VISA credit card that we use for everything in order to gain points for our flights to Nashville was denied both at the Rite Aid pharmacy and the Monk’s Cafe for dinner. When I called to ask why that evening, the lady told me, “well the charge was in Pennsylvania and you clearly live in Virginia.” She then said they had no notes on their file that I might be traveling to another state that week, to which I said, “You’re not my mom!”
So it’s been a rough couple of weeks. My ear is still broken in that it is mostly healed but there is still a small hole (it makes a glub noise if I try to pop my ears) and so I am still half deaf. This means I am also functionally half-witted. I can’t hear anything outside of my head nearly as well as I can hear myself swallow or my heartbeat on the right side of my head All. Day. Long. It’s like I’ve been implanted with some Dr. Dre Beats device. Un-cha un-cha un-cha. It’s maddening.
Rich asked me if I was alright the other night. It was the fourth night in a row I had decided to go to bed before 9pm. He was starting to wonder if either I really disliked him or if there was some love interest hidden my Whirly Word game (note: “hobs” is not a word and you can’t convince me it is! Neither is "bosh"!). I told him that I was sad. We get up in the dark and we leave work in the dark and even during the day it’s gray and cold and wet. I couldn’t understand why I was so upset until I realized it was February 2nd and a groundhog had predicted our collective prolonged doom. Oh, that’s right. I hate February. It was like that moment in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy only instead of Thursdays, I never could quite get the hang of February.
So while Merle Haggard sings about making it through December, and statistics say that January 26th is to be avoided, my nemesis is the entire month of February. I’m sorry for all of those who have birthdays that month or happy anniversaries. But the entire month can die in a fire as far as I’m concerned. For the rest of the month I’m going to work on saying “F U February!” I will do my best to have good things happen in spite of the cold, dark, damp, tax filing, bill juggling nature of the month.
Technically this picture is from the last day of January, but we'll let it slide. Ian and I spent one glorious muddy hour at the zoo once the snow melted last week. He insisted on climbing up the rhino over his sharp, slippery horns but did not gorge himself and a nice other mom offered to take our picture. So there's step 1 of enjoying February.