Elise Haynes chronicles family life in her blog Haynes Family Yard Sale. The opinions stated in this article are solely her own and not those of St. George News.
HUMOR – February is awful. It contains no food-centered holidays. The days are too short and too cold. There are never any good movies out. Two words: Valentine’s Day. It’s just a bleak, dismal month. The only redeeming thing about February is that it is the shortest month of the year.
It is in this spirit of optimism and good cheer that I make the following announcement: I am not observing leap year this year – at least not in February. Why should I be punished because the earth takes an extra quarter of a day to travel around the sun every year? I will still add the extra day to my calendar, but I’m saving it for June when I can more fully appreciate it. I think if you’re going to throw an additional day on the calendar, don’t just toss it on there willy-nilly. I say lengthen one of the more enjoyable, boating-intensive months. This year, while the rest of the world is still wallowing in the mire of February, I’ll be pulling out my flip flops and Hawaiian Tropic sunblock in celebration of March. I think you should join me.
Now that we’ve officially declared June 31 the new bonus day for leap year, I have another suggestion. In Britain, the tradition is that on February 29a woman may propose marriage and the man may not refuse her. If Americans truly take pride in our innovation – and our rebellion against the British – then I think we can do better than this. These clever British women turn “one” social norm upside-down on leap year. Let’s turn “all” of our social norms upside-down for one day.
Ask yourself, what are the most inconvenient, the most annoying even, of all social norms? The first thing that comes to mind is this idiotic tradition of having to reciprocate a high five. It’s too much pressure. What if I’m not feeling as enthusiastic as you are, High Five Giver? On leap year I am leaving you hanging. Here’s another one: acknowledging strangers as you walk or jog past them. You know what I’m talking about – you have to offer at least the upward nod of the head or you’re just plain rude. Another social norm that I’ve lost patience with is being expected to change out of my pajamas during the day. I’ve seen the crowd at Wal-Mart. I know there are people who will agree with me on this.
Even if you want to stay inside with your doors and windows covered, you’ll still have an extra day of summer to piddle away. If your greatest dream is spending the day in your sweatpants, eating Pringles by the can and playing Words with Friends, then June 31 is your day.
Imagine how liberating June 31 will be. You won’t have to walk on the right side of the sidewalk, brush your hair, return your shopping cart to the big metal shopping cart corral, or even wear pants. For one terrifying day we will be like hordes of socially backward cave-people – but at least it won’t be February.
Copyright 2012 St. George News.