FEATURE — Oh, January, I kind of hate you.
Before you challenge me that “hate” is too strong a word, let me remind you that I could have whipped out the “abhor” word on you. It would be justified. Even my 12th-grade English teacher Mr. Phreaner, who hated “abhor,” would agree with me here. I promise.
So in the spirit of being measured and rational, I will settle on this: January, I kind of hate you. And here’s why:
1. Your name. J–A–N–U–A–R–Y. Look at all of those vowels! And that weak “J.” They evoke an Eeyore-like melancholy when uttered aloud. Where are your hard consonants to break things up? December and February know what I’m talking about. Maybe we need to start calling you Pizzazz or Kaboom. That’s more like it.
2. Speaking of missing things — where are all of your holidays? I’ll give you MLK Day, but it’s nothing like Christmas or Valentine’s. It’s like you’re without hope, January. Just one ordinary day after the other.
3. Thirty-one days of dark. Thirty-one days of cold. Thirty-one days of blah. You sound like Groundhog Day, only without Bill Murray.
4. Let’s talk more about that darkness. You are pitch black when I wake and equally so when the clock reads afternoon. In fact, you get dark so early I find myself losing track of time and starting dinner far too late. Then, everyone is hungry and that’s when things really get bad. Especially if one of your children subscribes to the Snicker’s motto: “You’re not you when you’re hungry.”
5. If only I could drown my sorrows in some delicious, affordable, fresh fruit. But, no, January, you have strawberries for $7.99 per pound and grapes so small they could pass for caviar. I’ll concede your apples and oranges; but even those are getting a little old. A girl can only eat so many (even if they’re honey crisp) apples before she goes a little crazy.
6. The gym. Do I really need to elaborate? It’s crowded. If you’re new, you have to fight throngs of people for a piece of your New Year’s Resolution. And if you’re a regular, you now have to fight off all the newbies to keep your routine. It’s maddening.
7. One word: sickness. Already this month, Miss January, we have had the stomach flu, croup and ear infections circulating through our elementary school. I’m sure you have some dastardly hand, foot and mouth virus lurking about, too.
8. Another word: inversion. Now, this applies to those in northern Utah more than those in the south. Utahns in and around Salt Lake City know that even if it were light enough or warm enough to play outside, no one wants to suck in that gritty air. Exercising in that is about as smart as jogging with 43 lit cigarettes in your mouth.
9. With the bad air and the darkness, January, you know what parents are forced to do? Take our kids to an indoor trampoline park. Or even the dreaded fast food playland. And if the expense and general irritation of that wasn’t enough to make me kind of hate you, when I look at my boys’ socks after playing in these indoor petri dishes, I’m reminded of another reason I hate you (see No. 7).
10. Finally, the Legislature – but not for the reasons you think. I’m not going to make cheap shots about legislators or politics. My beef is more personal: I become a de facto single parent because of the legislature — and it stinks.
So, yes, January, I kind of hate you — and now you know I’m justified. Maybe you should take my advice and at least change your name to “Pizzazz” — or maybe I should simply wise up and start making travel plans now to a very un-January-like place for 2017. Suggestions?
Kat Dayton is a developing columnist with St. George News. Any opinions stated are her own and may not be representative of St. George News.
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