Dear January: I Really Hate You by Cindy Haney
It’s time to set the record straight between you and I. You should know once and for all that I have never loved you. That’s right, I don’t even like you. You, with your cruel winds, your calculating darkness, and your cold and icy heart. I hate the way you sneak in under the cover of night, break in when I’m not looking and steal away all the cheeriness of the holidays. I hate the way you freeze away the warm coziness of Christmas and replace it with the bleakness and despair of winter.
Sure, it was cold in December, but the Christmas lights, high spirits and family feasts seemed to keep it all at bay. My house seemed warm and toasty. But then, from the moment I took down the Christmas tree, deflation and depression set it. You came in like an angry wind and slapped me in the face with a cold fish.
You suck, January.
If I could hide under my bedcovers until February, I would. I’ve asked you to take your depressive personality and never return, but you just keep coming back with a vengeance, like you have some kind of score to settle, year after freakin’ year. Why must you come back and torment me with your endless dark days?
Oh sure, some people think you are full of Hope and Promise, bringing in the wonderful possibilities of a brand new year. You know, new beginnings, blah, blah, blah. I say you’re full of Bullcrap. You’re nothing but a Sad Ending. An ending to a relaxing holiday vacation, an ending to pleasant fall temperatures, an ending to family time without the interruptions of homework and obligations, an ending to the “All You Can Eat” mentality of holiday food indulgence, and an ending to any kind of time off for eleventy-thousand more days.
There’s just so damn much to hate about you.
And let me set the record straight about something else too. Us Southerners can suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder just as much as you Northerners. “S.A.D.” is the dirty bastard child of January, and it rears its ugly head even down here in south Texas. We can get depressed from the lack of light and cold temperatures just like you do. Ok, stop laughing. I know it rarely gets below 25 degrees here, it never snows or gets icy, and we even have some warm, spring-like days occasionally.
Oh, shut up. I know I’m whining. But I still have lots of reasons to hate you, January.
For one thing, you’re a mental case with multiple personalities. One day you drench us with your wrath in the form of pouring rain, howling winds and freezing temperatures. And the next day, you bathe us with warm sunshine and tease us with thoughts of Spring…still too far away to wish for. This is winter in Texas. What kind of cruel taskmaster, are you??
Another reason that are you vile, my dear January, is that you mock me in the mirror every morning for the gargantuan size of my waistline, thanks in heavy part to the vast quantities of pecan pie and turkey gravy I consumed during the holidays. Yes, I know I’m a pig, that’s why I join the gym every January, with the very best of intentions, of course. I’m trying in vain to ease my guilty conscience, but it takes a very strong soul to go the gym for a workout before or after work in January. I am not that soul. I, like most sane people, just want to hibernate like a bear besides the fire, and hope that your mocking will soon go away.
January, you are the Master of Darkness. No other month compares to the blackness of your heart. We middle class workers have no other choice but to say goodbye to sleeping in during the glorious lazy days of Christmas break. It’s up at dawn in the morning, driving to work in the dark, and 8 hours later, driving back home in the dark. It feels like the middle of the night when the alarm goes off. I blink in disbelief as my feet touch the floor and, for a second, I wonder if I’m living in an igloo. I swear I heard you laughing in the wind this morning.
And, finally, January you are nothing but work, work, work, and zero fun. My teenagers go back to school, and back to the endless hours of useless homework. By the time the holidays are over, all my vacation days are gone, and there’s nothing, and I mean NOTHING, to look forward to in the foreseeable future. So I drag myself to work, day after endless day, wondering if I’ll ever have another day off. And it doesn’t help that, in my business, this is the “slow season” which means hours and hours of surfing the ‘net and trying to “look” busy. That’s torture in itself.
So is it any wonder, January, that my disdain for you is so complete and all-consuming? You are 31 days of darkness and despair. At least I’m halfway through you, and soon it will February.
Hey, there’s chocolate to look forward to on Valentine’s day, right? Woo-hoo!