Monday, February 1, 2010

Things to Like about February

Thought about it all day, didn't come up with much:

1. Winter Olympics. Men in shiny unitards throwing bleached blondes in sparkles across the ice, to the strains of Bolero. Coneheads whipping around on luges. Napping during the cross-country event. What's not to love?

2. Ground Hog Day. I know. But I'm from Pennsylvania; technically, I'm supposed to understand the point and get hepped up. Groundhogs are sort of cute, from certain angles.

3. Valentine's Day. I never saw the point of this one, either. But it's a good excuse to eat chocolate fondue or something equally decadent before that weekend, when restaurants won't have started gouging couples with ridiculous prix fixe menus.

4. "Masterpiece." Olympics aside, I watch one TV show a week — or often less, if there's nothing on. (Aside from "Mad Men", I believe there's been nothing much on since the "Sopranos" ended.) But "Masterpiece" is perfect for winter Sunday nights and there's only one last stupid NFL conflict left. (Go, Saints? Go, Mr. Knightley!)

5. Soup. Simmering a big pot of soup all afternoon is a fine way to warm up a chilly house, make it smell like home, and increase your vegetable consumption. February is a better month for this than July.

6. Taxes. Because we don't have to think about them yet. This is one reason why February is better than April. (The other reason is that February and April are often indistinguishable, weather-wise, in Boston.)

7. Paris. Ms. Spoiled-Rotten is getting another free trip because the spouse has business there again. They're booking the same lovely, tapestry-walled suite for us, too. I don't mean to gloat or suggest that you should enjoy February just because I plan to walk my feet off, alone, while stuffing myself with chocolate-almond croissants, éclairs, gateau, and nutella crêpes for four days. But, listen: you could go to Paris, too... it's a bargain time to travel there. And I would leave a few éclairs in the patisseries for you.

8. Dickens. Except for the Olympics, there's little going on in February. It's a good time to get started on Little Dorrit or Our Mutual Friend. (Or for the Paris-bound, A Tale of Two Cities.) These are just not summer reads.

9. Mosquitoes. There aren't any. Not a lot of sweating or sunburn, either. Much as I hate feeling cold, I've come to the conclusion that feeling too hot is worse. Why? Because cocoa and cashmere are better for keeping warm than iced drinks and bare skin are for keeping cool. I'd actually rather shiver than sweat, outside of gym class.

10. Tossing. February is a good time to fulfill the New Year's resolution you made to clean out your closets. Fill a few bags for the Goodwill, Boomerang's, or the Salvation Army. Sell your fancier stuff on eBay or craigslist. You'll feel better. Then treat yourself to a little potted primrose, and pretend it's almost spring.

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