February, Dreaded February

Historically, February has always been a bad month for me. Sometimes it comes down to bad luck, and sometimes I think it might be anxious dread causing bad things to happen, but bad things almost always happen to me in February. If it’s going to happen to me, and it’s going  to suck, this is the month for it. Last year I approached February with a cautious optimism, and it turned out… okay. This year, I intend to plow through February with an exuberance for life. Based on my research, that should solidly break the curse and send me on my merry way, forever.

In the spirit of clearing my past away, I’ve decided to take some time and reflect on past February disasters, and see what I can learn from them. There is nothing that happens to us that we can’t learn from, right?

Horrible February and its attempts to crush my Soul!!!

I’m going to try to stay in chronological order, as I remember it, but my mind has turned everything bad that has happened to me over the years into one giant, monstrous groundhog with a neck beard, powdered wig and cherub wings.

You might think I’m being over dramatic, but the February flying groundhog-president monster is a real and terrifying threat that requires constant vigilance.

February 1986 – My little brother is born, ousting me from my position as the youngest in the family. My life is thereby ruined at the tender age of two and a half. I will never recover… Actually, I love my little brother, and this is probably the rare February that awesome things happened to me instead of bad things. Besides, if he hadn’t been born, I wouldn’t get to say how awesome his new music video is. That doesn’t mean I should ever stop picking on him though. He is still my little brother.

February 2000 – I got my first speeding ticket. In retrospect, this isn’t so bad, especially since I’ve had quite a few tickets since then, but to me it seemed like a horrible nightmare. This of course also happened on the night of winter warming (like homecoming but for wrestling and basketball instead of football). I do not believe my parents know this, but it was also the night of my first ever car accident. Pulling out of my friend’s driveway I backed into her brother’s car and dented the crap out of his fender. Luckily the car I was driving was completely unscathed, and his car was pretty much already a p.o.s., so there was no accident report filed.

It always comes in threes, or so my mom says. To finish off this wonderfully teenaged story of angst, I got up the courage that night to ask the first girl I ever had a crush on to prom, and pretty much got shot down. If I had been cognizant enough to spot patterns back then, I would have probably waited a few weeks until March. In fact, I don’t make any major decisions at all in February anymore. Too much chance of horrible failure.

February 2003 – Less than 2 years after graduating from high school, I had gone from being a young man filled with bright shining potential to living in a crappy duplex with the utilities turned off because I couldn’t afford it on my own. Well, that’s not entirely true. I was able to afford it after my roommate disappeared, but only until I got laid off from my job and went to work at a fast food restaurant working a whopping 16 hours a week. Actually, this turned out okay, as my shyster landlord never filed the lease in the first place, so no eviction on my record, and I learned a valuable lesson not to rely on other people to help you pay your rent, because they suck giant cow turds.

Two pretty good things saved me from there, actually. One, I would spend all night at IHOP drinking a bottomless cup of coffee because there was heat, and that got me a fairly decent job, and it introduced me to the person that would hook me up with an awesome and incredibly affordable apartment with a month to month lease after just a few weeks of couch surfing at my brother and his wife’s house.

February 2005 – While out of town for the weekend, and in the middle of moving into a new apartment, I was robbed. It was easy enough for them to pull it off, after all, my crap was already boxed up all nice and neat for them. They even stole my plates. We’ve never been able to prove it, but I’m pretty sure we were robbed by a friend of ours that no one has seen since that weekend. I pretty much packed up what little of my belongings hadn’t been stolen and moved out that weekend. I left behind most of the furniture even. I just wanted to be gone from there.

February 2008 – 2008 was a year that seemed like it was going to be pretty awesome for me. I had gotten engaged, my golden retriever had just had a litter of puppies, and I was working out and burning fat like a mad fiend, when I hit a giant, horrifying glitch. As is our way, my roommate and I decided to go out to dinner after a WoW raid for the traditional Raid Taco. When we arrived back at my house, we opened the garage door to find it was burst into flames. Yes, in February 2008, my house, which I had taken over from my parents, basically my childhood home, burned down. It was incredibly sad, and I will probably write about it some other time.

February 2009 – I had almost made it all the way through February ’09. It was on the 28th, the last day of Feburary that my short and volatile marriage ended. I suppose technically we’re still married, but she moved out that night, and our relationship has been over since then. At the time, it left me pretty much broken and miserable, but now that I’m looking back on it, that’s not nearly as bad as the fire. Fires are always bad!! ALWAYS!

What have I learned?

Well, besides a horrifying realization about my parents and their birthday celebrations that I’m actively trying to block from my mind, I’ve learned quite a few important life lessons from all of my horrible Februaries.

  • I’ve learned that a speeding ticket is worth 30 hours of working as a cashier at Wal-Mart, and therefore not an equivalent exchange to being 3 minutes later getting home.
  • I’ve learned that if you can’t afford your place without your roommate, you better tag them with a GPS chip. Also, this helps if they steal your brother’s guitar.
  • I’ve learned that if there is a single copy of your key unaccounted for, someone will steal your plates.
  • I’ve learned that if your friend tells you God will burn your house down for your blasphemy, you should probably heed his advice and apologize. You should also be very afraid if he ever says, “I hope you have a heart attack.”
  • I’ve learned that if your relationship is a powder keg, its best not to keep chucking matches at it.

Most importantly, I’ve learned that the February monster is killed by ignoring it.

Also, rum.