I think if we were capable of “becoming” a month, I wouldn’t want to be March. Let’s face, we’re tough on March. It seems nice enough: Thirty-one days, just as long as seven other months. Plays host to St. Patricks’ Day. “March Madness” begins, of course, during March with the first tip-offs of the NCAA basketball tournament. Not to be outdone by our own high school tournaments, and all the attached craziness that comes with it every year.
Despite all that, we set the bar pretty high for March. There’s a lot of pressure. It even has its own slogan or idiom, or whatever you want to call it.
“March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb”.
What other months have their own saying. Oh, sure, there’s that whole, “April showers bring May flowers” thing, but that doesn’t have the emotional clot of “In like a lion.” (Really all that saying does is set you up for one of the top dad jokes off all time. “So, if that’s true, what do May flowers bring? Pilgrims.”)
But I digress.
The very essence of March is in that saying. We expect it to start in wintertime, with all its accompanying annoyances, and leave us in the tranquil throes of spring.
We’re tolerant of February and all its wintertime blasts — not to mention its hard to spell name. We just kind of throw the whole month aside because we know that it’s only going to last 28 days.
Even when it throws us a curve and adds an extra day every four years, we don’t leap at February’s throat.
Maybe our anger should be more directed toward winter than toward March, but by the time we reach this point on the calendar, it is likely that we’ve been mad at winter for upwards of three or four months.
We need a new enemy, and as we turn the calendar page, lo and behold — there’s March.
When it comes to the weather, this March has been no one’s favorite. Snow on top of snow, record cold temperatures, even record “low highs” for temperatures.
Running out of adjectives for winter alone, you often hear people say, “Come on, it’s March” as they register their complaint.
The emphasis on the word “March” is said with such disdain, you can’t help but throw it on the trash heap of monthly names.
Every parent around knows the power of the expression, “I’m disappointed in you.”
When leveled toward our children, it’s used to really drive home a point to people we could not be truly disappointed in even if we have our hearts removed.
But that’s our children, not this so far disappointing collected of dates we call March.
It’s just 31 days, but during this month of March, we want a complete transformation.
Look out the window now and what do you see? Mostly snow and bare tree branches.
But, before the days of March are concluded, we expect to look outside to see sunny skies, chirping birds, buds on the trees, grass turning green. Even throw in a butterfly of two just for added bliss. And then we expect it to stay that way.
No other single month bears such a burden. We know all of December, January and February are going to contain miserable, cold days. We even cut December a break by throwing in Christmas, the one day a year everyone seems to hope it will snow.
Fringe months like November and October we allow a break as things will start to change. May through September, those are fair weather months all the way through.
But March, poor maligned March.
We allow you to give up a day or two to wintertime, but by the end of the month we expect you to be straightened out and have put this nonsense behind you.
That lamb better arrive soon before the lion gets too comfortable.
Today is March 8. One week from this day is the Ides of March, halfway through the month. I’ll give it until then, but if March isn’t acting a little more lamb like than now, we may have to cut it down to 28 days, too.
February might appreciate it.