My family is the victim of poor planning.
Like everyone else, we participate in the standard holiday season that begins in November and ends in January.Unlike everyone else, we also have a few more holidays thrown into that fall/winter zone. And I.m not talking about All Saints’ Day or Pitchers and Catchers day.
My wife’s birthday is in early November. My son’s birthday is in mid-September and happens to land on the day before our wedding anniversary, and my own birthday hits just a week before that, although, let’s be honest, my birthday is meaningless. Throw in my wife’s beloved Halloween and the Hallmark hell of Valentine’s Day, and from September until mid-February my life is a calendar-choked spending spree of forced romance and legitimately meaningful milestones that leaves me both physically and financially spent.
Like I said, poor planning. And this long winter is just making it worse.
My six-month holiday marathon may be expensive, but at least it’s an action-packed way to survive the short days and cold weather. It’s when winter bleeds into spring that things get dicey. And this winter is hemorrhaging.
When summer comes and it’s all outdoor fun (read: day drinking) all the time, my calendar will take care of itself. It’s easy to have fun in the sun! But in the winter – which, thanks to Mother Nature’s blatant misunderstanding of George R.R. Martin’s popular fantasy series, isn’t coming, it’s NOT LEAVING – wasting time requires a fat wallet. Unfortunately, it’s going to take me until Memorial Day to refill my coffers. Add in the fact that spring no longer exists in the United States and baseball doesn’t even start until mid-April and the next few months are a slog. (I’m sorry, Opening Day is in March now? And in Australia? THANKS, OBAMA.)
I could occupy my time by playing with my son, but I’ve been stuck inside with my threenager for months already; we’re running out of drinking games. My son is already burnt out on the local children’s museum (not sure why what amounts to an indoor playground is referred to as a museum but it definitely makes me feel better as a parent… oh right, that’s why), we already saw Frozen (and listened to Frozen, and listened to Frozen, and listened to Frozen, and listened to Fro…), and there’s only so many times I can keep doing the same puzzle with the kid. Pro Tip: Puzzles stop being puzzling once you’ve memorized them.
I could hang out with the wife except we have a kid, so that would mean shelling out for babysitters and date nights, and after the last six months of gift-buying, funds are low. Besides, we do hang out, if snapping at each other about what restaurants might allow us to sit and drink while our son plays underneath the table can be considered “hanging out”.
I could watch TV, but my kid never sleeps, and when he does sleep, I need to sleep, because he sleeps so little that I need more sleep. And we can’t put on the shows we want to watch while he’s awake and prone to staring at whatever brightly lit screen is in the vicinity, which means I have to stay up later to catch up on those shows while he’s sleeping, which makes me need even more sleep. Being a parent is exhausting.
I could go to the movies but I’m obviously kidding because why would I waste a precious two hours I have to myself at the movies even if the new Captain America looks pretty good? I’m just going to go drink somewhere instead. Unfortunately I’m so tired that after two beers I pass out so what’s the point anyway God is dead.
I could exercise more. Except now that I’m back at a full-time job, after-work gym time eats into son time, or else before-work gym time eats into sleep time, which is the most important time of all. So maybe the gym can wait. (Sorry, honey!)
Obviously, sleep is the answer. Too bad it’s not a valid one. I can’t spend any more time sleeping than I already do if I want my son to survive… and my marriage to survive… and my job to survive. So I guess I have no choice but to soldier through the rest of the winter and make it to June, when life will be worth living again. At least until September returns and I have to get back in line at the store.
Thank God March Madness is here. That’s two weeks of celebration I can get behind! And it won’t cost me anything but beer and bracket money.
Sadly, anything I win will go right towards Mother’s Day.