Grab Some Chips, February is One Big Party
Published on February 8, 2013 by arothstein
Hopefully by the time you read this, Groundhog Day will not have repeated itself and trapped you in the same 24-hour period from which there is no escape, as was Bill Murray’s case in the classic comedy movie “Groundhog Day.” While the famous same-day-over-and-over plot may not be plausible in reality, the movie’s portrayal of the Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, is quite accurate.
Every year, thousands of people gather in the nearby rural area, Gobbler’s Knob, to anxiously await a weather prediction made by a pudgy groundhog that possesses psychic abilities. Through a miraculous ritual of seeing or not seeing his shadow, the groundhog emerges confident from his burrow to proclaim his weather prediction via telepathy to a group of town elders who then relay the prognosis to the crowd. As the tradition goes, the groundhog seeing his shadow means six more weeks of winter. Not seeing his shadow means spring is on the way, which was this year’s prediction.
After the game was over, I asked a couple of our veterinary technology students, Noelle Fox and Kaylene Frank, some questions about the game.
Me: “Did your favorite team win?”
Noelle: “Yeah, I wanted the Ravens. But I really like the 49ers’ quarterback. He’s hot.”
Me: “What was your favorite Super Bowl commercial?”
Noelle: “I really love the Dorito’s commercials. They are always really funny.”
Kaylene: “The man and the horse commercial for Clydesdales!”
Me: “What do you think caused the power outage?”
Noelle: “I have two theories. Either Beyoncé’s dumb lights or an angry 49ers fan hacked into the power supply.”
Me: “Did you make any tasty snacks for the game?”
Noelle: “Guacamole! I put Tabasco sauce in it.”
Kaylene: “Salsa, seven-layer dip, and barbeque wings.”
Me: “What did you think of Beyoncé’s halftime show performance?”
Noelle: “Freaking hate Beyoncé.”
Kaylene: “It was horrible.”
(I’m guessing neither of them are big fans of Beyoncé…)
After the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras drunkenly staggers in on the 12th of February this year, bringing with it all of its colorful, mask-wearing, New Orleans-style festivities. The name Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the gluttonous traditions that people partake in before observing a strict Lenten fast beginning on Ash Wednesday and lasting until Maundy Thursday (Easter Eve). Mardi Gras is all about having a good time and letting go of inhibitions; a true celebration of… something. Life? Happiness? Outlandish costumes? In any case, a healthy dose of alcohol is usually part of the occasion.
The next holiday gets mixed reviews depending on your relationship status. If you’re happily married or in a relationship, Valentine’s Day is cause for celebration—a time for two people to commemorate their love and commitment to each other with roses, chocolates, dinner, jewelry, a weekend in a fancy hotel, and all that other schmaltzy stuff. For single people (myself included), Valentine’s Day feels more like a punishment than a holiday. If it were only one day, that would be tolerable. But for weeks we are bombarded with the commercialization of that which we do not have in our lives: a true love, a soulmate, a lifelong companion. If you are in a successful relationship, I’m happy for you. Really. But while you get to feel warm and fuzzy like a happy little teddy bear hugging a heart-shaped pillow, the rest of us get to feel like chopped liver.
Wrapping up the month’s holidays is Presidents’ Day, also known as Washington’s Birthday, a national holiday that Americans get to observe in any way we see fit, thanks to our founding fathers who made that possible. The holiday also emphasizes the life and dedication of Abraham Lincoln, along with the many other presidents that helped in the shaping of this great nation. But let’s be honest, most of us are just glad to get a day off of work and school… we don’t care what holiday it is.
As the shortest month of the year, February sure packs in a lot of holidays. Whether you’re a sports fan, a hopeless romantic, or an American history buff, there is something for everyone this month.
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