Tag Archives: 2013

Depression, Affluence, and Boredom: 10 Reasons Why January is the Bluest Month

15 Jan

My biggest beef with my ma, aside from cutting my curls into a mullet at age 5, is her expelling me in the month of January. As a kindergartener at Mount Carmel parish, I wondered why so many of my mulleted Italian counterparts had birthdays in January. When I premaritally lost my virginity at 12, I realized that it was because all of the smart Catholic ladies gave up sex for lent. And when the 40 days of bliss ended for women, it gave way to 40 seconds of bliss for the men. And so I and a slew of fellow Catholics were born in the middle of the world’s most god-awful month–during the bluest 31 days of the year. The bible says that January is the month of Janus, the Roman god of gates and doorways. Halfway through this bitter month, here’s why I’ve decided to shut the door on January:

Janus. The guy on the left is walking away from the curly-mulleted guy on the right.

Janus. The guy on the left is walking away from the curly-mulleted guy on the right.

1. There are lots of jiggly people jogging in plain sight. As a recovering bulimic and binge-drinker, I have a hard time keeping down solid food. All it takes for me to yak is a really bad fart and poor ventilation. Lots of people resolve to get healthy at the new year, and they do this by chasing each other around the block in track suits. In my neighborhood, the only difference in January is, they leave their guns at home.

"Crushed velvet tracksuit: check. Resolution to get fit: check. Gun: Nah, I can't sneak up on no one with all this swish."

“Crushed velvet track suit: check. Resolution to get fit: check. Gun: Nah, I can’t sneak up on no one with all this swish.”

2. Martin Luther King day. I like the idea of MLK day, but I’d prefer Malcolm X day. Partly because I’m pro-violence, but mostly because I’m anti-bible names. And whenever mid-January comes around, I’m always like, “Do I have to work on MLK day; do I have off?” I never know. As far as holidays, MLK day is the biggest peacefully protesting tease.

"I have a dream- to have a holiday named after me in which the racial composition of those staying home from work is actually diverse."

“I have a dream- to have a holiday named after me in which the racial composition of those staying home from work is actually diverse.”

3. The Super Bowl. See #1.

"While the rest of America can't, it's totally okay for us to be fat, to run around in tight pants, and to slap each other's asses because we're rich and they'll respect us for that."

“While the rest of America can’t, it’s totally okay for us to be fat, to run around in tight pants, and to slap each other’s asses because we’re rich and they’ll respect us for that.”

4. Lack of flavor. During January, America as a nation is coming down from a holiday sugar and caffeine high. The Starbuck’s drive-thru line was so long on Christmas Eve in a small Nebraska town, that a worker inside, overwhelmed with stress, erotically asphyxiated on cake pops. In response, the Barista Union (BU) declared January the month to be void of overwhelmingly delicious artificial flavors. The BU stated that since November has pumpkin, December has peppermint mocha, February has chocolate-covered strawberry, and March has shamrock, that January should have none as to avoid a total mass freakout. Starbucks Gold Club members across America have protested in favor of a new January flavor, including Post-Holiday Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Salt and Slush.

The Nebraska Starbucks worker got 4 cake pops in before fellow employees found him slumped against the freezer door.

The Nebraska Starbucks worker got 4 cake pops in before fellow employees found him slumped against the freezer door.

5. Highest rate of divorce. Normally I would say that this is a good thing, but have you ever had a friend who got a divorce? Nothing will desensitize you faster to the sight of people crying in coffee shops. Half of the coffee shop charm is that 80% of the people inside are having dilemmas and/or are writing bad poetry. Women and gay men crying over 5 dollar mochas can’t be the best accompaniment to a heartburn latte when they’re occupying every table in January. What then– turn to the poetry jams for entertainment? Def not.

"Everybody snap your fingers for poetry night, this week's feature is divorcees and heartburn mochas."

“Everybody snap your fingers for poetry night. This week’s feature is divorcees and heartburn mochas.”

6. Ice-related injuries. My sweet little sober dad recently slipped in a liquor-store parking lot and fell on top of his gallon jug of wine. Instead of agreeing to pay for any medical bills, the store graciously gave my dad a new jug. And now who’s paying for that free jug? You and me. Icy January parking lots= higher liquor prices.

Much harder to hold your liquor when slipping on ice.

Much harder to hold your liquor when slipping on ice.

7. It’s 4 a.m., I must be in limbo. January is like 4 a.m.- no one is up for work yet and no one is still out partying. The first 3 days of the month don’t even count. People are resolving to be new people and claiming that they “weren’t themselves” last week when they ate a whole cheese tray and told grandma that they were a lesbian. It’s mortal limbo- nothing counts and everyone is overwhelmed with apathy after their resolutions fail.

"I swear, once I cross this stick, I'll be a whole new, less douchey person."

“I swear, once I cross this stick, I’ll be a whole new, less douchey person.”

8. Inauguration Balls. Again, see #1; change “jogging” to “shuffling,” add the elderly and garish displays.

9. My Birthday: I don’t mind aging. It won’t surprise me when the only thing between my bewbs is my belly button- I’m halfway there. But my birthday reminds me of how ungrateful I can be. And this is Evan McNutt’s fault. For my 10th birthday, he walked to my house in a snow storm to deliver me a stuffed puppy in a corduroy box. No gift will ever be able to live up to that display of 10 year-old friendship. So now I’m stuck grimacing and saying things like, “Windshield wiper fluid and zebra-stripe galoshes- just what I wanted.”

"I traveled 2 miles in a corduroy box during a blizzard to say happy birthday and to set you up for a lifetime of disappointment."

“I traveled 2 miles in a corduroy box during a blizzard to say happy birthday and to set you up for a lifetime of disappointment.”

10. The Darkness. At the depths of my 16 year-old depression, I stared into the eyes of a pixel-y Brian Austin Green on my parents’ Dell computer in their basement. I planned to write the 90210 DJ and convince him that we were soul mates because of how similar our eyes were. January can get dark. Later in the year, I tend to look back on my behavior and thoughts that I had during January. And I think, wow, who was that lady shrouded in yellow wallpaper and prozac nation. How did I get so depressed?

My ma after she read my diary in January.

My ma after she read my diary in January.

The only part that I remember from Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (aside from thinking, “This is overrated”) is the scene in which Sal is watching a children’s baseball game. Envious of their happiness, Sal wishes he was anything but white, because it’s oftentimes paired with depression– what he thinks is a symptom of affluence and boredom. Wow, not only do I feel depressed, but now I  feel guilty as hell. Similarly, in Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger (born and died in January so he gets it), Holden Caulfield thinks “Goddamn money. It always ends up making you blue as hell.” Notorious B.I.G. revived a similar sentiment in 1997 with “Mo Money Mo Problems.”

Clearly, Kerouac, Salinger, and B.I.G. didn't see Indecent Proposal.

Clearly, Kerouac, Salinger, and B.I.G. didn’t see Indecent Proposal.

Obviously, one of the few problems that mo’ money will cause is no longer having something to strive for. Even if it’s not for money, in January, we resolve to begin striving for better things and “new selves”–to be fitter, to be kinder, to become whatever we’re not. A month of deciding to change our behavior with the hope that we’ll be happier, less bored, or just different than we are now. January is about newness, specifically a new self. Like Gatsby’s green light, we badly want January to be a beacon of the hope, wealth, and just overall difference that the future may hold. Most of us can appreciate what we have; but the prospect of the unknown is just too alluring. So this January, two weeks late, I resolve to not be deceived by the allure of the unknown. Instead of turning to face the strange, I’ll open my arms to the familiar.

Me, not being deceived by the allure of the unknown.

Me, not being deceived by the allure of the unknown.

In the meantime, that was you last year- that was you who hoovered the gorgonzola and told grandma that your boyfriend’s name is “Linda.” And who cares? I say “Goddamn January and its concept of ‘not now, but later’–it’ll make you bluer than hell.” That poop colored crayon in the 120 box, it should be called “January.” I’m so over you.

January isn't blue. It's this color.

January isn’t blue. It’s this color.

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