Single In Sandpoint: Aaaah, January…

By Scarlette Quille
Reader Columnist

Personally, I have never understood why we start our year in January. I don’t even want to start my car in January, let alone a diet or lifestyle change.

I’ve tried to wrap my head around why we have a holiday, New Year’s Eve, literally six days after Christmas. As a kid I had a cursory understanding of New Year’s Eve. It was the last day that you were allowed to have your Christmas tree up. The celebration consisted of watching the ball drop with a babysitter and definitely NOT waking your parents up the next day.

As an adult I now understand that celebrating New Year’s just means getting drunk somewhere and hoping to forget about all the money you spent during Christmas. I know there are some people out there who spend New Year’s making resolutions, purifying their souls and deep cleaning. I see you in my Facebook feed. I see your gluten-free, kale-infused vomit shake. What’s that? Oh, you only have to drink that twice a day for the rest of your life? Sounds like bullshit, great.

I see your efforts – you little health nuts – and  I am rooting for you either way. I find great amusement in other people’s successes and failures as long as they are humorously tracked through social media.

As a first born child, I would like to say for the record, JANUARY, I GET YOU. You are the first month of the year, and like the first child born in any family, you have been set up with unrealistic expectations by your creator. I tried (and by tried I mean I looked it up on Wikipedia) to research January’s history. From what I  have learned – and I have no desire to fact check myself on this – January was named the first month of the year by Julius Caesar after he took the title from March. I am paraphrasing since there is a lot more written on the subject, and quite frankly, it’s as boring as hell. The sole purpose in discovering January’s roots is so we could have someone to blame for its inherent problems and shortcomings. Isn’t that the way we do shit these days?

For most people January is the month where one suffers through things like the flu and power bills. Personally, I have spent six days couch-bound, producing mucus at such a high volume that the only item strong enough to sustain the blow of my nose or sneeze is a kitchen towel. If I were going to make a resolution, it would be something like: to live through the month of January. However;  if you are Julius Caesar, you spend the coldest month of the year inside, hosting toga-optional, wine-fueled orgies until the weather clears up.

We are doing January wrong. No one wants to be productive or set goals until at least March. If you live in Sandpoint, you have known this for quite some time. January is the time of year that planning anything, even a trip to the store, will involve at the very least some type of snow removal, wet shoes and communicable-disease exposure.

Once you arrive at any destination you will be exhausted from carrying the weight of water-logged snow gear. It is at this time people start asking you if you were “up skiing” today, and how was the snow? Carefully choose your answer. Understand that the common belief is that all people in Sandpoint ski, otherwise why the hell would you willing chose to spend winter here? As a person who doesn’t ski, I ask myself that question on a daily basis until sometime in June.

I’m from Sandpoint, I was born to a family of skiers. I’ve tried skiing many times. Every year, some well-meaning  “friend” of mine offers to take me up skiing and swears that they will somehow be able to teach me how to enjoy strapping slick sticks to my feet and hurling my frost-bitten ass down the side of a mountain. Each of these attempts have ended with me almost mastering the bunny hill before vanishing into the lodge for a vodka I.V.

In fact, last year, I even took a LESSON. My kids were the masterminds behind this plan. They said that they wanted me to learn so I could enjoy the mountain with them. I believed them. I was the best student in my class of two. Then suddenly I’m graduating way too early from the bunny hill, and I’m on a chairlift to this insane place called “Midway,” and I’m looking straight down at my own death. It was then I realized that my kids are assholes, and this was a setup. Their “gift” of a ski lesson was given knowing if I progressed past the bunny hill, a combination of poor skills and common sense would ensure a failure. If you are a child of someone who is an athlete, you know that athletes by nature are competitive and despise any physical activity that they are not good at. I know that my children find perverse joy in participating in an activity that I have never been good at, and likely never will be. A final reminder that I suck at skiing is all it would take to ensure that they would never have to worry about Mom being up at Schweitzer ruining their ski-cred ever again. Well played, kids.

I have been dropping my children off at the bus stop at the bottom of Schweitzer most winter weekends since that last lesson. I like to sing “Part of that World” from “The Little Mermaid” while staring longingly at the top of the mountain while driving them to their elitist ice kingdom. This is to instill the appropriate amount of guilt in them for the previously mentioned set up. Oh, what is a mom to do with no kids and a warm house all weekend? The answer involves: wine, a toga, and…

Joke’s on you kids.

If you are struggling with your resolutions, just think to yourself “What Would Caesar Do?” and remember his favorite month, the one that is named after him, is July.

Then act accordingly…
Scarlette Quille

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