The Shortest and the Best

A jealous, small-minded few maintain that those of us who began life in February have permanent chips on our shoulders because we were born in the briefest of the twelve months.

They’re wrong.

Why would we Aquarians (and the 36.3 percent of Februarians who were born under the sign of Pisces) have an inferiority complex? In the slightly amended words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (a close friend of the late John Lewis, also a February native): “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin nor by their birth month’s duration, but by the quality of their character.”

Does evidence exist that people born in February are more likely to be courageous, trend-setting, literate, innovative, adventurous, artistic, athletic movers and shakers than their brethren and sistren born in other months? Who knows: maybe George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, John Grisham, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Gertrude Stein, Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, John Steinbeck, Thomas Edison, Frederick Dougless, Ralph Nader, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Tommy Smothers, Chris Rock, Susan B. Anthony, Charles Lindbergh, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Jim Brown, Johnny Cash, Elizabeth Taylor, L. L. Bean, Jaromir Jagr, Norman Rockwell, Jack Benny, Bill Russell, Charles Darwin, Ja Rule, Dr. Dre, Charles Dickens, and Christie Brinkley all being born in February is just coincidence.

Or maybe not.

Sure, a few February natives might feel we’d be better off if our month had been allotted a greater number of days, like its bloated neighbors January and March. But as a group we’re the furthest thing from envious. After all, according to nationaldaycalendar.com, the second month is already home to National Dark Chocolate Day, National Texas Day, National Get Up Day, National Baked Alaska Day, National Freedom Day, National Serpent Day, and National Girls and Women in Sports Day, and that’s just on February 1st!

The shortest month is literally fraught with special days and observances. Not counting its first 24 hours, February’s first week contains Optimist Day, National Tater Tot Day, National Heavenly Hash Day, Groundhog Day, Bubble Gum Day, National Wear Red Day, National Carrot Cake Day, National Women Physicians Day, National Hemp Day, National Homemade Soup Day, National Create a Vacuum Day, National Thank a Mail Carrier Day, National Weatherperson’s Day, National Shower With a Friend Day, World Nutella Day, National Chopsticks Day, National Lame Duck Day, National Frozen Yogurt Day, National Periodic Table Day, National Send a Card to a Friend Day, and National Fettuccine Alfredo Day. And would anyone like to guess which month also contains National Pork Rind Day, National Love Your Pet Day, and National Chocolate Covered Nut Day? Here’s a hint: it starts with “F,” and ends in “ruary.”

I’ve also heard that there’s a significant football game on the second Sunday of the month, but I’ve been so busy preparing for National Umbrella Day (February 10th), National Flag of Canada Day (the 15th) and National Strawberry Day (the 27th) that I haven’t had time to notice.

If we February natives have a chip on our shared shoulders, it’s only because we’re tired of being unfairly resented by the unfortunates born in one of the eleven lesser months. But since our collective default setting is kindness, maybe we’ll say a prayer for them on Fat Tuesday (February 21st) or Ash Wednesday (the 22nd). Better yet, we’ll go to our accustomed perch on the moral high ground and send some healing karma their way on February 26th, which is National Set an Example Day.

Andy Young
January 28, 2023

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