February Done Right
13 Jan, 2012 - Laura Tokie
I will go to great lengths to ward off the February blahs. In years past, I have decorated my home with tropical flourishes, distracted myself with games and group trips, tried to embrace winter with snowmobiling and “Doctor Zhivago” weekends. I have done all I can think to do, and February still comes… and stays.
My pain is prolonged this year, as it is a Leap Election Year. This is when we make up for time unaccounted for in the solar calendar, and make it seem longer still by adding the torturous political primary season. It’s an extra day to campaign; I know the politicians will never give that up. They are too busy twisting truth. But perhaps we don’t need the politicians to help us Keep February Short (™).
That’s right. I’m doing it. My New Year’s resolution: instigate calendar reform. Before you poo-poo this idea, remember that people have adjusted time throughout time. The Gregorian calendar lopped off 13 days when it was signed into effect in, of all months, February. My proposal is not nearly so dramatic, although I know any change is difficult. According to L.E. Doggett, reprinted on this website, “In most societies a calendar reform is an extraordinary event. Adoption of a calendar depends on the forcefulness with which it is introduced and on the willingness of society to accept it.”
The church is more fractured today than it was in 1582, so I’m not looking for another papal bull. I’m not going to any United States government entity either — remember, it is an election year. No initiative of real social value will get done.
I could take it to social media with a Facebook page or a Twitter campaign. The idea would gain likes and re-tweets galore, but what does that accomplish? I need to take this to the top.
Who is forceful enough to make this happen, with followers who are willing to accept change — yea, demand it? Who could do the “extraordinary”, do in a moment what Pope Gregory’s decree did in centuries? Who needs new frontiers to cross, with new leadership and something to prove? That’s right, Apple, I’m looking at you. Help me better the world — you’re so good at it.
Please move the intercalated Leap Year Day to June 31st.
Note how humble a request this is. I am not proposing a wholesale dismantling of the Inter gravissimas. I’m not calling for the annihilation of dreaded February, although I could make a case for its destruction. I am a moderate. I understand that there is a subculture who enjoy the grey days of winter. Some ski, I suppose, or hole up and listen to Morrissey. They revel in the cold and bleak. Despite our differences, I accept both the goggle-wearing and the pasty-faced. This proposal honors them in all their winter glory.
Some may say that our Founding Fathers would be opposed to such a shift. I say, prove it. Show me a declaration of our official calendar in the Constitution. It’s not there. This omission suggests to me that they were open to other calendar ideas, willing to allow future generations the freedom to one day modify time to suit our own needs. The time, I believe, has come.
Think of it. An extra day of summer. Let it roll off your tongue. June 31st. It sounds natural, doesn’t it?
The benefits are obvious.
Benefit One: It keeps the tyranny of February to a minimum.
Benefit Two: More available days in June=more June brides. Brides spend money. The economy improves.
Benefit Three: More summer tourists in my home state of Michigan. Everyone’s rooting for us. This is a perfect way to show support.
Benefit Four: Reduced carbon footprint & energy consumption. One less day of February means one less day of cold weather. Less cold weather means less energy used to heat buildings.
I see the complaints coming. Someone will cry, “It messes with our timepieces, the ones with the little month and date tickers.” To this, I point out that you must be arguing hypothetically, as no one actually uses those watches anymore except rich fat-cats. I say, let them enjoy their timeless monocles and spats. It’s time to help the 99%.
Some will say, what of those born on February 29th? You can’t just skip their birthdays, can you? To this I say, no we cannot. All February 29th birthdays shall be moved to June 31st. And what of those few who prefer a winter celebration? They can easily change their birthday through iBorn, available for $2.99 at the App Store (for month and date birth changes only; year changes is still in beta).
Some may say that changing the day doesn’t change the weather. But the math doesn’t lie. The average temperature in February in New York City, for example, is 33.5° F. The average temperature for that same region in June? 72° F. That’s a difference of 38.5, and that is going to add up over the next 500 years, when another calendar adjustment will be due. Some so-called experts will refute this, and to them I say I have skimmed both the aforementioned article as well as Wikipedia. Let Apple decide who is right.
Some may insinuate a corporate influence is behind this proposed change. Let me assure you that I am not in the pocket of Big Gelato. Others may intimate that Apple is the wrong company to handle this, given their calendar problems in the past. I say, thanks for bringing that up. Let’s look at the past. Apple is profitable; their society is loyal; their past mistakes and subsequent triumphs uniquely position them to conquer time.
Despite these answers, I know voices of dissent will linger, claiming we should gather a committee, think this through, listen to other voices. Maybe we should consider extending September, April, or November instead of June. To all this democratic talk, I say, sure, that ’s one way to do it. An old-fashioned way, a slow way. But what about the older-old-fashioned way? I called it first, people.
So what do you say, Apple? June 31st. All you have to do is program it into our iPhones. Make it so.
Author’s voluntary disclosure: Contributions to this article also made by Jennifer Beltramo and Ty Beltramo. Reports of their ties to Apple, and Big Gelato, have been grossly exaggerated.