I realised today that it’s November already. I know it’s also five days in, but no job means no desk calendar. Okay it’s also on my phone, but it’s the days that I have to remember not the dates. Payday arrives when it arrives these days, I don’t need to count down from the first to the 25th anymore. Cricket is on Mondays. School closes early on Tuesdays… Anyway the point is it’s the worst month of my year. In no particular order, here’s why:
Christmas. Technically its next month yes I know, but the minute I see those decorations and hear the music I know I’ve missed the cheap present boat. Every year I tell myself I will have all the presents I need safely home before Woolies have even found their box of decorations, i.e. by mid-September. In my mind, anything bought after mid-September screams pagan rip-off even if it’s priced the same as it was in August, it just feels that way on principle. For a day or so I will dream of sticking it to wallet rape and pillage by the retails and make stuff. Then I am struck with the memory of recently trying to put together a school project, and how using my imagination and glueing stuff should not be wrapped and given as gifts unless I am actually trying to offend.
New Year. Yes I know its next month etc, but by November it’s too late to take charge of my life, and ‘become the me I’m supposed to be’. This is the year! My Fair Lady Horoscope said so! (Or whichever publication offers the most hope for a Virgo in their January edition) is no longer valid. By November I’m wondering what on earth I did between April and October because it feels like I might have actually blacked out or been abducted or got Sleeping Beautyed and no one noticed. Somehow, time moved forward and my life stayed the same. I’m not sure how that’s possible. Hopeful that one of those three things could actually be a real affliction, I gauged friend’s reactions to my theory, but rather disappointingly they hardly blinked and said they felt the same. On the upside, every year I waste no ink or paper updating my resolution list, just a bit of Tippex changing the year.
It’s my mothers birthday month. She died 7 years ago after years of fighting off breast cancer. The weird thing is I know she would have aged if she was still alive, which means the picture I have of her in my mind is not entirely accurate, and it bothers me. On her birthday I will try and imagine her at whatever age she would have been, and it’s getting more and more difficult. Also, in the weeks leading up to her birthday, when I’m out shopping I still make a mental list of things she might have liked and it makes me miss her more, which I always think is impossible until it’s not.
Guy Fawkes. For the reason that the Britain is thousands of kilometres away, and therefore on the 5th of November instead of stocking up on pretty explosives and coq au vin for the neighbourhood party, I am briefly shell shocked into thinking my neighbours are being shot at and my chicken a la king burns while I am lying on the floor wondering whether to phone the police. Slowly it will dawn on me that November is the month that Mr Fawkes crept farthest south into our tiny country and somehow influenced our communities (interestingly, not necessarily the Catholic ones) into badly injuring themselves and terrifying our pets.
Exams. I’m not going to lie, this is worse than the others put together. Trying to get my sons to study is like trying to get Julius Malema down for his nap. The excuses, the weaselling out of it, the sudden scramble to look studious and exemplary when I walk in to the room is the reason why I a good excuse to self medicate. I admit, school was difficult for me and I hated it, so I understand why it’s such an inconvenience to have to teach yourself the stuff you missed when you were sleeping in class, when you would rather be texting your girlfriend or like watching football, but for crying out loud it’s the beginning of your forever. No pressure. It is obvious that there is a technical flaw in the design of kid’s brains. The fact that they have no concept of the future and a god-like sense of immortality and yet are forced to have the foundations of their entire lives built and cement dry by the age of 18, is an anomaly that gives me a giant headache. Still, regardless of the fact that I actually am the boss of them, getting information from the book into their brains is the one thing I can’t bribe them into doing. The proof of them having done it only comes with the report, and by then I am in too high a state of hysteria to remember what I promised them, and the fact that its school holidays means that they’re too high on elation to care whether the results mean that there is a possibility that they will eventually move out and become the boss of themselves. Well that’s my prayer when opening those envelopes anyway.
Movember. I have come to realise that it’s not just for November. Because you can and will drag it on until March. So unless you grow your moustache into the shape of a prostate, or time travelled from the 17th century, please can we find an unused colour for a ribbon rather? Please.