If I were the sort of person who was forced to spend sixth months in a more tax advantageous state, it would be a struggle for me. In order to find those six months and that extra day, it’s obvious that you’d need to be in that warmer state for the months of December, January, February, March and April. The problem is that those months only count to five, and I’d still be missing a month, and that day. On one hand, the month of May is typically, mostly, awful. It wouldn’t be a sin to miss such a month of Midwestern spring. But on the other hand, May is delightful, with blooms and birds and rising trout and calm waters. Who could trade a month of incredible change for yet another month of tedious sun and boring, swaying palm trees. Everyone look, I found another shell shaped like a heart!
Beyond May, who could trade December? What could possess someone of Midwestern roots to wish for a Holiday season spent without snow? How does one roast Chestnuts over an open fire while looking foolish in shorts and flip flops? What’s the point of hot chocolate if you’re already warm? I can see a trip to the warmth for a Holiday novelty once in a great while, but every year? You’d have to put up a fake tree, and then you’d need to decorate it with obnoxious things like ornaments of starfish and stone crabs. I can’t watch football games while also sweating. December would be a tough month to trade.
November is an option, and indeed nearly everyone who spends their lives hoping for the six months plus one ends up swapping November. This is the most egregious of the month swaps. Why would I trade this month? I just spent the last six months of color looking forward to this month of dull grays and browns. I love the still of November. The lake finds some peace. The fields turn gold and then tan and finally pale. The woods shed their leaves and show us what they’ve been hiding all summer. The month finishes with a celebration of the harvest, one last, big dinner to show our appreciation. The month is quiet and it’s still and yes, it’s dark, but it’s my kind of dark and I wouldn’t trade it for bright colors and soft salty waves.
But this year things may be different. This morning, with this blanket of insufferable snow and crunchy iced over roadways, I may be willing to negotiate with November. If November is going to count as winter, and I’m not going to get to see those dull pale colors that I love so much, then I’m open to trading November. I hate the months that don’t do anything well, which is why I hate March, and April for that matter. But now the weather has come for my steady November, and I wish it hadn’t. The issue here is even if I trade November and hang onto December then I’m still going to have to trade May. This is the problem, and we haven’t even begun to debate that extra day.