Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Open letter

Dear October,

You are my favorite month. The best things that ever happened to me happened in October. Back in my high-school days, I got my first kiss after an afternoon of walking through leaves, hand-in-hand with a beautiful blue-eyed tenor from choir. I once won $75 on a Halloween scratch ticket. I got hired for my first (read:only) full-time job in October 1992--the job didn't start 'til mid-November, but I knew it was coming.

You're also the best-looking month. The snappiest dresser, by far -- who else could get away with wearing brown, green, red, orange, yellow, cream, burgundy, and pink all at the same time? And what about that sky? It's never quite that same shade of blue any other time of the year. Seriously, no one else has your style. Okay, May is pretty too, but between you and me? She goes just a leetle heavy on the perfume.

And then there's all that harvest-type stuff you've got! Indian corn, pumpkins, corn stalks, apples, scarecrows (all right, I don't understand the scarecrows. What use is a scarecrow during harvest time? Who is there to scare away in an empty field? Not a criticism, October, just a request for clarification). Hayrides! Every hayride I've ever been on was in October, usually followed by a bonfire where we toasted marshmallows, made s'mores, and drank hot cider.

To top it all off, you have a fun holiday. No other month lets people get all dressed up like pirates and ghosts and vampires and demand candy from the neighbors. Friend of mine came to work dressed as a worker bee this year, complete with boots, tool belt, and yellow yarn pompoms tied to her calves (as pollen). But you know that, you were there.

Here's the thing that's bugging me, October. For the past seven or eight years now, I can't make it from the end of September to the beginning of November without getting a sinus infection and bronchitis. It comes on very suddenly: one day I'm out playing in the leaves, relishing the taste of the air, admiring the color of the sky; the next day I'm in bed coughing, hacking, sneezing, wheezing, and needing antibiotics.

My doctor says I'm allergic to leaf mold, and she gave me stuff to combat that. Last year, it kind of worked. I had some sort of creeping crud, but it didn't develop into anything dire. This year, however, on your last Friday I got a sore throat that rapidly morphed into a bunch of other things. By the 31st I was diagnosed with...yep. Sinus infection and bronchitis. Trick or treat! Ah, boo, I got a trick.

October, I'm starting to take this personally. It's really getting me down. Did I do something to piss you off? Can I fix it? Come on, call me. We'll go out for a mug of hot cider and some s'mores, and see if we can't work this out.

Vee (The girl in the glasses, cavorting in the leaves she's probably allergic to.)


G said...

Fungus spores - this is the prime time for them.

Anonymous said...

There's a fungus amungus?

I've said this dozens of times to the allergy sufferers I meet: I don't know how you stand it.

That being said, maybe you ought to ditch October and set your sights on November. This year, November's colors popped out of the watered-down October version of two weeks ago. November air smells crisp and cool, and it's sometimes laced with the smoky smells of working fireplaces.

November brings forward one of the greatest things about our nation: the right to vote.

Inside the November household, kids are bringing home hand-made cornucopias, and the kitchen smells of mulled cider and/or baking pumpkin pies. I find pumpkin pie a much tastier use for those orchard pumpkins, even if I did carve 8 jack-o-lanterns for Halloween.

Not only has this cold snap has driven the last of the nasty ticks and ill-tempered yellowjackets into hiding, but November brings a parent's favorite autumnal admonishment: "Santa is watching!"

Tomorrow, Peddler's Village lights the lights, and then George's birthday is the 19th.

Next week, neighborhoods across the country will positively reek of roasting turkey, giblet gravy, and various stuffings, assorted veggies, and sweet potatoes (mine in a casserole that's to die for and topped with a pecan streusel, not a single marshmallow in sight).

So what if Wednesday is the biggest travel day of the year? So what if "Black Friday" gives November a black eye? It sure beats the mold and fungus of October and the frenzied shopping sprees of December. November's the best month of the year.

--V said...

Oh, "Anonymous," I don't think I can throw October over for November. November is October's slightly homely cousin. Sure, this year it was all right scenery-wise but that's because October was warmer than usual. November usually looks sad and bedraggled, bare trees and grey skies.

On the voting front: The right to vote? Like it matters? We just replace one group of liars with another one. I'll start to cherish my right vote when they write a ballot that includes a box marked "none of the above."

I'd like to forget black Friday, but here's the thing: October is barely out the door before the stores start playing Christmas music and exhorting you to buy! buy! buy! those presents, before all the good stuff is gone.

I don't have any children to make me cornucopias, I have no one to bake for, and I think Thanksgiving has turned into an excuse for gluttony and too much football.

Not to mention the lack of sunlight. Walking out of work at 5 o'clock into full darkness is not my idea of a good time.

I think I'll just keep October. I scoff at fungus. Pass the antibiotics, please.

Anonymous said...

Well, I hope you're feeling better.

These grey skies DO stink. I eagerly await tomorrow's "partly cloudy" and high of 64.

Thanksgiving gluttony is a good thing. I prefer hanging out in the kitchen away from the TV.

Oh. And I refuse to set foot in a shopping mall before 12/1. I do not shop on Black Friday. I don't care if it's free, I'm not going.

Voting DOES matter, even if you do so for the sheer pleasure of saying, "Well, I didn't vote for him!"

And to think I only popped into the internet to find an attorney's address. I need to get back to work. I hope all is well.

-- AB

--V said...

Oh, don't get me wrong, I vote. I just don't think in the long run that it matters very much. We have the best government that lobbyists can buy.

Sorry if I seemed grumpy when I wrote that other comment. I'm trying to cut down on caffeine, and it's affecting my mood. Perhaps I should just keep quiet. Or maybe I should go brew a pot of coffee.

Forgot to say Happy Birthday to George during my rant. Hope he had a good one.