Welcome to Spring!

Spring has sprung, and as always it presents the population with brand new activities to enjoy. (Granted, here in Western Pennsylvania the concept of the first day of spring is purely academic.) Circumstances have changed and the things once thought lost causes in the dark recesses of winter now become golden opportunities to screw up the rest of your year. So have fun this spring, and keep these thoughts close to the top of your mind:

Baseball: Please, for the love of all that is good in this world, why? Watching baseball is bad enough. It’s a boring, archaic game, less a pure sport of athletics and synergy and more of chunky guys battling it out for the best ever in hand-eye coordination—and not just for hitting the ball out of the park but poking a syringe needle into a butt cheek. People who follow baseball (read: people over the age of 50) will fulminate about the balance of pitching and hitting, and the intricate strategy involved in the process of the game. This is—to put it diplomatically—a steaming pile of lies and sinful transgressions. Baseball is reduced to “hack at ball with bat, run if you hit” when you get right down to it. And the only strategy involved is somehow managing to keep your salary costs low enough that you can laugh all the way to the bank to cash your luxury tax check. It doesn’t need to be said that the situation is entirely different for hockey, which, thanks to the foresight of the National Hockey League, the average season lasts about 18 months and pretty much any team with a stick and at least for Norwegians can make the playoffs. (sorry, Columbus.) It can therefore also be legitimately classified as a spring sport.

Finding Love: Spring is a notoriously busy time for getting notoriously busy. Bulky sweatshirts are shed, the air is fresh and breezy, and pink haltertops and sandy beaches are a pleasant substitute for an otherwise expensive Cialis prescription. Hormones are normally escalated to the point that the mere coexistence of opposing genders is enough to spark romance, as is evidenced by the popularity of spring break, dance clubs, and book store checkout lanes. (Hey, to each their own.) A word of warning, though: getting too preoccupied in the spring may lead to a summer of question marks and warning signs, a fall of stressful conversations and raging battles of reality versus star-struck love, and a destined, lonely winter bundled up in Uggs and your grandmother’s comforter, drinking hot chocolate laced with rum and listening to the Indigo Girls. I’m just sayin’.

Spring Cleaning: After the winter doldrums, where most people stay indoors breathing recycled air and not cleaning, it’s not only cathartic for people to clean, it’s also a good way to get your husband off his ass to do work by not putting out until he does. (See above.) A lot of junk accumulates over the fall and winter months, and most people will spend plenty of time carting bucketfuls of kitsch and paperwork, partly from a devoted sense of cleanliness, and partly from going through about one-fifth of last year’s insurance papers and tax forms before declaring “screw it” and chucking the whole pile in the wastebasket. It’s also useful as a psychological tool; the symbolic “cleaning of the house” will be a good segway to getting your own state of affairs in order, at least for the next two weeks before you get weak and eat a plate of chicken wings and call your ex.

Speeding: Spring often affords a small window of glorious, glorious opportunity for most people: exceeding the speed limit. At least, it is for people in temperate zones such as myself. During the winter months, large piles of gray, disgusting snow pile up on roads and make truly ridiculous speeding difficult to manage. After spring, road work tends to slow things down, since construction workers tend to look unkindly upon those who go 85 through work zones. So after the black ice melts but before the cones go up, it’s a wonderful opportunity to live out that fantasy you’ve always had: to put the metal to the medal and see how fact your Sebring can go on the highway. I’m cautiously putting my money on “not very much.”

Gardening: For those of you who aren’t aware that World War II is over, gardening presents a wonderful opportunity to 1) occupy your time with horticulture and nature; 2) get some exercise and fresh air after a stuffy winter; and 3) spend months upon months of hard and sweaty labor so that, at the beginning of fall, you will have about six medium-size deformed tomatoes and two dozen cucumbers that no one will ever eat, ever. Still, it’s a good way to get some use out of that straw hat you for some reason own, unless you plan on moving to Sao Paulo to be a banana rancher or star in a coffee commercial.

So there you have it, in rough order of who caresedness. Remember that spring is not only a reminder that new opportunities await the initiated, but also that taxes are soon to be due, demolishing all your hopes and dreams for a prosperous new season. Happy filing!

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