golly gumdrops, is the word that just came to me. this is a day, by jove, for all-out indulgence.
it’s a day tacked on, for no reason i need worry about–sun, moon, aligning, something like that. a day that kneels down and bows to the great american–nay, western (we seem to have exported our greed)–hunger for more, more and, please, pretty please with sugar on top, more.
what’s this, you ask yourself, a day akin to all the shouting and exclaiming on all the rows and rows of cereal boxes, the paper cups at the gas station soda machine, heck even the tacos at taco bell. oh, and don’t forget the next-day installation rugs hawked night and day on cable TV. 33% more!!! buy 1-get 1 free!!!!! all this (arrow pointing from the midline to the tippy-top) extra! don’t forget the bonus pack!!
so it is with the 29th day of the lowly second month, the month so short you’d think napoleon was its patron saint. the month pre-shrunk to get it over in a hurry.
only, folks, i hate to break it to you, so i’ll do it softly (whisper here): this here hoopla day is all about a mere 3.5 percent bonus. i did the math.
yup, it’s true. barely a cost-of-living increase, this 29th of feb-ru-ary.
you take your ordinary february, you got 672 measly hours. you tack on 24 more every four years. wanna know the margin of indulgence? well, just divide the latter by the former, you got .0357142. (i don’t know what it is about numbers, but i just LOVE to roll around in ‘em. there is, isn’t there, something so exact about it all. stokes my number-crunchin’ heart, which for the most part dwells in the shadow of my wordy other half.)
so here we are. rollin’ like little bitty pigs in muddy puddle all for that string of unimpressive digits to the east of that there decimal point.
let us not, then, dilly dally. let’s get on with the fine art of making the most of every blessed bonus minute (there are 1,440 of those, my friends). let us wring each sweet drop from this fine day of leaping forward.
i for one leapt out of bed. i stoked the oven. fueled the birds. i know, i know, nothing extra-ordinary there. i let the boys sleep extra late. we’ll make up the difference come march, which has now been delayed not unlike the planes that can’t get to o’hare, what with all the snow that falls again.
i think soon i’ll peruse the aisles of my grocery store. buy every single thing that comes with more-more-more. if it’s bigger, it’s going in my cart. if it comes with two-for-one, i’ll take it. but only for today. tomorrow, it’s back to getting only what you pay for.
so go crazy, people. embrace the rare indulgence of a day.
it is not every year we get to do this, after all.
and then, just think: if really truly you were being given a whole fresh day to do the things you always longed to, what might unfold this holy blessed day?
funny thing is, i can’t think of much i don’t already do. i’d do it though with all my heart.
i would love my boys. be tender. i would, if not a snowy day, pick fresh berries from my garden. i might milk a cow. i’d paint a billboard, perhaps, tell the world something i think it needs to know. i’d find a little child who doesn’t know that he or she is loved, and bring that child home, surround him or her with what to us is not so revolutionary–a blanket, a cup of something warm, a lap to sit on, pages in a book to turn.
i might, if i got going, call everyone i know who’s sad or lonely. i would tell them why and how i love them. try to stoke the flame again, the one inside that someone’s aching heart.
but now a boy i love, a little one in cowboy pajamas, is at my side, just waking up. i’ve got buns, hot from the oven, all cinnamon and glaze.
and we are going to indulge on this blessed day of golly gumdrops.
what will you do this bonus day?