This is a hard letter for me to write. You know -- I've professed it aloud so many times -- how could you not? -- how much I love you. You are, at least in my head, my favorite of all the other months (please don't tell them, I'm not looking to create drama here).
I love your temperatures, your colors, your slanted golden light. I love your holidays, your nostalgia, your food. I even love the way the "O"s look in your name.
So this past summer, when I said to Lynn, "I think I'll do such-and-such in October."
She said, "Ugh. October. It's horrible."
Now, no matter what I say for the rest of the post, I *do* think she's wrong. You're not horrible. You're everything I just said you were as I proclaimed my love.
And I told her so.
She said, "I just think before you commit to doing such-and-such, you should really look at your calendar from last year, and try to remember. October is always dreadfully overfull."
(May I take a narrative license, here? I know that Lynn doesn't ever use "dreadfully" to modify her speech, but doesn't the anecdote gain a bit of an epic feeling once the characters veer toward a more British diction? Anyway, I thought so.)
I just crossed my arms and shook my head at her. I knew that she was a pessimist, but if this didn't just beat all. Disparaging my favorite month!
"You always end up hating October." (I can't believe she said it either.) "Can you just look at your old calendars."
I did as she suggested though and combed through my old calendars, blog entries and journals. I could find no evidence to support her ludicrous (and insulting!) claims. Well, perhaps my calendars indicated that this time of year was slightly overfull with mid-term grading, student film activities and activities for the children, but the blogs and the journals! They were a damning counterpoint to her argument. There was hardly anything at all! Surely if things had gone badly, I would have whined about it in the public forum of a blog. Surely if I was overwhelmed, I would at least leave a record of my travails.
So I committed to such-and-such. Several such-and-suches, actually. I felt even more strongly about it in response to her derision. And of course I remembered all those rosy traits that I whispered in your ear at the openning of this letter.
And it's true! Well, at last it seems true! That you are generous with light, and gentle chill, falling leaves and crockpot dinners! It seems true, but I can barely experience any of it because of all the things that are so overwhelming and overfull.
I have to say, October, I'm re-thinking our relationship. I want you to still be my favorite month, but sometimes I feel like I'm doing all the work here! Can you try to come through for me a little more next month. It's not like I'm ready to embrace May or March or December or (how shallow, I know, but I have considered even) July. I'm giving you one last chance.
Next year, I'm listening to Lynn. I'm reading this letter, and I'm committing to *no* such-and-suches. None. I'm just going to give you a chance to work your magic. REALLY work it. Not just look a certain way and tease me, but BE the October I dream that you should be.
That's what I really want for both of us. Please?