Rhetoric
Rheya Tanner

Where Does the Time Go?

Remember the holidays? Man, those were some good times. The gifts? The food? The one conversation that got uncomfortably political for a few minutes? You were there, you remember.

At least, you should. It’s only been a couple weeks since then. Yet, it somehow feels like forever ago. What were you even doing between then and now? Where did all that time go? If you ask me (you didn’t, but this is my page), I say the problem of time is actually a problem of timing.

It starts in the gap week—the mysterious pit between the couch cushions of December 25 and 31, into which all your extra time crumbles and vanishes forever.(Maybe that’s just me, since I’m missing the little brain wrinkle that holds my time management skills. With no structure and no obligations, I immediately lose track of what day it is, when I last ate or slept, my first name, whether I exist, until I finally reemerge from the ether with a new outfit and a bruise I can’t explain.)

But that’s only where it starts; the real problem is where it all ends. After the anticipation and celebration finally breaks, what does it break into? The cold, dreary “Monday” of the year, the month that even the sun doesn’t participate in. That’s right,
it’s freakin’ January.

January, when the dazzling lights and elves-on-the-shelves get shoved back into their box in the attic and forgotten. January, when the houses that once smelled like fresh cookies now smell like burnt hair because you had to turn the heater on for the first time in nine months. Just a few weeks ago, you were indulging in all your favorite pleasures. But now it’s January, so you’re, like, budgeting or shampooing your carpet or forcing yourself to use a day planner or something.

The closest holiday is, what, MLK Day? That’s still pretty heavy. Groundhog Day? That’s not even in January. It’s that sudden drop in celebration density just as the cultural adrenaline is wearing off that makes December feel so far away.

Now, I’m not the type to present a problem without offering a solution, so here’s my Shark Tank pitch: We jam another holiday in there. A big feel-good one, and hey, maybe even a local one? A cursory Google search tells me that January 11, 2010, was the day City Ordinance 10-05 was adopted, officially putting protections in place to preserve our historic downtown. That’s as good a thing to commemorate as whatever Arbor Day is there for.

I imagine I’m a little late for a 2023 implementation, but come 2024, January 11 will be “Winter in the Garden” day. Celebrate local history and give the boring-est month on the calendar some oomph? City event planners, call me.

For this year, though, we’ll just have to really, really play up Groundhog Day.

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