I don’t hibernate, unless you count the amount of time I spend in bed during the course of the day. But, technically, I don’t hibernate, although you wouldn’t know it by tabulating my caloric intake once the weather turns colder.
It starts in mid-October when I convince myself that I won’t dip into the Halloween candy before the trick-or-treaters arrive. I tell myself that I’d better pick up the 250 piece bargain candy before they run out and I’m stuck with dumdums and those mouthfuls of gunk wrapped in orange and black wax paper. I tell myself the little goblins would be disappointed when they ring the doorbell and, for their trouble, receive pennies and packets of Splenda. So I buy the 250 Mega Candy bag and put it in the cupboard where I wait for a good couple of hours before making that first small tear with the promise that I will eat one mini bag of peanut M&Ms. Then, I realize a regular bag is probably three mini bags and…you get the picture.
So, I go back and buy more candy on the 30th and, guess what, there are plenty to choose from, but I will conveniently forget this by next year and, because I bought the 250 piece bag and, traditionally get under 50 trick-or-treaters, even after I grace every bag and pillow case with handfuls of candy, I still have enough to tide me over until November 11, my birthday.
My birthday is a national celebration, the mail isn’t even delivered, but my favorite donuts usually are and by the end of the day, I’ve made my way through more food than Kate Moss has eaten thus far in her life.
I have about 10 hours to recover when my son’s birthday arrives and all of his meals are special and there is usually cake…and leftovers.
As we as a nation are fully aware, the end of November brings a holiday, ostensibly about thankfulness but is mostly about finding your old maternity pants even though your son is 25 years old and then, after giving them to your husband, finding another pair for yourself.
The day after Thanksgiving is Christmas as it has evolved from one day to 30. No one alive today remembers when Christmas was a single day because the last time that happened there was a manger and baby and not the kind that the bad kids steal from front yards.
Christmas used to start on the day after Thanksgiving, but because Kmart and JC Penney can’t wait, we have to leave the table and hit the stories without doing the dishes or having a second piece of pie. Warning: the pie will be gone when you come home.
December tests the limits of my ability to process sugar and butter, two of my favorite food groups. If I were the composer of My Favorite Things it would have been a much shorter song.
Butter and sugar and Chris Martin singing…These are a few of my favorite things.
See? Much less affective the schnitzel with noodles.
Christmas dinner isn’t the end of it. There are cookies and boxed candies well into the New Year until I make that traditional healthy lifestyle resolution; not because I want to, but because I cannot eat one more bite and I’m too dizzy to drive to the pie restaurant.
My husband’s birthday arrives at the end of January and as a result, more cake. Valentine’s Day usually means a dinner out as long as my husband drives, as I’m still slightly off kilter.
Finally Fat Tuesday arrives. Although I haven’t been Catholic since I was 13 and am only slightly Polish, I celebrate by eating punchki, a pastry which translates into English as “fried heart attack”.
Finally Spring arrives and I waddle into the sunshine, my appetite having dwindled and my shadow shrieking in pain from being stretched into a shape which closely resembles a land manatee. I bend over to yank out a weed, and the miracle of life begins again.
If I hibernated, I’d stumble into the spring sunshine, slim and groggy, having burned off at least the bag of Snickers I ate in October. It’s too late now, I already bought the turkey and I’m the only one who knows how to cook it, but, hibernation seems to be a lifestyle choice I could embrace. Maybe next year.