Things to Do in March

things to do in marchDepending on the year, things to do in March can be a mixed bag of events. What do we have…Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, The Ides of March, Daylight Saving, St. Patrick’s Day and the vernal equinox. In other words, crawfish and Cajun Mary’s day, you got a little something on your forehead day, you’re not going to eat chocolate for how many days? day, Et tu, Brute? day, my kid is going to be tricked into waking up at 8:00 instead of 7:00 day, and whoopdeedo it’s spring (but not if you live in the mountains) day. And my favorite? Let me do a process of elimination…

I’m not catholic or protestant, so that should exclude three—although I do “celebrate” Mardi Gras, which means watch my husband and brother eat “mud bugs” and slam Blackened Voodoo Lager. It’s not a pretty sight. They tear off the tails of crawfish and suck out the animal’s innards. Their fingers and lips turn orange from the “juice.” Sometimes this crustacean carcass juice squirts across the table. And my brother has this strange habit of exclaiming a high-pitched “Boooo!” when the fire of the Cajun spices apparently inspires him to do so. (I think he’s trying to imitate the late Cajun chef, Justin Wilson.) My sister-in-law and I do our best to ignore them. The spicy Bloody Marys help. This is kind of fun, but probably not my fave.

The anniversary of Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC could be a fun excuse to throw a toga party. But I find that most people forget or just don’t know about this day. Calendars are no help; I haven’t seen it listed for years. When I remember it, as I tend to do while purchasing groceries for some reason, and I say, “Ooh, it’s the Ides of March…” raising my eyebrows and voice in eerie insinuation, I typically get a blank stare. Whatever. TOGA! TOGA! TOGA! (Thanks, John Belushi.) Although the blank stare is a delight, it wouldn’t be right to call this a favorite. Until I throw my first toga party, this one will have to be on the nothin’ spesh list. Onward.

Daylight Saving Time (DST). We lose an hour of sleep, but can finally go on a sunlit evening run before the mountain-lion gloaming. And as I mentioned earlier, my preschooler will be tricked into sleeping later for a morning. BUT it will ruin bedtime—among other things. Let me explain (aka, make this as confusing as possible). 8:00 PM is really 7:00 PM, and he’s just not tired at 7:00. Until he adjusts, he will also squeak in a couple 6:00 AM-wakeups, because no doubt, I, needing adult time, will hopefully (foolishly) make him go to bed at 8:00 PM (7:00 PM) after a day or two of 9:00 PM (8:00 PM) bedtimes. And of course 6:00 AM will still feel like 5:00 AM to me. After I drag my feet the entire day, then behold the new evening light illuminating my running path, I’ll be waaaaay too tired to run. In short, daylight savings steals two hours of sleep and two cardios from me for two days. Big thumbs down until I adjust—then it’s PST–Prey-free Sprinting Time.

There are three types of St. Patrick’s Days for me: The family St. Pat’s—sans Dad who is a bagpiper, the adult (acting like a college student) St. Pat’s, and the piper’s wife St. Pat’s. With the kids and me it goes something like this: Go to a festival in hopes that I won’t lose anybody, come home and make dinner because the “Irish” bouncy castle was far more interesting than the Irish fare, help my kids fashion some sort of bazaar leprechaun trap to imprison the wee magical creature so that he’ll spill it about his pot of gold, put kids to bed, mess up the trap, take the bait, and wake up to the late-night sound of my husband’s ghillie brogues clomping on the hardwoods after a long day of bagpiping. Or I get a sitter, let her deal with the trap, and I go to an overpopulated Irish pub with some friends (if we wait long enough to get in). And when we do get in, the music will be too loud to hear shouting and we will be forced to wait in line for the only available food they are serving: corned beef and cabbage or fish and chips. Inevitably one dish will get sold out so we will be stuck with whichever one we really didn’t want and pay 15 bucks for it. We will also be coaxed into drinking rot-gut green beer or headache-city ciders and wish that we hadn’t the next day. Or again, I get a sitter, and meet up with my husband at a pub somewhere on the trail of his umpteenth bagpipe gig, get a free whiskey, listen to him shred some wicked birls (uh…play grace notes), hear a few jokes in his Scottish brogue, and watch him get accosted by drunkards wanting to know what’s under his kilt. (His shoes, duh.) He will be, of course, the main attraction and spread thinly, so I will keep my distance. Before I know it, he will give me a kiss, and then be off like Rob Roy’s kilt. Of the three, my favorite is…March 18. That’s when we’re all back together, eating a slow-baked, herb-encrusted corned beef with cabbage and mashed potatoes and listening to tales of big tippers and stealthy leprechauns.

Last, the vernal equinox. When you live in the mountains, this means six to eight more weeks of winter, which is just depressing. Whoohoo! Spring is here. Well, not really. But I will say that I still get inspired. It’s as if I can feel the life force churning—getting ready to turn the grass green and put vivacious buds on the skeleton trees. Even though nothing is going to sprout until May, I get jazzed just imagining Mother Nature thinking about it. Hope springs eternal… And that is probably why this is my favorite day of March. And what do I do to celebrate it? I smile.

So there you have it. Things to do in March. I know, it took me long enough. But I had to think it through. Actually, each day has its own merit, and I’m thankful for every one of them—except DST—just kidding. Happy March!

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