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3 Reasons to Break Up with January

As if being 185 days isn't enough. A humorous column helping us laugh away the gray as we patiently wait on sunny days.

Spending time with January is like a codependent and toxic relationship that we just can’t seem to quit.  In the beginning, we get googley-eyed and ambitious, dreaming about all possibilities. By the third date, we see the red flags, but just like the teenage dreamboats our Mamas warned us about, we don’t listen. Mama knows that boy ain’t nothing but trouble, just like good intentions knows all about January.


Let’s unpack this dreadful state of affairs like the arm-chair psychologists we are, shall we?


RED FLAG NUMBER ONE – LIMITED PALATE. We kick off this month by eating boiled-down leaves. You can sprinkle hot sauce and bacon fat in it all you want…they’re leaves…boiled down. I know, I know…tradition. And somebody is gonna come at me with “I don’t know what I’m missing.” But nothing about boiled-down leaves screams “Live your best life, girl!” I said what I said. Ever heard of someone getting engaged over a big pot of collards? I didn’t think so.

Instead of ENDING the year with caviar and champagne toasts, we should START it that way. Just kick it off with the best cookies money can buy.

“Happy New Year!” Which reply sounds better?

A. “It IS happy! I just ate two sleeves of Oreos!”

B. “Thanks, I just did the rower for 30 and now I’m gonna hit up spin class!”

C. “Happy New Year to you, too! We’re celebrating with boiled-down leaves!”

Is it happy, Jan?

Even though I like a good workout, B and C just fall short of the kind of exuberance we need to get through the bait-and-switch that is this dysfunctional month.

RED FLAG NUMBER TWO – LACKS PERSONALITY. The weather is gray. The sky is gray. The rain is gray. The roads are gray. The bay is gray. The fog is gray. The herons are gray. The mood is gray. The pine straw that you’ve allowed to cover your yard since October is gray.

This is FLORIDA. We’re sunshine people! Make it stop! Has anyone ever called 911 on the weather? I’m about to.

“911, what’s your emergency?”

“The weather.”

“Ma’am calling 911 for something that is not a crime is a punishable offense. Call Spinks and Jesus.”

“What’s criminal is this ash gray cast on my skin. Police!”

Visit Pensacola, take a note…I need a “remind me summer’s coming” hotline. Instead of Ryan Gosling saying, “Hey girl, feel my sweater…I’m boyfriend material.” It’s Visit Pensacola saying, “Hey girl, feel my sunshine…I’m long-term commitment material.”

RED FLAG NUMBER THREE – UNABLE TO REMEMBER IMPORTANT DATES. No one knows what day or time or year it is. We’re so lost in this relationship, we don’t recognize ourselves anymore. We’ve been practicing for 185 days now, but still writing the wrong year. Is it Monday? Saturday? No one knows. We know this, it was gray on Monday and come Saturday…it’ll still be gray.

Girl, it’s time. These are three solid red flags. This relationship has run its course. Just do it. Rip the band-aid off. End it. Get out your pen and write the letter now…

“Dear January,

It’s not me, it’s you.”


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Dana is an Arkansas native and a seasonal resident of the Gulf Coast since childhood. She was a Pensacola resident for 13 years, before moving to Gulf Breeze. Dana attributes her Mayberry-esque childhood in Warren, Arkansas, as enormously influential in honing her definitely Southern style of storytelling. She earned a degree in Journalism, Advertising/Public Relations from the University of Arkansas (Woo Pig Sooie!). In addition to writing, she loves photography, art, adventures in the great outdoors, and spending time with her three children.