The midpoint of winter. Halfway between, “I can’t believe it’s snowing already” and “I can’t believe it’s snowing still.” The stage of winter when we’re so desperate and addled we conscript small furry animals to predict the weather.
I’m one of those who find winter particularly difficult. I suffer from S.A.D. — Seasonal Argumentative Disorder. February makes me testy.
For instance, this morning I was at the gym, on the treadmill, singing my tunes. I love my tunes. To me, all of humankind’s technological advances were simply leading to that one glorious triumphant moment when someone created the iPod Shuffle.
My partner, Liz, thinks I should alter my mode of singing on the treadmill to either “on key” or, “so every person in the gym doesn’t have to listen to you.” But really, what could be more delightful than exercising to the sound of me belting out Faith Hill? The problem comes with my accompanying dance moves. At the point I get the treadmill cranked over six kilometres per hour it’s hard to tell if I’m dancing or having a seizure. My fellow gym members are tired of having their workouts interrupted by anxious gym staff trying to clap me with a defibrillator.
Anyway, this morning, I’m singing and dancing on the treadmill, carefree as a groundhog without a TV contract. A fellow gym patron (FGP) comes over and sort of stands beside me. I begin to think, “Perhaps she wants something. Perhaps I should ask.”
I remove my earphones, feeling very sorry for the people around who were no doubt looking forward to hearing me hit the high note ... almost. I say, “Yes?”
She says, “Um, I’m sorry to bother you but I was wondering if you’d mind not singing quite so loudly.”
I think, “Can you believe how rude?”
Now, normally I’m prepared to go to any lengths to make someone else happy.
Unless it’s a lot of trouble. But at that moment, I hit the mid-winter-insanity wall. I was in the grips of Seasonal Argumentative Disorder.
Me: Oh dear. You don’t like Faith Hill?
FGP: I do … it’s just …
Me: Most people like Faith Hill.
FGP: I do … but I like to be quiet and …
Me: I also have John Denver. Would you prefer John Denver?
FGP: No, no …
Me: You prefer Faith Hill.
FGP: Well, yes …
Me: No problem.
I clapped my earphones back on. She’s going to love it when I get to Dancing Queen.