First of all, I hate April Fool's Day. As far as I'm concerned, it's the single worst ritual of spring, and the one we really need to get rid of. Easter might have become irrelevant, Daylight Saving Time might be a great unnecessary, contrived annoyance, but April Fool's Day is irrelevant, unnecessary AND annoying.
I'm sure someone is saying, "What a killjoy you are, Holly! April Fool's Day is about JOKES! Don't you have a sense of humor?" But April Fool's Day is about practical jokes, about jokes that depend on trickery and deceit. They are jokes of which someone is the butt. The jokes are only funny if someone falls for them. I prefer other types of jokes.
And OK, this year, I fell for the first joke I came across: I admit I was horrified when I read that Al Gore had announced he'd run for president on an independent ticket. "Oh no," I thought. "Not another divided election...." And then I happened to glance at the date. So I didn't even cock an eyebrow when I heard that Philip Morris would cease all tobacco production and begin growing organic peanuts instead.
But I had to deal with a rash of emails about some discovery of a letter by Jane Austen, announcing her fondness for hamster curry. Remember, Jane's sister Cassandra had burned or cut up most of Jane's letters, getting rid of anything that would depict Jane (or anyone else) in a less than flattering light. (And given Jane's penchant for satire, that means darn little remained of her voluminous correspondence.) A genuine letter by Jane, in her own hand! It was quite find! It was also a hoax.
April Fool's Day isn't why I haven't written lately. No, I haven't written lately 'cause I had a few deadlines over the last few weeks. Seriously, thanks to the powers that be for deadlines. I am so glad to have deadlines, in all their coercive pressure. I love them because I A) almost always meet them, and B) have a slew of really productive techniques for avoiding the work I've committed to. This month, for instance, as part of postponing that moment when I would sit down at my computer and begin producing the documents I promised to write, I did a very thorough spring cleaning, including cleaning the basement, a vile and filthy task I hope I won't have to tackle again for another five or ten years.
Of course, the aftermath of assiduously avoiding and then meeting a few deadlines is extreme fatigue. I met the last deadline on Monday, and have sort of been recuperating since then.... Well, the first couple of days were recuperating, and then I was enjoying the weather, which has FINALLY turned nice. Wednesday I actually worked in my garden, which was a real pleasure. I love bulbs; spring flowers are among my very favorites. It doesn't get cold enough in Arizona for things like hyacinths and tulips, which might be one reason I find them so glorious and miraculous, but that's what they are to me. The hyacinths are in bloom, the tulips are getting ready to bloom, and my tulips have a ways to go, but they're coming.
And Saturday is supposed to be lovely as well, so I'll be spending more time in the yard. It's supposed to rain on Sunday, and on Tuesday--well, we'll have thunderstorms, though hopefully they won't be at the polls: that's right, it's the Pennsylvania primary, and I'll be going to vote.