Worse than meteorological spring: Target Spring. There's always that awkward period between Christmas and summer in which its seasonal department doesn't quite know what to do.
It's spring! No one believes that. It's "meteorological spring," a cruel joke that pretends the raw, long scrape of March has anything to do with flowers and bunnies and tulips. Spring? More snow this week, which makes you want to cover the lawn with cedar mulch, soak it with gas, set it on fire and watch the flakes die as they fall. Then we console ourselves: A nice fresh coat will cover the dirt-encrusted banks, which not only look like someone delivered a load of coal miner's lungs but have become so hard and crusty you draw blood just brushing up against them.
So it's not spring.
Worse than meteorological spring: Target Spring. There's always that awkward period between Christmas and summer in which its seasonal department doesn't quite know what to do. For a few years, there was an International Bazaar, which sounds like you could get a goat or a Michael Graves hookah, but it just looked like a Pier One truck backed up to the wrong dock. This was dropped for the LARGE QUANTITIES OF THINGS ALL AT ONCE SALE, which is great if you're having the Army over for the weekend and need 264 rolls of Charmin. On the weekly errands I'd wander back to Seasonal, hoping the Lawn and Garden stuff was up, because that would mean we could start lying to ourselves about the imminence of spring.
Well, it's arrived. Grills. Patio furniture. Gardening equipment. You think: I should buy those chairs now, because they'll put up Back to School in June. But there will be a sale in May; wait. But quantities are limited. You're paralyzed. You realize everyone else knows the drill, and the very appearance of Target Spring means people will buy the best chair cushions and hoard them, and by the time you get around to it -- say, early May, when the warehouses are already starting to fill with parkas and lawn reindeer -- your choices will be limited to a pattern that looks like Paul Lynde's tie from a 1973 "Hollywood Squares."
A suggestion: Hold off on spring-related goods until April. Let this month be winter, and let it be the month winter fails, sputters, loses the plot, wanders off muttering. What would they do with the seasonal space? I don't know. Spread sand and lay out beach chairs. If we can't have spring, let's not have summer, too.