Warrior Words: Let nothing you dismay (please!)
I don’t know if you’ve all read my previously published article (my angst-ridden rant against the superficiality of Halloween), but if you have, then you’ll understand the meaning of my next sentence:
MINTYWESP* is upon us.
At this writing I am at my grandmother’s house in New Jersey, about to engage in a proper, healthy weekday slumber (for once!), after which I shall awake to a hearty Thanksgiving breakfast after which we shall all pack into the Audi and drive over to have a hearty, highly caloric lunch with the rest of the family before we all shall schmooze and sing and say our 45-minute good-byes after which we shall break out the leftover turkey and eat hearty sandwiches on rye after which I shall conk out on a couch (probably) and experience some seriously psychedelic, tryptophan-induced dreams. Heaven is a place on Earth.
Now that December is upon us (at this publication), we’re in the midst of the month of endless platters of holiday-themed chow, never-ending shopping lists, incessant seasonal music on Lite FM, and continuous Hallmark Channel broadcasts of made-for-TV films about how a talking dog saves Christmas/Melissa Joan Hart/Hanukah/someone’s marriage/the town from a corrupt mayor/the town from the bubonic plague (choose two).
’Tis the season of excess.
I love this time of year, but it’s too full of contradictions. I don’t know if my hyper-focused analytical skills are coming into play here (thank you, William Faulkner, and your maddening stream-of-consciousness novels), but I’ve noticed that the forthcoming winter season is the most peculiar phase of the year.
It opens with a bang, like a furious, starkly white snowfall that blankets everything in sight, but fizzles out, like a mass of gray, slurry roadside slush destined for the sewer.
For every exchange of gifts, there’s a family that has to skip presents this year to maintain financial stability. For every holiday bonus check, there’s a Happy-New-Year layoff.
For every soul warmed by the coziness of the hearth, there’s a homeless woman or man or child frostbitten by unforgiving winter winds.
This season is one of dormancy and death; amidst this sullen backdrop, we begin to overcompensate with pageantry and discount sales and ugly sweaters, and then, at some point in January, we just give up.
My aim isn’t to denounce seasonal celebrations or be “that kid” who provides an unpopular opinion of every pre-existing institution known to man.
I only wish that we could extend the central messages of our festivities to every season of the year. There’s no reason that with the passing of time we should suddenly abandon the ideals of charity, unity, forgiveness, gratefulness, and hope.
I want every season to be a MINTYWESP! And what’s stopping us? We don’t need shiny wrapping paper! Forget those twinkling lights! And, heavens to Betsy, turn off the Hallmark Channel before Rover saves Melissa Joan Hart from the mayor’s clutches!
Just get out there and profess those tidings of comfort and joy. I’m calling upon you, Wiltonians! Scrap the surplus, ignore the cold, wear your jackets, drink your milk, and just plain love your neighbor. Winter’s too long to be tacky and too short to be depressing. Let’s gear up to find a happy medium.
Ready? Set? Go.
* In case you don’t know, MINTYWESP stands for “Meteorologically Icy and Nippy Time of Year in Which Everything Smells Pleasant,” a term coined by me. You’ll all have to pay me once it’s trademarked.
Nicholas Dehn is a senior at Wilton High School. He shares this column with five classmates.