In Defence of November

You know, I actually don’t mind November all that much. I really don’t, and I never have. In terms of Least Favourite Month, November doesn’t even come close to March which takes first prize for me in that category, with its false promises of Spring, and its disappointing, endless cold and – very often – snow. Nor does November claim the dubiously honourable second place, on which bleak January looms, with its obscure three kings, its inevitable guilt feelings brought on by too-swiftly-made New Year resolutions, and its nauseating aftertaste of Champagne hangovers.

No, November is alright to me. And so I have decided to put here a little… well, not an ode to November, I think that would be a stretch even for me, but an apologia for this much-hated month. Perhaps I will even succeed in cheering up the somewhat gloomy Anna in the process! (Although I guess it’s just as likely that I’ll just piss her off even more…).

Anyway, here I go: I like November, because it’s modest: It never pretends to be anything better, or more than it is. ‘I’m the last stop before winter’, it says, ‘take it or leave it’. I like November because it tastes sweetly of the mandarines that have just ripened in this month, and lie in the supermarkets, shining with a bright, stubborn shade of orange, clashing horribly with the dark red of premature Christmas decorations. My brother and I used to eat those mandarines in the living room when we were children, while the darkness thickened outside the windows on late November afternoons, and the colours of my brother’s computer games condensed and shone all the more brightly, and they reflected in the glossy pages of the Christmas catalogues that I turned with the caution of someone handling delicate china, for fear lest I should use all my Christmas-induced excitement at once. I like November because the leaves are as brown as the trees’ desolate trunks, which the storms of the month will soon strip down to their basic, stern and honest structures, derived of all the prettiness of green leaves.

So bring on this last month of autumn, I say! 🙂 I think I’m ready for it. Especially since this year the 1st of November marks a very special occasion for me: I’m moving into a new residence hall, after six months of not knowing where I’d be living from one month to the next. I can’t wait to see what the new place has in store for me. I’m going to pick up the key to my room right now, actually. Wish me luck!

And Happy November! …or, Melancholy November! Whichever suits you!


PS: The image of the stern structures of the trees is kindly borrowed from poet Søren Ulrik Thomsen and his poem “Tilgiv at jeg ser dine knogler før kødet” (“Forgive me for seeing your bones before your flesh”) which is very recomendable and may be purchased here (only in Danish, sorry).


November 1, 2006. The course of the year.

One Comment

  1. confidentialattachees replied:

    Grrr. Ok, I heartily agree with you as long as I can stay indoors. It’s dangerous out there today. And just you wait Marie, just you wait – you will agree with me once you move out to pick up that key for your new dorm. But here at work with my catalogue to proof-read and my steaming tea I must say that the howling wind is quite cosy.

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