IF SOMEONE can successfully argue that February has even one iota of redeeming value, then I'm all ears.
Or, rather, I'm all ear muffs.
For February is the most miserable time in the U.S. Northeast, fraught with snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain, single-digit temperatures and generally just unmitigatedly depressing weather.
It's why February checks in last in our ranking of the 12 months, with January nearly as gloomy.
The best? Why June, of course.
Herewith we present our ranking of the 12 months, from best to worst -- an order determined by the weather, amount of daylight, vacation potential, holidays, other significant events and whether or not school is in session, even if the kids have long-since left home.
THE MONTHS FROM BEST TO WORST
June: School ends. The days are the longest of the year. Summer begins -- and you smile in knowing that the rest of the summer (July and August) is yet to come.
July: The heart of summer. The days are still long. Fourth of July is a big party. And usually a week's vacation is tossed in there as well.
May: Warm weather and the Memorial Day holiday signal summer has begun and that school is about to end. But mostly, May is all about anticipation for the summer.
August: Bittersweet month in that it's still summer -- but it also means school and the end of vacation season are just a few weeks away.
September: Sure, school begins (boo), but so does football (hooray). The weather is still nice, and Labor Day weekend is summer's last blowout.
April: Weather finally gets better as spring begins. Easter is a welcome bonus. And summertime is in sight.
October: The run-up to Halloween, with pumpkin patches and decorated houses, is as nice as the holiday itself. And fall foliage is a colorful treat.
December: Family reunites for Christmas, perhaps the No. 1 holiday. Gift-shopping and holiday preparations are either fun or maddening. But hauntingly, you know that the evil winter is at your doorstep.
March: March 1 is one of the best days of the year, as it means the worst is over in terms of the cold weather and snow. St. Patrick's Day is a perk in an otherwise uneventful month.
November: Mostly a barren month that lets you know that cold weather is on the way. Thanksgiving week, though, often means a family reunion, and it also signals the start of the holiday season.
January: New Year's is the only pleasant thing about this month. After that, the long, hard, cold, cruel winter begins in earnest.
February: The worst of times. And the stressed of times. Wouldn't it be euphoric if we could obliterate this month from the calendar and just leap from Jan. 31 to March 1? I mean, the best part about February -- outside of winter sports and the Super Bowl -- is that it has only 28 days. And if you're going to add one day to the calendar every four years for leap year, please do it in the heart of summer, not during the desperation of winter.