Don’t come around tonight / Well it’s bound to take your life / There’s a bad moon on the rise – John C. Fogerty
It’s that time of the month again. The full moon has risen, or would have if it wasn’t cloudy and raining. December’s full moon is called the Cold Moon, a bit of a misnomer given that it is currently 57 degrees outside. That said, it is much more pleasant than the blustery days we have been having where the temperature says it’s in the low 40s but it actually feels like the mid-twenties because of the wind chill factor.
I hadn’t been paying much attention to the moon phase lately as I have been recovering from having COVID (my poor husband is currently having a rebound case) and have frankly been too exhausted to pay that much attention to anything other than going to work, coming home, and making dinner.
While we had a good nearly three year run of staying COVID-free (except for my son who had it over the summer; he has not caught it again from us, thank G-d), it was starting to incrementally sneak up on us. Several of my co-workers came down with it over the past few months, and, frankly, it was most likely just a matter of time before it found us. The really unfortunate part was it hit me on the end on my week off from work and kind of killed Thanksgiving for us.
I love Thanksgiving. The food, the family and friends gathering. It’s all good. This year we were going to host a UMASS student from India, who fortunately found somewhere else to stay at the last minute as we were still in the five day contagion zone. Also fortunately, my son is an excellent cook who cooked a wonderful spatchcocked turkey, his Nana’s Italian rice stuffing, and a very tasty chocolate cream pie. I provided green beans and cranberry relish, and we all ate well. In separate rooms.
Anyway, the state of the moon crashed through my COVID-fogged brain yesterday with a sledgehammer when it was reported to me and my boss that there was a patron in the men’s room who was doing his laundry in the sink. Naked.
You would think this would be a rare occurrence in a library. You would be wrong.
(This was after one of my other colleagues had spent the better part of a half-hour going over the plans for our new library – we’re getting a new library! And so far, it’s gorgeous… – with a patron who, while he didn’t argue with her the whole time, definitely made his opinions clear, there isn’t enough room for books, no one needs that much seating, it costs too much money. The usual. And our computers were acting up. Also usual.)
Then the laundry bandit accused our custodian of stealing some food he (the patron) had left in the bathroom while he was in there. Our response was a) how would the custodian know who the food belonged to, b) our custodian would also have no way to know how long the food had been in the bathroom, and c) why would you leave food in a public bathroom?
Spoiler alert: The patron found the food. He had left it elsewhere.
It was at this point that one of our other colleagues said, “Does anyone know when the full moon is?”
We all froze, then nodded. A quick check of the internet confirmed our fears. The full moon was upon us.
Now, people have been arguing for years about whether or not the full moon causes strange behavior in people. Scientific American did a whole article refuting it back in 2009. Healthline published the results of a number of studies showing that while there may be some links between the full moon and bipolar disorder and sleep interruptions, the idea that the full moon causes people to become aggressive, violent, anxious, or depressed is poppycock.
Now, generally speaking I am a ‘believe the scientists’ type of person. Do I think global warming is real and dangerous? Yes. In spades. Did I get vaccinated and boosted for COVID? You bet. I believe that getting the vaccine kept me from being hospitalized because of my pre-existing conditions. Do I think the full moon doesn’t really affect people’s behavior?
No. Or rather, hell no.
I have seen too much anecdotal evidence that it does.
Is it life-threatening? No. Does it make me shake my head and wonder why some folks are the way there? Yes. Will I again look at the calendar next month when all the weirdos in the world come in to my place of work to ask me questions? Yes.
And then I will go back to answering their questions and helping them find the information they need.
It’s what I do.
For tonight, though, I am going to hunker down under a light blanket (because it is still fairly warm) and enjoy being at home and away from the weirdness.