Another day on the calendar
By Jefferson Weaver
On the calendar above my desk, there are 16 “official” days of something or other in May. Some are national holidays, either for here, Mexico or Canada; I have yet to figure out why we need to know what days are special to our friends in the North or those to the South, but it’s no big deal. In some ways, it’s kind of interesting to see what is celebrated on May 23 in Quebec, but it’s not really that interesting.
Many of the notable days are religious; others are decidedly secular. Cinco de Mayo, for instance, was originally a day of patriotic remembrance in Mexico. It has somehow become, according to one calendar website, “an important part of America’s history.” Based on the television commercials, I reckon it’s become more of a day to consume a lot of alcohol and dress your cat in a sombrero and poncho.
On the other end of the spectrum is Mother’s Day (often celebrated on VE Day, which marks the defeat of the Axis in World War II.)
Of course, May is home to Memorial Day, which began unofficially in the South as a day to honor those fallen in the War Between the States, and eventually grew to a national day honoring all those who died in the service of our country. I find it ironic that some of the very bureaucrats and politically correct historical revisionists who get Memorial Day off work as a paid holiday are attempting to wipe away any reference to its true origins. Some of those same folks, by the way, grumbled this year about National Peace Officer’s Memorial Day.
There are real “unofficial” days too, of course – National Nurse’s Day. National Babysitter’s Day. National Military Spouse’s Day.
Then there are the lighter observances — National Parfait Day. National Lumpy Rug Day. National Truffle Day, which celebrates the treat, not the mushroom. I think the fungi has its own date later in the year.
And we should all celebrate National Hug a Mule Day – well, I made that one up, but my idea is no less credible than many.
Take, for instance, the day in May that encourages people to send photographs of themselves, sans clothes, to friends and strangers.
I am not making this up.
Nor will I use the name of the day, since some of you read this column online, and the Internet Gremlins will decide that you want to see such photos. Some college kids with nothing better to do came up with the idea, posted it with a tic-tac-toe sign on social media, and sat back laughing. In hours, the movement was collecting thousands of responses, none of which I have a desire to see.
Of course, the budding voyeurs gave me an idea. If they could declare a national day of something, and get such a response, anybody could – so why shouldn’t I?
We already have National Take A Kid Fishing Day in September; how about Take Your Spouse Fishing Day? I just wish more husbands and wives could get as much pleasure out of fishing together as Miss Rhonda and I enjoy.
Maybe National Adopt a Goat Day. Everybody needs a goat. I’m not sure why. You just do. Admit it. There’s no shame.
Perhaps National Shampoo a Possum Day? Have you ever shampooed a possum? Well, now’s your chance. Follow it up with Take Your Possum to Work Day.
I think National Candidate Dodgeball Day would be popular. Have a new version of Super Tuesday, when voters could listen to the candidates in a free-for-all debate, and use those big red rubber balls from elementary school recess to express their support or dislike of a candidate.
There have been several attempts at a national day of no social media/cell phone/texting, or something similar. The irony about discussing such days via social media –and checking on other folks’ progress the same way – was delicious.
I must wonder, if there was a National Day for Curmudgeons to Ignore National Days—would cynics such as myself participate?
I’ll tell you what I’d love to see:
• Grandparent’s Advice Day could solve a lot of society’s problems.
• On Family Meals Day, all members of the family would sit down at a table, turn off all media devices, mind their manners, and talk. Those who misbehaved would get a swift smack from Mom after a warning from Dad.
• Roll in the Grass With Your Dog Day – face it. You know you have always wanted to. This way, there would be no embarrassment.
• Little Kids Day – spend an entire day doing whatever is desired by a little kid. Listen to what your particular kid has to say. Follow his or her advice. Little kids are cool. We’d have a better world if we listened to them sometimes.
• Carpenter Bee Badminton Day speaks for itself.
Most of all, we need an official National Day of Common Sense. Maybe even a week.
Not just for government agencies who study shrimp on treadmills, and determine that sex between unmarried people increases the out-of-wedlock birth rate (those are real taxpayer-funded studies, by the way).
Rather, it would be a day where folks take a frank look at themselves, and at least make an effort to apply some common sense to this rather nonsensical world where people who do not have enough money to buy insurance are fined because they do not have insurance.
A day when folks say “No” to government officials who decide the feelings of less than three-tenths of one percent of the population are more important than the safety and privacy of everyone else. A day when we as a country value the life of an unborn child more than that of a century-old tree. A day when a thrifty homeowner can collect rainwater without worrying about five government agencies arresting him and taking his property.
It could be a day when those who have been successful are encouraged to help others, rather than being required to at the point of a gun – and those who receive help practice good stewardship. It could be a day where we as a people value marriage, modesty and moderation over celebrity, obscenity and narcissism. A day when people can communicate without interjecting cuss words to the point of numbing redundancy.
I sincerely doubt there will be a “hashtag” campaign for my idea anytime soon, much less even a questionable date on the calendar. But that’s okay – I’ll just observe it everyday with as many friends as will join in.
After all, we can’t observe every day that someone marks on a calendar. Shoot, I’d be happy if we actually celebrated National Turn Signal Day. That was April 20, by the way – and is even less likely to be observed than my own version of a National Day of Common Sense.