Monday, August 26, 2002

Okay, so I have a nit to pick with the Hallmark people. I am a big fan of Hallmark. Sending and getting cards makes me really happy.

But as for them creating holidays- enough is enough! I walked into a Hallmark store today, mostly because I have a gift certificate for $6.00 and no other money to spend on fun things, and their Nature's Sketchbook collection always goes on sale (H., are you out there? 75% OFF!!!) in the last week of August to make room for the Christmas ornaments, and I saw a display for Clergyperson Appreciation Day.

My first reaction was to be like, add this one to the Bosses' Day, Administrative Assistants' Day, obligatory but made up holiday list, but you know, being a spiritual leader is a round-the-clock job, and often probably stressful and/or painful when you have to help people who have lost a child, etc., so okay. I take it back. And it's always a good idea to thank people who can make your life either heavenly or hellish, as Bosses and Administrative Assistants have the power to do, and.... What would places like where Alissa works do without her? They really would have issues. They *should* thank her! A lot.

BUT THEN- I saw it. Sweetest Day. October 19th.


We've all said at one time or another that Valentine's Day is totally blown out of proportion, that Hallmark is trying to make money, etc etc. But now they've created Sweetest Day. For the life of me, I can't figure out what makes it different from Valentine's Day, except Valentine's Day honors the Catholic Saint Valentine, who was imprisoned for being a radical thinker and sent love letters to his wife or girlfriend via dove or pigeon or something. I don't know how the pigeon/dove knew where to go, maybe it was like Hedwig and the other really smart post owls in the Harry Potter books?

Whatever. I don't like Valentine's Day anyway. I know I have no right to complain, having had a boyfriend, a very romantic boyfriend who likes to surprise me with creative fun ways of celebrating this day at that, for the last four years. I still hate it. People get all greedy and competitive and jealous and angsty about it, and some years in college anyway, I found myself getting pulled into that, which drives me crazy. And it makes everyone else feel lonely and/or insecure about being independent or in relationships that don't fit neatly into a little velvet box or what have you.

I read this quote somewhere that said something like, "Will you be my Valentine? and I said, 'No, I do not need a holiday to love you." It may have been an Ani DiFranco song. I forget. That is pretty much how I feel about Valentine's Day in my current relationship, though.

BUT SWEETEST DAY? Why? WHY? WHY?!?! (To be read in rapid succession, a la Paul Reiser)

Don't get me wrong! I am all about making up new holidays. Every August 14th, my mom (and Kelly- who thinks it's funny and always remembers) wish me a Happy Conception Day, in honor of that special day in 1978 when I officially became a zygote. (Yes, my mom knows the exact day. Her memory is a lot like mine- creepy)

And last year, I wrote about my Menses Commencement Day, in honor of the day I got my first period, October 21. Last year, I celebrated a full decade of fertility. And Amanda and I have pledged to create a New Birthday for each other, in light of all of the bad news and emotional crap we've gotten on our Actual Birthdays in recent years.

Also, in fact, Thursday is Bella's Founder's Day. Exactly two years ago on August 29th, she ran out of the Rose Garden and got stuck in a bush behind our house in Syracuse, kicking off an intense four months of housebreaking. Woo hoo! (She's getting a new toy- SSssssh! Don't tell her :)

We should definitely make new holidays as they suit our life. For example, I have *never* gotten a box of raspberries in the grocery store that didn't have at least one really yucky/mushy/moldy berry. No matter how fresh they are, there is ALWAYS one moldy one. As soon as I bring home a "perfect" box of berries, I am declaring it Perfect Berry Day or something. Alissa, whom I know understands this, will get a Perfect Berry Day card, at least. :) Also, there is a bullfrog the size of a dinner plate threatening to take hostages out on my porch. It won't move! As soon as it leaves, if it leaves, I am declaring a Scary Big-Ass Frog Exodus Day.

Anyway, in an effort to open up a discussion in the comments, which seldom happens here, (although what is there to say, day after day, except, "Oh, God, I can't believe all that bad stuff happens to you! How are you still alive?!?!" or some such thing :) I am putting this out there-

What holidays can you recommend that we create- romantic, religious, silly, etc? How would you celebrate it? What day should it be? The person with the best/funniest/whatever suggestion will get a prize. (A real prize, one that I make myself or go buy in a store or whatever seems right. The prize will be good, I promise.)

So, suggest away!

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