An Observation: Deck the Halls and Take a Break

In a few weeks, 2020 will be here.

2020. Who still thinks that 2000 sounds futuristic? And where are the flying cars?!?

Hold that thought.

In any event, 2020 is a census year. I’ve been asking friends what they think the count will be in our fair city this time. My current estimate is “A LOT,” based purely on my observations regarding the infrastructure–specifically, traffic.

Especially during the holidays.

I’m not just referring to road traffic, either. I made the mistake of going shopping on a Saturday and decided that I’m not doing that again unless it’s an emergency, like a sudden household chocolate shortage.

No, the shopping on a Saturday will largely stop, because I was waiting in a checkout line recently when someone decided to place their hands on me to move me out of their way BEFORE offering an “excuse me.”

dont touch me GIF
If I leave the house on a Saturday again, I’ll be wearing a huge “DON’T TOUCH ME” sign on the back of my coat.

As I looked around at all the people and all the holiday “cheer,” I decided that it was time for everyone to take a step back, breathe, and look at something nice for a few minutes.

There. Isn’t that peaceful?

We are BOMBARDED this time of year with a pursuit of perfection in our holiday plans. The perfect party, perfect gifts, perfect everything…when in reality, most of us will have a more Griswoldian experience.

national lampoons christmas vacation GIF

We need to SLOW DOWN for a moment here. (Unless you’re making a right-hand turn, which, for some reason, appears to be incredibly difficult. I suppose that’s a big reason why we haven’t pursued flying cars more vehemently.)

Seriously, though…stop and breathe. Simplify what you can. If it’s worth moving a complete stranger aside in order to create the “perfect” Christmas, trust me, it actually isn’t worth it.

An Observation: Non-Labor Day

We’ve arrived at the unofficial end of summer. Let us observe a moment of silence.

(Umm…I said a moment. But, okay. Whatever floats your boat.)

Sure, it’ll still be hotter than a flamethrower on the equator until mid-October here in good old Arkansas, but all the carefree summer fun is magically exchanged for hoodies and pumpkin-spice oxygen once Labor Day concludes.

Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894. I don’t suppose I know anyone who was around for the first one to interview them for a first-hand perspective, but I’m sure the first one wasn’t like our modern celebration. (And judging by the Labor Day sales offered by most retailers, it doesn’t seem to be universally observed in this here country. But I digress…)

In my family, we used to celebrate the three-day weekend with a trip to the river or by watching television in the air conditioning as a family. When I was in college, a very close relative threw a great Labor Day party he didn’t even know about until he came home to find my brother, myself, and about a dozen of our closest friends enjoying his swimming pool.

I applaud the efforts of those who created a holiday to celebrate the hard working men and women of this country, but I have a problem with it.

More specifically, the wording of it.

As the self-proclaimed Meticulously Observant Observer, I live for details. I feel like calling this holiday “Labor Day” means that one is expected to do just that–labor–on their “holiday.”

Why didn’t they call it “Non-Labor Day” instead?

I understand the intent–honor those who labor–but, let’s say you are the type to take things very literally. You see a day on the calendar marked “Labor Day.” You might think that you have to put in some serious overtime on the first Monday in September. Meanwhile, everyone around you has filled up their cars with camping gear and tells you they’ll “see you Tuesday.” (Maybe you do have to work overtime. I don’t know. I’m not your boss. Again, I digress…)

Oh, well. I’m overthinking things again. It happens.

Have a Happy (Non) Labor Day. And remember…Tuesday is the new Monday this week. Order that extra shot of espresso.

You deserve it.
You deserve it.

A Celebration: Every Day Is A Holiday

Today is May 1.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to plan my May Day celebration. However, each year I celebrate in a small way by recalling a quote from the movie “Airplane!”. Ted Striker, a passenger piloting a stricken airliner, sends out a distress call to air traffic controller McCrosky…who immediately–and rhetorically–questions his “mayday.” McCrosky (played by Lloyd Bridges) receives an answer from Johnny (played by Stephen Stucker), a person you might not want working an emergency situation.

“May Day? Why, that’s the Russian New Year! You know, we’ll have a big parade and serve hot hors d’oeuvres…”

Johnny, be good.
Johnny wasn’t the greatest problem-solver, but he would be a natural at presidential politics these days.

I know that there are people out there who do celebrate May Day. However, I was looking at my calendar and I know for certain that I can’t take time for every single designated holiday in existence.

Upon doing a simple internet search–although I’ve likely found some unreliable sources–I’ve determined that every day has at least one holiday attached to it. (In some cases, more than one. That’s just an exact estimate, though.)

For example, tomorrow (May 2) is Baby Day AND Brothers and Sisters Day. (Look it up. They can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true.) I don’t have a baby, and I doubt very many babies would realize people are celebrating a holiday in their honor, but I do have a brother, so I could celebrate by giving him a quick call. That one really doesn’t take too much time out of my day. However, I didn’t know it existed until about fifteen minutes ago. Now that I know, am I required to plan ahead for next year’s “celebration?”

Eh, I’ll just let the Pinterest virtuosos take care of it.

Moving ahead…May 3. I found three holidays listed for May 3. World Press Freedom Day, National Teachers Day (which is designated for the Tuesday of the first full week of May), and–get this–Lumpy Rug Day.

Lumpy Rug Day. (I’m not making this up.) How do you celebrate that one?!? More importantly…WHY?!?

There. I guess I'm celebrating early.
There. I guess I’m celebrating early.

In the past few years, May the Fourth has gained tremendous popularity among “Star Wars” fans, so I doubt that National Candied Orange Peel Day will get quite as much attention. (May 4 is also host to Bird Day and Renewal Day…whatever that one is.) May 5 is, of course, Cinco de Mayo, which also tends to overshadow such treasured holidays as National Hoagie Day or Oyster Day.

May 6 includes–but is not limited to–International Tuba Day this year, which falls on the first Friday in May. (Actually, I need to remember that one. Tuba players usually don’t receive enough recognition for their work. And it sure is heavy work.)

I could go on for…well, a year. It’s not practical to expect everyone to celebrate all of these holidays, so I suppose you should just pick and choose your favorites. The month of May has plenty of options.

(On that note…Happy early Mother’s Day, Mom! I promise I won’t make that one “optional.” That one’s kind of important.)