This post is by Joe Stephens
For those of a Christian bent, and even many of you who aren’t, undoubtedly know it’s Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent, or the season that prepares believers for Holy Week, or the week that Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected. It’s the day that, assuming the weather isn’t like it is here today and people actually go places, you’ll see folks with a cross of ashes on their foreheads. So it’s an important observance for many. This got me to thinking about holidays and observances, which sent me off to Google just to find out what else today is. As I did my research, I found weekly and monthly events and observances too. Some are quite serious, like Black History Month, while some are just plain odd. Being kind of odd myself, I was drawn to those. So here’s a list of some of my favorite observances that are going on today, this week, and this month.
Daily Observances for February 10
- Ash Wednesday I already mentioned this one, but it’s kind of the biggie and the reason I’m writing this thing to begin with, so it felt derelict not to include it.
- Umbrella Day I’m not sure if this is an American thing or international. I thought at first that it felt British, but then I thought that couldn’t be true because the Brits call them bumbershoots. So I looked that up too. Turns out that’s not true. So I’m back to thinking this started in Great Britain. I have no actual reason to think it. But when has that ever stopped me? If you know this not to be true, kindly keep it to yourself so I may dwell blissfully in my ignorance.
- Plimsoll Day Yeah, I had no idea what this was either. So Google told me that it’s a light, rubber-soled canvas shoe. I guess everything’s important to somebody.
- All The News That’s Fit To Print Day I’m going to guess this has something to do with the New York Times, but I couldn’t find in my extensive search that took upwards of three mouse clicks any further information.
- Cream Cheese Brownie Day This is obviously my favorite. To paraphrase Joey Tribiani from Friends, cream cheese good; brownie, GOOD.
There were literally dozens that fit this category, so I just picked the ones I liked best. I had no real criteria. If I liked it, I picked it. So I guess I did have at least one criterion. Anyway, here are my favorites:
- Celebration of Love Week This seemed almost required considering the week ends with Valentine’s Day. For anyone who’s interested, my dates for that day are named Ben and Jerry.
- Jell-O Week I’m not sure if this a crass commercial thing, since it’s actually named after a brand of food. It could be that Jell-O has become such a ubiquitous term, like Coke or Kleenex, that it just means non-specific-brand-of-flavored-gelatin. I could see where Generic Flavored Gelatin Week wouldn’t have a ring to it.
- Dump Your Significant Jerk Week I can’t think of a single word to add to this one.
- Have a Heart For a Chained Dog Week I don’t have anything flippant to say about this one because I don’t find the idea of chaining a dog to a doghouse (or worse, just to a stake) is in any way funny or acceptable.
- Solo Diners Eat Out Weekend This seemed appropriate to go immediately after the previous observance. The odd part is that its title has weekend in it, but it’s a whole week long.
- Love Makes The World Go Round, But Laughter Keeps Us From Getting Dizzy Week Yes, this an actual thing. I hope you can see why this would be my favorite.
- Freelance Writers Week This one just felt like it needed to be on this list, considering that the author of this post and many of the readers are freelance writers. So happy us week!
- Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week I don’t do children’s books, but I’m sure some of you do.
- Just Say No To PowerPoint Week I included this as a bit of a shot to myself because, well, I just love making PowerPoint presentations. When I’m making a lesson plan, it’s my go-to tech. I have other tricks in my bag, but this one is my default. So I say no to Just Say No To PowerPoint Week.
Again, there were so many to choose from, but I picked out five that really seemed appropriate to me in one way or another. Here you go:
- Library Lovers Month I think we can all agree that pretty much every serious writer started out as a serious reader. I’ve long thought that someone who creates a perfume that smells like old library book will laugh all the way to the bank.
- Spunky Old Broads Month Because spunky old broads. We all love them.
- Pull Your Sofa Off The Wall Month I chose this one because I wasn’t sure if it meant to pull it off the wall as a fashion statement or to pull it off the wall so you can clean up all the junk that gathers under it. I decided that it could be both. I’m a big fan of Alton Brown, who would explain how an observance that’s not a unitasker is a superior observance.
- Return Your Shopping Cart To The Supermarket Month I like the idea of this just because it seems like the right thing to do. Also, you folks from other parts of the country might find it interesting to know that many of here in West Virginia call shopping carts buggies. I don’t know why.
- Jobs In Golf Month Fill in your own joke here.
So those are my favorite observances for this month. Did I miss any of your favorites?
Joe Stephens is a teacher at Parkersburg High School. He is also the author of Harsh Prey, Kisses and Lies, and the recently released In the Shadow, all of which are available in paperback and Kindle formats. The paperback may be purchased from Createspace, Amazon, and most online booksellers. In the real world, you may purchase from J & M Used Book Store in Parkersburg and from the author’s trunk.
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