While driving the lovely and scenic Route 50 to return some videotapes the other day, I noticed a sign that informed me that February was not just the month of the year when we celebrate Black History.
Apparently, February is also National K-9 Obesity Awareness month, and let me tell you that I immediately thought to myself, “Finally, someone is addressing an issue that has been overlooked for far too long: fat dogs.”
Hopefully, you can sense my sarcasm as I’m laying it on pretty thick in this case.
It got me thinking about how many weeks or months out of the year we are given a specific window to honor or recognize certain causes, cultures, genders, holidays, and/or events. I was only slightly surprised when I found the rather lengthy list.
Now, I’m not in any way undermining the tradition of honoring things like Black History Month, although I do think that it’s interesting that they appointed our shortest month of the year for the rich history of Afro-Americans. I also think that holidays like Veterans Day, Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and the other big ones so to speak are super important to teach our kids about, and have that day off from work to celebrate over some grilled hamburgers and canned Coca-Cola.
What I don’t get it is how things like National Safe Boater Week, National School Lunch Week, and National Save Your Vision Week ever got passed by Congress or requested by Presidential proclamation to have a specified week of awareness raised each year.
This realization came on the heels (though not necessarily as a result) of what is considered by many jaded single people to be a “Hallmark” holiday when we celebrated Valentine’s Day yesterday. The annual event where men all over the country wine and dine their ladies at fine eateries and purchase shiny or chocolate covered objects for them is one that has seemingly been around for generations. Yet, at its humble beginnings in the 19th century, Valentine’s Day was the day that short and thoughtful handwritten notes were exchanged between lovers. Obviously, those thoughtful handwritten notes evolved into witty-phrased gift cards and the ever-popular singing cards, and the multi-million dollar industry that is “being romantic.”
Though many scorned singles may be against V-Day, there are plenty of other observed days that should get people looking at just as cynically. I mean, if you can give a whole week to creating awareness about crappy school lunches, is it so bad that we stop the crazy train of our hectic lives and tell our women that we love them and buy them some flowers?
I mean, if the Beatles were right and “All You Need Is Love”, then shouldn’t it be Valentine’s week? Granted, all the men in the world would be broke, so perhaps that isn’t a good idea, but I think you get my point.
We’ve got Groundhog Day for chrissakes, which being from Western Pa. originally, I can vouch that the annual rodent weather report is just an excuse for warming the winter blues with copious amounts of barley and hops in a Punxsutawney field somewhere. We’ve got St. Patrick’s Day, which has become a day when everybody is drunk while pretending to be Irish. We’ve got Mardi Gras, which is a rich tradition of throwing a big party to celebrate the upcoming Lenten season and Fat Tuesday is the night where you get “Yer Ya Ya’s” out before you give stuff up for Lent.
Fat Tuesday is now a chain of bars and a home base for Girls Gone Wild-type tomfoolery. In hindsight, I doubt that getting those types of Ya-Ya’s out were what people had in mind when the tradition of Mardi Gras started.
Pretty much every state has their own day (Maryland’s is March 25), and some groups get multiple days. Father’s and Mother’s Day is well known, but there is also a Parents Day that is supposed to be celebrated on the fourth Sunday in July. What else is interesting is the amount of ideas and causes that get specific days such as Loyalty Day (May 1), Freedom Day (Feb. 1), and Law Day (coincidentally and ironically on May 1 also same as Loyalty Day).
We spend days honoring our flag, our trees, our constitution, our heart, our secretaries, our children’s health, and even a whole week honoring our transportation.
The entire month of May honors the Steel Industry as well as the Asian Pacific Americans that live in this country. February is a very busy month as we celebrate Black History Month, American Heart Month and Valentines Day.
I guess the point is that everyone has a cause that they are fighting to get people to know about, and some causes like Cancer Control Month (April) are in my opinion much more necessary than Sober Boater Week or K-9 Obesity week. The question is whether or not we need to have specific dates set aside for us to take notice of every cause that is out there or every event that has ever happened?
I mean, do we?
If that is the case, and the people that want the world to know how to keep your dogs from becoming land manatees (my guess is less table scraps and actually walking them) got a specified time to preach their cause, how long before every week or even day is designated to some ridiculous cause that people want donations for, like National Turf Toe week?
I mean how many NFL careers have been shortened by the tragedy of Turf Toe?
I’m sure it’s more than you think.
So, I guess in this month of celebrating Black History and telling your lover that you really do love them by showering them with spa packages and red roses, perhaps we should realize that there are never enough hours in the day, days in the week, weeks in the month, or month in the year to truly be aware of everything that is going on.
As long as you stick to the big ones however, like calling your Mother, remembering our history, and telling your girl that you love them, you should get by pretty well.
I’m sure you can catch up on what they’re having for lunch in our nation’s schools some other time.
I’m pretty sure they’re still serving sloppy joe’s.
And remember to walk your dog, because there might just be no bigger problem facing our world today than the fight against K-9 obesity.
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