At least three holidays need to be done away with. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day come with calls to shop from big box stores. There has to be one of those a month, at least. It’s tacky. Don’t we as Americans already have enough junk?
The three holidays are fun for some people but destined to make others feel bad. Valentines Day, for example, left me feeling like an unlovable mutant during years I didn’t have a girlfriend.
I’m ambivalent about Mother’s Day. It’s hard being a mom, and good moms are vital to a functioning world — more important, I’d argue, than fathers. Maybe moms deserve a day, or maybe be nice to your mom every day. In either case, I could do without the junk mail advertising Mother’s Day specials on washer-dryer combos.
If you’ve got a bad relationship with your father or have a kid you never see, Father’s Day can be brutal. I get kind of vexed whenever I hop on Facebook and see that all the fall-down alcoholics I knew in my 20s have somehow been transmogrified into “the greatest dad of all time.” Every day, I tell myself, “Don’t go onto Facebook or Twitter. There is nothing on there but pain.”
Maybe I’m just bitter.
In any case, we can do without those holidays. Maybe make something else a holiday. Juneteenth, which marks the emancipation of slaves in Texas, seems like a good candidate. Aside from the dumbass-white-college-student-in-blackface incidents that will surely transpire at the beginning, making Juneteenth a national holiday would diversify our holidays a bit. Right now, they skew toward shopping and war. And I mean make Juneteenth a real, day-off-work holiday.
Which, I think, brings me to the Fourth of July: a day we commemorate a bunch of rich, slave-owning white dudes who didn’t want to pay their taxes. Congress last year reinforced this admiration of rich people when it passed its tax cuts. My income tax return went from a paltry $300 to a downright pathetic $200. New shoes are going to have to wait.
I don’t think we should outright cancel the Fourth of July, but maybe we shouldn’t celebrate it this year. We have small children in concentration camps. OK, fine. I won’t call them concentration camps. We have small children in cages, and the president is going to give a speech at the Lincoln Memorial about how great he is — the president, not Lincoln.
At the very least, all you would-be patriots can support the troops by abstaining from firecrackers. Seriously, they spook the combat vets. Be a pal and get some sparklers. Yes, I know, they aren’t as fun as heavy artillery, but you can show your love for those brave men and women in uniform by not forcing them to go through July 4 with headphones on all day.