Saturday, November 28, 2020

Now that we have skated past our goal of 2,000 celebrations with an almost certainty that we’ll hit our more ‘cute’ goal of 2,020 celebrations this year, I feel my foot should be up off the gas pedal and we should coast calmly toward the end. I’m also aware that I can accomplish a great deal over the next month or so by dedicating more time to literally anything other than these articles. Yesterday I poured myself into my work, then launched right into weekend mode. And still, we were able to hammer down another quartet of fun. Here’s what speckled our day:

Black Friday

The only way I want to celebrate this is by cranking up the Steely Dan and/or Kendrick Lamar song with this title. I don’t like shopping at the best of times. And I don’t do lineups for deals.

Jodie, of course, is a far more seasoned retail indulgence expert than I. Yesterday she fell short of heading to a mall to shop in person, but she did hit the online sales and picked up more Christmas presents. To be fair, I don’t know if she took advantage of sales or simply bought not-on-sale items because they were the ones she wanted to buy. I can’t inquire about these things, as some of them may be for me. Also, I probably don’t want to know.

There are 22 individual days throughout history that are known as Black Friday. In every case, it’s a lousy thing: On May 13, 1960 it was the day of a riot to protest the House Un-American Activities Committee. On October 14, 1881, it was a huge windstorm off the southeastern coast of Scotland that killed 189 fishermen, mostly from one small village. On June 26, 2015 it was a series of terrorist attacks in France, Kuwait, Somalia, Syria and Tunisia. On July 30, 1987, Black Friday was a tornado here in Edmonton that killed 27 people.

So Black Friday is a bad thing, except when it’s used as a shopping day after American Thanksgiving, or as the last Friday before Christmas in the UK, where it’s an excuse to party. The day after Thanksgiving has been the start of the holiday shopping season since at least 1952. That’s the first recorded use of ‘Black Friday’ to describe it, and it referred to the danger of numerous employees calling in sick the day after the holiday in order to go shopping. Around the beginning of the 80s it was known nation-wide as Black Friday, most likely because folks whose businesses would be in the red could count on that day to put some black ink in their ledger.

I, unfortunately, was no help this year. Why?

Buy Nothing Day

This is, and has been for the last 28 years since Canadian artist Ted Dave invented it, a protest against consumerism. It’s the anti-Black-Friday, and all you have to do in order to celebrate it is to not buy anything. I will not hesitate to leap at any celebration that involves not doing something – they are the easiest to tackle. See yesterday’s Turkey-Free Thanksgiving, for example.

I didn’t buy anything. I looked into some ideas, but I didn’t spend a dime. Well, I went for some beers yesterday evening, but that’s just grabbing essentials for survival, right? They shan’t be gifted to anyone, and even Jodie won’t have any, since she isn’t a fan.

But as far as gifts go, as far as sales go, I resisted. It was easy. I had beer.

Flossing Day

This one is pretty clear-cut. It’s the day after Thanksgiving, you’ve probably devoured a feast and will do so once again with leftovers. Good time to remember that you need to practice proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing. Specifically flossing, which I think most people tend not to do until they get some sort of reminder.

So I flossed. I celebrated the fact that humankind figured out that brushing alone isn’t enough, and that someone in the last few decades invented a quality floss that’s smooth and tough and doesn’t snap apart. It was far from the high point of my day (remember, I had beer), but it was a point.

Fur-Free Friday

The above photo is apparently a bear without fur. I hope it gives you all nightmares as it did to me.

I’m going to count this one because it falls under the same heading as Buy Nothing Day: it’s a day to celebrate the fact that we did not do something, in this case, wear fur. I don’t own any fur, at least I don’t think I do. I may still have some fur coat my dad had from back in the 80s when he thought he was a Jewish gangster, I don’t know. Jodie may own some non-faux fur because she has been a fan of the stuff since back in the 80s before activists started throwing red paint at people.

But we held true to this day. It was, of course, over freezing yesterday so there was really no need to bundle up in anything, let alone fur, but hey – we stayed true to the day.

Now that we’re past 2,000 celebrations this year I don’t see us diving into quite as many, but when they present themselves as this simple – just don’t do something we wouldn’t have done anyway – I can’t not add them to the list. It was a perfect little celebration, in that it took no time or energy to do.

I am hopeful we get a few more don’t-do-this celebrations over the next month or so. As much as we are loving this project (and to be truthful, we really aren’t anymore), we have other things to focus on. But for today, here’s what’s up:

  • Small Business Saturday. I absolutely support this one, in that small businesses are suffering this year, both from Covid and from being priced out by big chains. We will support a few good ones.
  • National French Toast Day. Well damn, French toast is the best!
  • National Family Health History Day. A day to study our families’ health histories and… wow, this is considered a celebration?
  • Make Your Own Head Day. This is a day to fashion a replica of your own head out of some sort of crafting material. I find this freakish and weird, and will not likely be participating.
  • International Aura Awareness Day. I had my aura photographed once. It was in Los Angeles, if that explains anything.
  • Turkey Leftover Day. Weird that this pops up two days after Thanksgiving, but what do I know? I’m just some Canadian.
  • It’s Letter Writing Day. Not sure why there’s an ‘It’s’ in this day’s name. Kind of suspicious, really.
  • Red Planet Day. Hooray for Mars.

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