Friday, December 4, 2020

I know I seem to dwell on the end of this project a bit too often, but it occurred to me yesterday that once this is done, I may wind up with all that free quarantine time folks were boasting about early in the pandemic. Will I take up an instrument? Learn to start crafting? Will I finally binge-watch the rest of Black Mirror? Or will there be such a vicious pang of emptiness in my soul that I can only fill by celebrating the trivial things in my life? If it’s that last one, then 2021 may be my most depressing year yet. Maybe I’ll dust off the ol’ kazoo and try to write a part for it in a Mozart symphony somehow. After all, what is a kazoo but an oboe with imagination? Anyway…

Let’s Hug Day

From Girl Hug Boy Day in January to Hug a Plumber Day in April to Hug Holiday in June, we have celebrated the embrace at least ten times this year. That’s ten entries in which we could post a pic of us hugging, or us hugging our dogs, and call it a legitimate celebration. This one is, from what I can tell, absolutely no different from any other, in that we are meant to appreciate the simple act of hugging someone.

But how simple is it? This is 2020, we have been in a pandemic for 75% of the year, and people aren’t getting all the hugs they are used to. Jodie is a hugger; she hasn’t been allowed to hug her students or coworkers in more than eight months. My mother sees no one else but us, so we are her only hug option at the moment. Even when family and friends dropped by to join us in our socially distanced backyard Folk Fest in August, there were no hugs, just a variety of sign-language equivalents. We were all aiming to be safe.

So no, this is not the day to shake all that off and do a “Let’s Hug” because we’ve been waiting so long to do so. We still have a ways to go before hugging outside of one’s cohort is acceptable – ideally when our city is not seeing 800 new cases every day at minimum. But we need to acknowledge the hug, remind ourselves that hugs will return one day, and maybe hug those of us we still can.

Or, for those who don’t like hugs, maybe it’s a day to celebrate the fact that there is no obligation to do so at this time. I don’t mind hugs, but I know I’m grateful the handshake is still on the outs. A hug is great, but people wipe their butts with their shaking hands. And I don’t trust people I meet to be hand-washers. Ugh. I feel gross now. I need a hug. Anyone?

National Roof Over Your Head Day

Every so often, Jodie and I remark to one another how odd it feels to be a grownup. We have all of this stuff that belongs to us. We have actual land we actually own (via our mortgage company). We have lives – canine now, but once we had humans too – who depend on us for survival. And we have a house. It’s weird. Part of me still wants to pull out my old Millennium Falcon and fly it down my hallway.

A lot of people – also actual grownups – are not as fortunate. I say ‘fortunate’ knowing there are folks out there who will point out that Jodie and I both went to school and specifically chose our jobs to earn money to pay for this house. Sure. We didn’t win it in a lottery. But we also acknowledge that we were born with the means and opportunity to get that education and get those jobs. There are too many folks in our city who don’t have what we do, and it’s not simply a matter of hard work.

To celebrate this one, we both gave thanks for our good fortune and our fancy roof (re-done less than a decade ago, fitted with new eaves back in September – the underside of it is pictured because y’all know what a roof looks like). Jodie also continued working on her Masters project, which is centred around the homeless and those who can’t be quite as grateful for this one.

Tolerance Week

I don’t have any certainty that this is a real thing, as the two sources I found for it don’t really tell me much. Is this tolerance for LGBTQ people? Tolerance for visual minorities? Why are we still talking about ‘tolerance’? I feel that word is outdated. To say we are ‘tolerating’ someone sounds like we are begrudgingly accepting that we have to deal with them.

You know what? I am going to stick with tolerance. But my tolerance this week will be not for the oft-marginalized members of society. This week – or for the remainder of this week – I will vow to tolerate the ones for whom I feel I can do little more than begrudgingly accept their existence. I’m talking about those who spew their ignorance all over social media like it’s a badge of honour. The anti-maskers. The closet racists. The people who make “jokes” about Elliot Page coming out as transgender, when really they’re just mocking a group of people they’d prefer didn’t exist.

Lately I have been on a tear, making fun of these idiots and apparently amusing my Facebook friends, who often see what I write in those comment sections. I will do so without any malice or ill-will for the rest of this week as a way of saying, “I tolerate you, despite you offering up only ugliness, pettiness and stupidity to the world.”

I think that’s pretty damn open-minded of me. And it’s literally the best I’m willing to do for them.

Awareness Month Of Awareness Months Month

This is just a silly entry that has, from what I can see, only one flimsy mention online, but I enjoy the meta-humour of it enough to include it here. When we started this project, all of my research was focussed on the National Days. Adding the commemorative weeks and months was more of an after-thought, one I wasn’t sure we’d actually end up doing. But we have dozens of National Months that we’ve added to our roster, and they have ranged from silly to pizza.

So this month I will bring awareness to all the awareness we have raised throughout the year for Awareness months. It makes me feel genuinely… I don’t know… aware? Sure. Let’s go with that.

Today we enjoy our fourth-to-last Friday in this project. What wonders will we try to shoehorn into our next article? Probably stuff from this list:

  • Faux Fur Friday. Do we own any faux fur? We’ll find out. And when we do, we’ll let you know.
  • National Cookie Day. This one is a no-brainer. We don’t skip days like this.
  • National Dice Day. I might end up using dice to determine some of my actions today. That’s always fun.
  • National Sock Day. Socks shall be worn. And celebrated.
  • Bartender Appreciation Day. Bars are somewhat open at the moment, but we will likely be refraining from visiting one. Thankfully, I am my own bartender.
  • International Cheetah Day. We have celebrated numerous animals throughout the year, but we haven’t yet caught up to the cheetah.
  • Wear Brown Shoes Day. I don’t think I even own any brown shoes.
  • Santa’s List Day. Last day to kiss the man’s red-suited ass for gifts!
  • International Sweater Vestival. Not a typo. Wear a sweater vest. I am quite positive I don’t own one, which actually makes me a little sad now.

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