Wednesday, December 16, 2020

And somehow the credits roll on another day of balancing work and celebration, with a boisterous acknowledgement that I might not be able to pull it off. We have popped over 2,000 corks this year, and we are spent. We would love to race past the finish line at full speed and with gargantuan gusto, but I think it’s enough of a win just to have made it to the end, given the weird circumstances of this year. Covid didn’t kill this project, but it wounded it and left it with an irrefutable limp. And so we limp onward, with a hot cup of whatever lands on our calendar and whatever we can manage to plunge ourselves into. Here’s what our yesterday delivered:

International Tea Day

“But wait,” the extremely attentive among you may interject, “you already celebrated this one back on May 21. I remember it like it was yesterday.” Well, first of all you’re lying. Nobody remembers that particular celebration. But you’re also correct in that we did celebrate this exact day already this year.

And so we’ll celebrate it again. International Tea Day is a United Nations construct, meant to acknowledge the importance of tea around the globe. It is, after all, the most widely consumed beverage that isn’t plain ol’ water. And it’s crucial to a number of economies, such as those in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Uganda and Tanzania. As it happens, those nations in particular have been celebrating International Tea Day on December 15 since 2005. The UN celebration in May is only a year old.

So how did we celebrate this? Did we plant some hibiscus or licorice root to use in our own tea creations? Did we forge a trade alliance with our Ugandan brothers and sisters to import their goods directly to our home? Or did we simply drink some tea? I think you all know how this day landed for us. Abbey enjoyed a chai latte. It was tasty.

Cat Herders Day

Thomas and Ruth Roy strike again. Those two crazy doofuses created more than 80 weird celebrations throughout the year, most of which we have celebrated in our travels. According to my records, we have only four more of their days to look forward to. I’m going to miss Thomas and Ruth. I should have sent them a Christmas card for their efforts.

The gist behind this one is for us to look at our jobs and compare them to the chaos that would be involved in the process of herding cats. No one actually has that responsibility in their jobs, outside of animal shelters and possibly Disneyland rat-control experts. But most of us will remember that Super Bowl commercial for Hewlett-Packard, where cowboys on horses wrangled cats to demonstrate… I don’t know, something about HP computers, probably.

My job is not nearly that frantic. I work with spreadsheets and Word documents, and tend to communicate with two or three coworkers throughout my days, that’s about all. Jodie is a junior high teacher, so she could absolutely relate to this. Teachers are the true cat-herders in our world. Now that she’s working from home I have the joy of listening to her tell her kids to quit talking, followed by her kids trying to shoehorn in one more witty rejoinder (almost always lacking in actual wit) before she tells them again. I could never do her job, and I admit that freely. It takes patience, focus, and the ability to predict where those wacky cats will leap to next.

I’ll stick with my spreadsheets.

National Wear Your Pearls Day

This day was created by author DeAnna Bookert, which begs the question: how many of these celebrations were created by motivational speakers? A surprising amount, I’ve found, but I can’t be bothered to comb through all of my old posts in order to get an accurate tally. Needless to say, this is another celebration meant for us to feel good about ourselves. Can’t argue with the perpetual need for that groove.

DeAnna believed that wearing her pearls was a way to remind herself that, no matter how much metaphorical feces was flung her way by the great monkey of life, she still has value. Those are my words, by the way. If you’re looking for poop-slinging imagery in order to spark your motivational needs, don’t look to DeAnna for that; look to me. If you’re looking for a more valuable way to feel value in yourself, maybe DeAnna is the way to go.

Jodie owns some pearl earrings, and last night she plopped them on. She doesn’t have a significant self-worth issue, but she looks great in the earrings, and the calendar insisted she wear them.

National Tie Month

I can’t stand ties. I have no desire to ever wear a tie again for the rest of my life. When my son got married, I didn’t wear a tie. I’ve been to a handful of funerals in the last decade: no tie. The only time I’ve worn a tie has been for job interviews, and that was simply to project an idealized impression of myself that I never planned to live up to. So, like everyone does in a job interview.

But, for the purposes of this project Liberty indulged. She wore a tie, if only for a few moments, and looked more dapper than I ever could have. I did not opt for wearing a proper shirt and tie as well, but the shirt part is not in the name of this celebration anyway, so I’m okay with that. If there’s a National Shirt & Tie Month… well, we would have hit it by now. It’s December. This is it. Just the tie.

Today is the beginning of the home stretch. On January 15 I celebrated being 1/24th of the way through this project, and I believe I specified that if the year was one second of film, we just finished the first frame. Well, we’ve got one frame left to tackle. Here’s our Wednesday:

  • National Chocolate Covered Anything Day. Nice and vague. I like these when they’re nice and vague.
  • Barbie & Barney Backlash Day. After this we’ll have only three Thomas & Ruth Roy celebrations on the list.
  • Stupid Toy Day. The stupid ones are always the most fun, right?
  • Boston Tea Party Day. I assume this is commemorating the date. I had no idea all the tea was dumped in winter.

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