Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Marking Time

I’ve developed a new sense of time out here in Katrina Country. I don’t have a TV to draw me into an abyss of urgent political news or hypnotize me with commercials. I see now that you can lose whole hours of your life with stuff like that. I have stopped setting an alarm and set a timer on the morning coffee pot instead. My trailer is so small the sound of the coffee perking is enough to wake me. But the serious wake-up call comes when I hear the porta potty doors slamming shut to indicate the breakfast cooks are up and about. There’s a whole new sense of time for me now.

For the last few years I’ve had an urge to re-draw the calendar. Whoever came up with this calendar was a real bozo. I think it was some Roman emperor so I guess he’s dead as a doornail and I’m safe calling him a bozo. You gotta be really careful who you call a bozo nowadays, people get pretty touchy.

At any rate, whichever bozo arranged things this way was obviously not a working mom who had to close out the year-end books and return Christmas presents the same week. As a recovering accountant I’ve long wished to re-arrange some of the stupid mistakes the calendar presents.

All the holidays are in the wrong month. Like Christmas, for instance. I’ve read that Jesus wasn’t really born in December. In all probability he was born in the spring when those shepherds were outdoors watching their flocks. Shepherds wouldn’t keep their sheep in open fields in the winter, would they? Makes sense to me. The December date was picked when early Christians got nervous because they noticed the pagans were having a blast celebrating the winter solstice in mid-December and they wanted to have some fun, too. So they promoted Christmas to a major holiday and invented Santa Claus and malls.

So Christmas belongs in spring. We’d have to give up snowmen and reindeer pulling sleds. But we could have some great barbecues.

The other advantage of moving Christmas to spring is to get more time for the accountants to get stuff done. We don’t need any fun holidays in December to distract anyone. The accountants need for all the worker bees to be in their cubicles with their minds on end of the year adjustments and getting the data correct. When I was working in accounting, I never really minded working on New Years Day. That holiday never meant much to me since my husband and I aren’t what anybody in their senses would call party animals. I never stayed up late and I never cared about the football games the next morning. I actually wanted to come to work on January 1. It was my best day of the year. I was always the only person in the building. I had all the numbers to myself and they couldn’t jump around on me. I could go into the warehouse to check an inventory count if I wanted. Plus-- here’s the heavenly side of it—all the year-to-date calculations were so easy on January 1st. Can you imagine anything nicer?

Valentines Day is in wrong place also…strapless dresses to the high school Sweetheart Dance in snow? Gimme a break. July 4th in such heat? I say we should get the holidays out of the extreme weather and into times we can really enjoy ourselves. Here are my suggestions:

January- Let’s turn Martin Luther King Day into something more than a footnote. It could be an international brotherhood day when people of different cultures can celebrate our differences and eat each other’s exotic foods. Every major holiday has it own cuisine. November and December have turkey. July has hotdogs. Maybe January could have an assortment of international treats like eggrolls, baklava, pizza and fried chicken. I could go for that in a heartbeat.

February- We have to take Valentines Day out of February. The roads get too icy for high school kids to be driving around in the dark while they’re hormones are on high. Most of the girls are wearing next to nothing to the annual Valentines dance. What happens if there’s a wreck and she has to stand outside and flag down a ride?

March – Currently, March does not have any holiday. That’s a waste. Move Christmas here. We’ll have much better weather for shopping.

April- Does anybody really know how we time Easter? I think it has something to do with the moon. I used to think it keyed off Passover (the Last Supper was a Passover meal). But, a couple of years ago, Passover happened after Easter. I asked all the preachers and Jews I know and only one person had an answer. Unfortunately, the answer was so complicated that I’m afraid I dozed off before I understood it. But whatever we do with Easter we must remember to keep it away from April 15. We don’t want anyone traveling out of town visiting relatives when they need to be at home doing their taxes. I’m tempted to eliminate holidays in April but don’t want to waste the good weather.

May- only has Mothers Day and Memorial Day. Memorial Day is OK here but it rains a lot in May. Let’s move Mothers Day (see September)

June- nothing here but Fathers Day yet the weather is perfect for picnics. We should move Labor Day to June. Maybe we could even move the presidential election to June. June is too great a month to waste on vacations.

July- I propose we eliminate holidays in July and August. The weather is far too horrible then.

August- without any major holidays in this month people could celebrate one of my favorite minor holidays: August 8th, the day Richard Nixon resigned. My ex-sister-in-law always takes the day off from work. There’s no reason you couldn’t do it, too. Just call in sick if you don’t want your boss to know what a radical pinko commie you are.

September- We could move Mothers Day and Fathers Day to September and call it a generic “Cool Parents Day” or “Be Nice to Old People Day”. That way we could celebrate the grandparents who are raising children while the parents serve time in jail. I’m not sure we need separate days for mothers and fathers. Many of them are working both jobs already.

October- Nothing much happens here except for Halloween. The weather in October is far too nice to waste it. We could move another holiday here. Is it possible to move July 4th to October? Come on, work with me here. If we can celebrate Christ’s birthday in the wrong season why not July 4th? We don’t have to call it July 4th, you know. A lot of people call it Independence Day.

November- Here’s one holiday I agree with. We should definitely keep Thanksgiving in November. However, the food is all wrong. If we are to celebrate the harvest shouldn’t we do it in June when vegetables are actually still in season? The only thing good in November is pumpkins. Even the sweet potatoes are past their prime in November.

December- we could keep this month free by moving Christmas to March. People could use the entire month to balance their checkbooks. Or take some time to learn how to cook Baklava for the new International Brotherhood Day.

Now, these changes are only a start. Send me your suggestions and we’ll consider them. I say 2008 is the year for a few well-considered changes. Our calendar is a mess.

2 comments:

dfw said...

I'm not sure what to think when I understand you, scary...you need to add one more holiday, when Bush leaves the whitehouse, that could be big. Think I'll start planning that party now! dfw

Jonathan said...

Jane, once again your sense of timing and collection of words inspire in ways that make sense, compliment and uplift people rather than superstition. Such a blessing to know you. Blessings on this new year!
Jonathan Murray