Monday, February 09, 2009

Preparing for President's Day

Here we go again. President’s Day is rapidly approaching, and I’ve done nothing to prepare. We’re only a week away, in case you forgot.

This special day - the holiday of Federal holidays - always seems to sneak up on me, year after year.

Maybe it’s because President’s Day is complete bullshit. I mean, it jumps around like a cat on a hot barbeque. February 17th this year, February 15th the next. Who can possibly keep track?

It doesn’t even commemorate a particular event, but rather, attempts to celebrate a couple of birthdays – those of George Washington (February 22nd) and Abraham Lincoln (February 12th). Why can’t we give each of these great men a day of their own? Why lump them together? How lazy are we, really? You’d think if we were so lazy, we’d give ourselves an extra day off from work by splitting the holiday up into Washington Day and Lincoln Day. We’re contradicting ourselves here, people.

(Warning: True historically accurate content according to Wikipedia immediately to follow. President’s Day was originally celebrated on Washington’s birthday. The holiday was imaginatively dubbed “Washington’s Birthday” back in 1880. But in 1971, the holiday was shifted to the 3rd Monday in February, and informally intended to celebrate Lincoln’s b-day as well. And it was only until the late 1980’s that commercial interests promoted the idea of President’s Day – a day to sell Lincoln t-shirts, Coolidge coffee mugs, Truman hand towels, JFK jello molds, etc. etc.)

Still, a day off is a day off, as I always say. Some thanks is due to whomever came up with President’s Day in the first place. Thank you Hallmark, and whatever company makes those miniature American flags. So, in other words, thank you China.

I, for one, will spend my President’s Day at my Computer Desk of Solitude, as I fill a notebook with thoughtful reflections on what the President means to me. A few preliminary thoughts:

- He is sort of like a super hero, but wears suits in public, and the tights and a cape in private. (See Bill Clinton.)

- He loves his country above all else…..second only to drinking. (See Ulysses S. Grant.)

- He stands for freedom, democracy, and bribery. (See Andrew Johnson.)

- He is incredibly short, incredibly brilliant, and is surprisingly good at basketball and ice hockey. (See James Madison.)

The list, of course, will go on from there. Even if you don’t get the day off, please call in sick, and use this day to celebrate our Presidents’ successes (Abraham Lincoln), innovations (Thomas Jefferson), and press conference jokes (G.W. Bush).

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Anonymous said...

If you're lucky enough to work for the state of NJ, you get President's Day, Washington's birthday and Lincoln's birthday off. Seriously. I bet it makes that long gap from MLK Day to St. Patrick's Day just barely tolerable.

The Mill said...

Do you get St. Patrick's day off in NJ? Really? Along with Washington and Lincoln Days?

I can only assume that you have the day off for Bon Jovi's birthday as well.