So, today is a Federal Holiday – President’s Day.
Which is actually Presidents’ Day – apostrophe AFTER the “s” rather than prior, since the holiday refers to ALL them guys, not just one. But that’s wrong, too. It’s actually not either of these things. It’s legally designated on all federal places of notice as being Washington’s birthday (apostrophe BEFORE the “s” because there was only one of him). Confused? I am.
So, today is a Federal Holiday – Washington’s birthday.
Except not really, because we celebrate it on the third Monday of February. And last I checked, this is NOT how we celebrate true birthdays. For example, mine is December 10th, not “the third Wednesday of November“. I mean, WTF? I guess nobody knows WHEN dude’s birthday actually took place, besides the fact that it occurred sometime in February (obvs.). It’s also a recognition of Lincoln’s birthday, since he was born in February, too.
So, back in 1879, Congress was like, “We need another Federal Holiday, stat!”
And thus a new day of celebration was created. Doesn’t matter what we call it. All that matters is that, as a Federal Holiday, it’s a three-day weekend, the banks are closed, school is out, and most people have the day off. Not my hubz, of course, because he works in retail which is filled with selfish a-holes who only want more profits and don’t give a shit about their employees (Check out my post on “Corporate Peons“). But all those other Federal Holiday celebrating-type places get to relax today.
So, today is a Federal Holiday – which means lots of sales.
According to that overflowing fount of information, Wikipedia, “the February holiday has become well known for being a day in which many stores, especially car dealers, hold sales.” I honestly didn’t know this. Although, in retrospect, it doesn’t surprise me, either. I mean, an excuse to make an extra buck? “Yes, please,” say retail owners across America, rubbing their hands together in anticipation of dollars rolling in. Which is funny to me, because:
(a) most of us are still recovering from Xmas.
(b) Valentine’s Day was just a thing last week. Not that I spend a lot on Valentine’s Day – we’re talking a card for each of my kids and a nice chocolate treat. But while Valentine’s Day doesn’t put me out, it’s the season of diamonds and billion-dollar prizes for women everywhere. I don’t go for that sort of thing.
Valentine’s Day is NOT a Federal Holiday.
But it totally should be. Schools have parties in celebration of all that heart-flavored love-stuff floating around. And when my hubz and I went card shopping, my darling looked at me all chagrined and embarrassed as he admitted that he wasn’t planning to get me anything. I was like, “Um, so? I don’t give a crap. I wasn’t getting you anything either. I didn’t realize we were supposed to.”
“Well, normally our tax return has arrived by now, so I’m able to get you a small token of my affection, but this year we did them later than usual, so…” and his hands went up in the air, holding nothing. His shrug made me want to plant kisses all over his adorable face.
I said, “No worries. When our tax return comes in, you can take me out for a night on the town. I’m still owed a stay in a hotel. You’ve been promising me that for EVER now. It’s okay. Seriously. Don’t sweat Valentine’s Day on my account.”
“Okay. But I still feel bad not getting you anything.”
And that is one reason I love my hubz so, so, so very much.
This is how our Valentine’s Day (still NOT a Federal Holiday) went.
The morning of Valentine’s Day, my son had to get to his classes uber early in the morning, so I left his card and yogurt-covered pretzels sitting out the night before where he would be sure to see it. When I came downstairs to get my morning cuppa coffee, his stuff was gone. In its place was a huge “THANK YOU” note with a smiley face. He told me later that this was the first Valentine’s Day he hadn’t had to get anything for a girl, since he’d been dumped several days earlier, so my thoughtful gift totally made his day. I freaking love that kid.
My little girl was so excited over her card and giant box of Toblerone bites, you would think it was HER birthday instead of (almost) Washington’s and Lincoln’s. I swear, she is like our cat – easily pleased with a pretty package, and just as thrilled with a box as what’s inside it. My mom came out to visit and we volunteered at her class party, which turned out to be a good thing because the class mom running the show was sick with a fever and had to skedaddle early, leaving me and my mom in charge of passing out treats, explaining the rules of the game, and pretending we had our collective shit in order. You would never know I have social phobia. I handled like a motherfucking pro. Those kids had fun, and the teacher was happy, and my daughter was thrilled.
My hubz came home from work a bit later than usual that evening. He walked in with a big grin on his face and swept me off my feet with a huge smooch the likes of which was reminiscent of our wedding nuptials. Then he grabbed my hand and led me into my office, where a nice treat awaited. A card, a hardback book I wanted, and a huge box of chocolates. What a doofus. Him, for getting me something even though it was completely unnecessary, and me, for crying like damn baby.
Here’s what my card said:
“Happy Valentine’s Day to my wife. This valentine is a sweet and simple reminder that I love you… not just during the good times, but during the hard times, too – just as much as, and maybe even more, than when we first fell in love. This valentine is my way of saying that I love you, I need you, and I want you by my side all the days of my life. You’re so special to me.”
If you know our history even the littlest bit, you’ll understand why this card was exactly perfect. And why I think Valentine’s Day should be a Federal Holiday. And why I think Washington and Lincoln really need to figure out what the fuck we are really celebrating today.