The International Day of Sue Kerr – We Need a Holiday

The Prompt: You have been named supreme ruler of the universe. Your first order of business is creating and instituting a holiday or festival in your honor. What day of the year is your holiday? What special events will take place? Describe YOU DAY in as great a detail as you can muster: the special foods we’ll consume, the decorations we’ll use…everything.

I browsed through other NaBloPoMo posts on this particular challenge and everyone seems to universally hate this prompt. Humility? Too burdensome? Lots of reasons.

I’m going to jump into the spirit of the prompt and give it a shot.

I would proclaim my birthday, October 22, the International Day of Sue Kerr. October 22 is already National Nut Day – not making this up! You are welcome for the good smirk that just gave you.

We will celebrate with strong coffee, iced pumpkin spice cookies (with nuts?) from Giant Eagle and a giant cookie table. Since I am unlikely to have a wedding, why not have a cookie table on my birthday? It gives you a chance to practice a new recipe before the Christmas holidays. With or without nuts.

Special events? Oh, collections of things for causes I care about. In fact, I would collect ALL OF THE THINGS and give them to the organizations close to my heart. A giant Reuse Festival. In a park. With free parking. And gorgeous trees at the peak of their color change. Death, rebirth, renewal, reuse – all together. So decorations would be the piles of donated stuff and the trucks gathered to transport them back to their organizations. With rainbow banners festooned across them, of course.

(And tinsel – I haven’t had tinsel for 20 years because of pets. Pet safe tinsel.)

Let me get a bit serious for a moment. When I was a child, I remember reading “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” and noticing that the adults didn’t have any days off, not the working parents. The concept of a “weekend” was just creeping into the working class consciousness and most of the adults seemed to be working just as hard on their days off to bring in the money for survival. Francie described special occasions that seemed to sustain her and one of those occasions was getting her own cup of coffee each week. After enjoying its aroma and warmth, she poured it out because she didn’t like the taste. Her aunts protested that it was a waste, but her mother insisted that Francie could enjoy her treat in her own way. It wasn’t wasted because it brought her a few moments pleasure.

Of course, being a child in the 1970’s and 1980’s, weekends were entrenched as an entitlement. So as I continued to read about characters who got every other Sunday off (servants) I was astounded. I grasped a second job because most of the Dads in my neighborhood had them due to the collapse of Big Steel. I grasped moms working. I grasped hard work, but I couldn’t understand having one job where you never had time off.  To me a holiday was about resting and recreating, not observing anything. I had few experiences of holidays as anything other than meals, family and some gifts. Maybe a parade, but that was just for observation. I was shocked that people used their holidays (no sleeping in?) to go listen to 2 hour speeches in the cold and still had to do chores. In books. Not in the suburbs.

Then I heard Madonna’s single “Holiday” and she confirmed what I suspected – people needed a holiday for their own emotional well-being. But I questioned the implication that people could get by with just “one day” to celebrate (I was 12 – Madonna seemed like a sage to me.)

How often do you need a holiday?



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