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August 26, 2016
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Does anybody really know what day it is?

Does anybody really care? I’m not just perplexed about the day, but the month as well. My morning stroll with you-know-who was a little confusing today. After a week of clouds, fog, rain and ice, the thaw gave way to actual sunshine, and the illusion that spring had sprung was in full force. Momentarily unsure that it was still January, I needed to clear the fog in my brain and checked the calendar to be sure. Sure enough, according to the computer, it’s still winter... but a pop-up banner caught my attention (www.library.thinkquest.org).

“January 14 is National Dress Up Your Pet Day,” it declared. Thinking on my feet, I diverted Dharma’s attention away from the screen. According to www.dressupyourpetday.com, this questionable holiday was “established in 2009 by celebrity pet lifestyle expert Colleen Paige and is sponsored by the Animal Miracle Network as a fun way to celebrate our beloved pets and support the pet fashion community.”

None the wiser, my undressed pup was chewing on a bone, oblivious to the landmark holiday, and I decided that keeping her in the dark was really okay. Not that she doesn’t have a sweater or two (winter has been cold in the past) and she has more than a few outfits given by her legions of fans, but still, her head is swelled enough without thinking that she needs even more attention. “What will they think of next?” I muttered and decided to investigate further. No longer relegated to “officially sanctioned” holidays (which necessitates an actual act of Congress) the monthly (and daily) calendar is rife with celebratory announcements.

January, it turns out, is not only National Eye Month, but also—Hot Tea Month, Soup Month and Prune Breakfast Month. I like soup as much as anyone, but will be passing on the prune parade that is likely underway in Florida as I write this. Bean Day, Hat Day and Peculiar People Day (hmm) flashed across the computer screen, as I perused the never ending array of January’s “special” interests. Clearly Congress had stepped in as National Blood Donor Month popped up (www.wikipedia.org) for January, but it would appear that Hug Day has yet to be declared as official or national. Wiki also illuminated the origins of Black History Month (February), describing how the federal government expanded it from “a week to a month led by the leaders of the Black United Students at Kent State University in 1969.”

This makes sense, but apparently February also includes Crepe Day, Darwin Day (I suspect someone is trying to make a monkey out of me) Gum Drop Day and (ready for this?) February 18 is now Cow Milked While Flying in an Airplane Day. Really, people? Clearly, anyone can get in on this, which would explain Frog Month, (April) Panini Month, (August) and Sweet Potato Awareness Month (which is still vying for both February and November.) How aware do I need to be? Sweet potatoes are just fine, but this onslaught poses the question: “who is responsible for this silliness?” Thinking that there might be a greeting card for September’s Talk Like a Pirate Day (“Greet your friends with ‘ahoy, matey’ instead of ‘hello’!”), I decided to separate wheat from chaff and went to the source—Hallmark.

“Pay dirt,” I shouted to the dog (who by this point, I shamefully admit, was wearing a tutu and sunglasses) and bookmarked the page (www.theultimateholidaysite.com) that breaks it all down. Offering a free app that glorifies anything, the fine folks at Crown Media offer tips to “manage your gift list” and “check out the full calendar of holidays happening every single day of the year.” Shaking my head, I explored more, while slipping a clown suit on Dharma and admiring my handiwork. I missed National Whipped Cream Day, but Send a Card to a Friend Day (Hmm) is right around the corner. If Pets Had Thumbs Day (I’d be out of a job!) is coming up in March, along with Hug a GI Day, which actually sounds worthy.

Lumpy Rug Day, Eat Beans Day (uh oh) and Marooned Without a Compass Day sound a bit contrived, while World AIDS Day, May Day and Independence Day still ring true. There are cards for sidewalk egg frying, planning your epitaph and celebrating the existence of cream cheese brownies (I kid you not!), but I’m unclear as to whether Peppermint Patty Day refers to the candy, or the cartoon character. (There’s probably a card for both.) Either way, I need more stamps.