Apparently it was “National Siblings Day” this week, followed very closely by “National Pet Day.” In my nearly forty years on this planet I had never once celebrated, nor even heard of, either of these holidays. Yet this week my social media feeds were flooded with brothers and sisters and cats and dogs, all in varying states of public affection. These are only two of the many “holidays” the internet has either invented or just embraced, and I’m having trouble keeping up and caring at all.
To be fair, as holidays go these are pretty low-commitment. Phenomenally so. It’s not like there’s a social expectation to visit family members, spend a lot of money on gifts and decorations, cook a giant meal, or any of the other headaches that come with the more involved holidays. The most anyone expects you to do is post a picture online with a gushy little blurb telling everyone (who cares to read it) how much you love your brothers, sisters, and/or pets. Thanksgiving and Christmas would be a lot less stressful if all you were expected to do was post pictures of food and Santa on Twitter.
And some of them can be pretty funny or clever. National Talk Like A Pirate Day amuses me, though I rarely participate in it beyond an obligatory “Yar!” when someone reminds me what day it is. March 14th is Pi Day, celebrated in equal parts mathematics and desserts. May 4th & 5th are apparently Star Wars days, as in “May the Fourth be with you” and “Revenge of the Fifth.” Personally, I celebrate the lesser-known but far more clever Dave Brubeck Day on May 4, because jazz composer Dave Brubeck’s most famous songs were in 5/4 time. Tee hee.
Those are the clever ones that I like. But there seems to be an internet holiday for everything nowadays. I’ll wake up some mornings to my wife on her phone telling me it’s National Cookie Day, or National Hot Dog Day, or National There Cannot Seriously Be This Many National Days of Things Day. I don’t know if the internet just collectively invented these holidays, or if they’ve always been around and folks online just decided to start advertising them. It’s probably a little bit of both, but beyond the “holidays” that are clever plays on the date, I don’t really care if it’s National Cookie Day. Every day is Cookie Day for me.
So I hope my brother and my cats forgive me for not plastering their faces all over my social media feeds and telling the world how much I love them on their “national holidays.”