I’m Making Myself Hungry
LABOR DAY IS ONE OF THE DAYS THAT’S A HOLIDAY NOBODY KNOWS WHAT TO DO WITH. It doesn’t celebrate any specific event or individual. It just is. I know that it is nominally supposed to be a day to honor those who labor. So how do we do that? We take the day off.
Personally, I’m always in favor of taking the day off. Now that I am retired I celebrate Labor Day almost every day and I’m getting good at it.
Labor Day, despite what the name says, also stands for some other things – unofficially. Labor Day is looked upon as either the End of Summer or the Beginning of Autumn, depending on your point of view. I don’t like either of those things. I want Summer to continue and I don’t want Autumn to start. I think in a previous life that I must have been a Surfer Dude or a Weber Kettle. I kind of fit the profile for either one.
Labor Day is another one of those days when any and all pretenses to good nutrition go out with the bath water. Nobody eats a salad on Labor Day – unless it’s Potato Salad. Hot Dogs, Hamburgers and miscellaneous stuff that comes in bags fill the menu and the tummy. I’m as guilty as the next person on this, but I don’t go back to work the next day to help burn off some of the 9000 calories I forced down my Pie Hole – along with the Pie.
Another of Labor Day’s unofficial lines of demarcation is that, for millions of kids, it signals the start of the School Year. At least it used to.
During my youth, aka the “Dark Ages,” school started the day after Labor Day come hell or high water. The nuns were waiting for us. They had a supply of brand new rulers and revitalized old attitudes. Speak out of line – Whack! Not turn in your homework – Whack! The older nuns carried yardsticks so they wouldn’t have to move any farther than necessary. But things have changed. The nuns don’t hit any more; they just yank your brain around.
Nowadays, Labor Day is not the start of the school year. Here in Terre Haute (That’s French for “Pass the Potato Salad) classes started on August 9th. The hot Dog buns from the Fourth of July picnic were still fresh. The kids were not happy. The Parents were ecstatic. It seems that the “Summer Vacation” is on the verge of becoming the “Summer Weekend.”
I’m all in favor of education, but kids need time to be kids. They need time to spend those afternoons lying in the grass looking up at the clouds and seeing what shapes they can find there. There has to be time for kids to play ball, go fishing with Dad, come home looking like they spent the day rolling in the mud. They need the time to make memories. Years, decades later, no one will reminisce about those wonderful Summer days doing fractions in class. Without a Summer Vacation the teachers will lose the chance to have the kids learn to write those essays entitled “What I did on my Summer Vacation.”
Labor Day was started to honor the Laborers of the world. It has morphed into a day when Political Candidates shake hands and kiss…babies, and there are always more Hot Dogs than Hot Dog Buns.
Seasons come and seasons go, one day after another.
Pass the Potato Salad.