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Home » 9to5to9, School days

Happy Friendship Day – but I still want chocolate

Submitted by on Friday, 5 February 2010 No Comment
Valentine's Day has been canceled according to Boots' school, which should save a few relationships that normally would shatter in the "I don't want to buy a present" pre-holiday breakup rush.

Don't breathe that sigh of relief too quickly, though, because the event has been rebranded as Friendship Day, which conceivably widens the circle of people deserving gifts.

Yes, the same set that is responsible for turning Halloween parties into Fall Harvest Festivals has fired a shot at Valentine's Day that all the arrows in Cupid's quiver couldn't counter.

Actually, I don't know if it's the same set. Halloween generally has been assailed by religious groups who hearken back - way, way, way the heck back - to its pagan roots. Valentine's Day has Christian roots, and one friend suggested that maybe that's the problem some people have with it. Another friend speculated that perhaps the notion of romantic love is being deemed too racy for the preschool set.

St. Patrick's Day is up next, and I'm sure that will be a problem, too. There are clear religious overtones there,  plus that legend about running the snakes out of Ireland. I'm sure the animal rights crowd will object to that.

Is this what diversity has come to - hammering on every holiday or event because it might offend someone? Because that's not my idea of diversity at all.

My type of diversity celebrates various cultures by celebrating with them. I'm not Asian, but I've enjoyed Chinese New Year. I'm not Mexican, but I've participated in Cinco de Mayo, even though the date actually isn't that important in Mexico. I'm not German but I've gone to Oktoberfest, even when misinformed organizers plan it for late October.

Back when I was in school, the procedure for people who didn't agree with a celebration was simple: Pick your kid up early. There was no need to relabel events because people want to visit ancient roots and find a reason to quibble.

With very little thought, it wouldn't be too hard to find a reason to jettison every holiday on the calendar. Labor Day? Offensive to those who are anti-union. President's Day? Let's not bring partisan politics into it. Goundhog Day? Now there's an animal rights issue if ever there were one. We tote the poor creature out once a year solely for our amusement. Mother's Day? We're excluding orphans. Arbor Day? That's clearly an attack on the timbering industry. Independence Day? We shouldn't offend British-Americans by rubbing it in.

How about, instead of renaming holidays, those who object to certain events simply explain to their children why they disagree with the ones they disagree with.

The rest of us can be free to exchange cards and chocolates. On Valentine's Day, not Friendship Day.

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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