Happy Memorial Day!
Time for Bubba next door to jump into his go-kart and go trawling through our suburban streets like a testosterone-driven kid. Woo-hah! Bust out the paddle-boats on the lake, strap on those bikini's and burn your face into a blood-orange crimson! Yeah! Pump those fists in the air to the throbbing bass of antiquated '80's arena rock! Let that mullet-flag fly! Go! It's friggin' Memorial Day! Yee-haw!
Except, therein lies my problem.
Memorial Day is a US holiday that started after the Civil War, commemorating the memory of those fallen in battle. The holiday grew into a day to remember all of the brave people who have died in military service, sacrificing their lives during time of war.
From there it blossomed (no doubt in no small part to the efforts of greeting card companies and advertisers) into a day to honor all of our lost, beloved ones. A very heartfelt, important sentiment.
But. When people wish me a "Happy Memorial Day," I cringe. It's a sad event to be taken seriously. Not a time to bust out swimsuits, sunburns and six-packs. Flailing a torn-off bikini-top in the air seems like a strange salute to the dead (although, I'd like to think they're enjoying it wherever they are).
So the next time my neighbor hollers at me over the fence, "Have a happy Memorial Day," I'm going to respond with, "I hope you have a very sombre holiday."