Oh, what a day!

Betsy PickleOpinion

Since the coronavirus struck last year, many people who’ve been cooped up at home have complained that every day seems the same. But there’s not a day goes by that isn’t a Day.

I mean, we all know the “real” holidays – bank and otherwise. Coming up we have Halloween on Sunday, All Souls’ Day on Monday, Veterans Day on Nov. 11 and Thanksgiving on Nov. 25.

But in between, there are all sorts of “days” that someone went to the trouble of inventing. Some are serious recognition or awareness days. Others seem silly. Many seem to be a pitch to monetize a product.

I was aware of Sweetest Day, which started as Candy Day and is observed on the third Saturday in October. But I just found out that Oct. 25 is called Sourest Day. Confectioners came up with Sweetest Day, but the origins of Sourest Day are less mercenary. According to the interwebs, a man in Ann Arbor, Michigan, created the day to honor a friend whose last name was Sauer.

The focus of the day has expanded to both a celebration of sour foods (such as pickles!) and a day to cheer up a sourpuss. I’ve decided to embrace it as a “relation” day (apologies to my human relatives), along with National Vinegar Day (11/1) and National Deviled Egg Day (11/2).

Today is National Pumpkin Day, celebrating a favorite symbol of both fall and Halloween. It’s also supposedly National Tennessee Day, though as far as I can tell, that was created by the National Day Calendar in an effort to make sure no day goes unfilled. All 50 states get a day, in order of their admission to the Union. Tennessee is No. 16!

As a cat lover and servant (dogs have owners; cats have staff, as the saying goes), I’m excited that Wednesday (10/27) is National Black Cat Day and Friday (10/29) is National Cat Day. My family had black cats when I was a kid. Smokey had black under-fur so she was kind of a grayish black, but then we got Shaft and soon afterward Fly (short for Superfly; and yes, this was the 1970s).

I’ve never paid attention to the superstition that a black cat crossing your path means bad luck. Any cat is good luck, in my opinion. In general, I’m not superstitious. I’m wary of cracks, but not out of fear for my mother’s back. I’m the one who usually gets hurt when I hit a crack at the wrong angle. I’m glad camera phones weren’t around when I made a spectacular face-plant on a sidewalk in downtown Nashville 20-odd years ago thanks to an ill-placed crack.

I accidentally stepped on my cat Gerard a few days ago. He’s gray, and he was lying in the shadow next to a loveseat. That was unlucky for him, and he let me know his displeasure by immediately attacking my leg and imposing a three-inch scratch, but he seems to have forgiven me, or at least he’s allowing me to feed and pet him.

National Chocolate Day seems to have Thursday (10/28) all to itself, which is appropriate, considering the wide spectrum of chocolate that exists to enjoy. I always thought of Halloween as National Chocolate Day, since that was the point of trick-or-treating to me. Fortunately, many parents now have the good sense to survey their kids’ haul and ration it out. My folks had more of a go-for-it attitude.

Saturday is National Candy Corn Day, probably one of the most controversial days on the calendar. I didn’t realize as a child how polarizing candy corn was. My anal-retentive self loved the process of biting off each layer at a time – the yellow top, the orange middle and the tiny white tip – but apparently other people don’t like the taste, the texture or the colors. A Facebook friend of mine recently posted her disapproval of a batch of candy corn in which some pieces were missing a color layer. I see that as similar to a coin or stamp with a misprint – something rare and desirable.

Somehow, National Candy Apple Day has laid claim to Oct. 31. Now that’s a treat I view as a trick. They take a natural, delicious, juicy apple and cover it with a sticky, gooey substance that hurts your teeth. Gross. No thanks.

If you want to explore more “holidays,” Google will offer you plenty. You could probably make up your own; it doesn’t seem to take much.

It’s a nice distraction from pandemics and politics, and it’s a lighthearted reminder that every day of life is a gift.

Betsy Pickle is a veteran reporter and editor who occasionally likes to share her opinions with KnoxTNToday readers.

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