What are We Supposed to Memorialize

May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

Our national day of remembrance for our fallen soldiers and their families begins the summer season of civic holidays and three day weekends. There are lots of ways of celebrating our long lazy days off work, and it can be difficult to squeeze everything in unless you know what you’re doing. Here’s a few places, events and ways to celebrate you need to get ready for this summer:

honey-do: noun: A menial task asked of a husband by his wife, which initially seems small, inconsequential, and well within in his skill level, but invariably turns into a massively frustrating project entirely outside his skill level, leaving the entire three-day weekend obliterated. “Honey, would you do one small thing for me…”

garage sale: noun: The activity of placing one’s garbage in neat organized piles in front of the house, sans garbage bags, creating a cardboard sign to alert others to the presence of one’s garbage, and then charging neighbors money to haul garbage away. Garage sale season officially begins on Memorial Day. “Thank you for cleaning out the basement, honey. Wow! Looks like it’s time for a garage sale!”

church: noun: Repository of garbage that failed to sell in local garage sales. “No one wanted to pay a quarter for a box of old exercise videos.” “Just take it to the church. They can use it for youth group or crafts or something.”

rummage sale: noun: an event that happens when a church accumulates enough unsold garage sale donations. “Let’s go to the rummage sale. We’ve got room for a few things in the house since we donated that old sofa to the church.”

drinking: verb: An activity involving cheap beer deemed appropriate for enhancing any number of indistinguishable civil holidays including but not limited to: Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, New Year’s Day, Columbus Day, Boxing Day, Chinese New Year, etc. “Hey dude, sorry I wasn’t at church, we were up drinking all Fourth of July.”

Flag Day: noun: A holiday with no discernable purpose, except to fill the painful month long dry spell between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July with an apparently much needed excuse to drink cheap beer. “Are you stocking up on Bud Light or something? Fourth of July isn’t for two weeks.” “Dude! It’s Flag Day! Are you some kind of communist?”

cookout: noun: a pastime which is endowed with a particularly high level of masculinity, but whose masculinity drops with every vegetable or non-beef item involved. “Sweetie, I know the doctor told you to watch your cholesterol, so I made you a salad.” “Oh, thanks, but I just remembered we haven’t had a cookout all week! How about a steak?”

“The Lake:” noun: Any generic, crowded and littered body of water where suburban families go to spend an entire three day weekend having ‘family fun.’ “Sorry we missed the church rummage sale, Reverend. We were at The Lake.”

Vacation Bible School: noun: Any weeklong church sponsored activity put on by church members who are bafflingly unaware of the presence of “The Lake” or other suitable means to avoid volunteering, and who work under the delusion that attending children will somehow convince their parents to start coming to church at the close of the week. “This year’s Vacation Bible School theme is Boomerang Express! Won’t that be fun?”

amusement park: noun: A destination for parents who, blinded by their desire to give their kids “everything they didn’t have,” temporarily forget that their children are 5 years old, and will somehow not enjoy waiting 45 minutes at a time for rides in the hot sun while eating greasy funnel cake. “Hey kids, do you want to meet Mickey? Let’s go to the amusement park!”

patriotism: noun: The sixty seconds before a baseball game when everyone pauses, places their hands over their hearts and reflects regretfully on the five dollars they just spent on a sno cone. “Son, stand up and show some patriotism. You’re lucky we live in a country where I have the freedom to make foolish impulse purchases like this.”

educational: adjective: Any parental-mandated civil holiday activity intended to leave kids with a deeper appreciation for their country and freedoms, but usually results in deeper resentment for their country and parents. “Hey, you coming to the lake with my family?” “No, my idiot mom is making us go to a stupid museum about some dead soldiers. She says it will be ‘educational.’ If we didn’t have so many freedoms, I’d have more free time, because I wouldn’t be spending it learning about all my freedoms!”

Personally, I’m spending Memorial Day on number one, but we’re squeezing in just two cookouts today too! What about you?