The past weekend was, of course, Memorial Day weekend. It’s a time to honor those men and women who fought as soldiers to defend America but didn’t make it back from whatever war they were in. It’s essentially a solemn holiday, a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice which must be made to secure our freedom to make red, white, and blue jello desserts and barbecue cow meat into charcoal.
It’s hard for me to take Memorial Day seriously as a holiday. Not because I don’t respect those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their beliefs, but because I find the contrived patriotism that comes with the holiday a little hard to swallow. I always wonder about the guy who proclaims, “America is the greatest country on Earth!” Would he feel the same if he had been born in England, or Sweden, or Japan? Or would he have grown up thinking that particular country was a pretty cool place to live, and America (with its massive ego and bluster) could go suck it? Somehow, patriotism seems to be a random by-product of birth, which makes it about as important as eye color, skin tone, and size of labia (kinda important, but mostly not).
Given the fact that Americans are currently being force-fed a choice between an orange-haired talking dick or a sleazy lawyer bitch as our future president, I’m fairly sure that Alternate-Reality-Japanese-Me is quite content with where he was born. Plus, I hear they have vending machines that sell used panties… so bonus.
On a personal level, my family has also been fortunate to not have many military deaths to commemorate on Memorial Day. My Great Uncle John survived the Army and his deployments, and enjoyed his retirement driving around the country with Great Aunt Lenora in a Winnebago (telling random kids to be quiet or they’d wake the imaginary baby he kept in the luggage compartment). My dad survived the Army by being discharged for blowing up a general’s jeep before he could be shipped anywhere too dangerous. My wife’s Uncle Don is a Marine and still kicks ass in his retirement. Add in the fact that one of my nephews is born on the day, and Veterans’ Day takes on a bit more importance than Memorial Day.
Sorry Cousin Ricky (Active Air Force)… but with Armed Forces Day being the weekend before Memorial Day, your celebration kinda gets lost in the shuffle. But congrats on becoming a dad soon!
Which brings me to what most of social media wanted us to remember on this particular Memorial Day Weekend. For every post, tweet, or snap about how those who have died for the country deserve respect and honor, there were four posts reminding us about the difference between Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, and Veterans’ Day. After all, how could we possibly enjoy our bag of potato chips if we accidentally thanked a living veteran on a day meant for dead guys, right? Our culture is so focused on the minutia of every celebration, we’re sucking the fun out of every celebration. Perhaps instead of posting a reminder about which holiday is about which type of person, we just take the gratitude when it comes our way. After all, if the gratitude is real and is returned with a comment such as, “This holiday isn’t about veterans/active service,” all that has happened is the giver of gratitude feels like he/she just ejaculated into an electrical outlet. And if the gratitude wasn’t real and was just a guilt-driven observation of convention, it doesn’t really matter on which holiday they thank which group, does it?
My respect goes out to all those who fought and died for a country they believed in. My care and concern goes out to all those families who lost such a warrior.
Now pass me a leftover burger and some red, white, and blue dyed deviled eggs because I’m about to turn that sincere moment into a train wreck (because that’s what I do on this blog)!
Here are some things my friends and family were reminded of on Memorial Day Weekend which we should work harder to remember moving forward:
- W.H. will kill a character every time he is Dungeon Master. In fact, it’s likely he’ll kill every single one of the characters. Sometimes he’ll kill you twice just because.
- G.D. will get very red-faced if we start having a conversation about how many fingers fit inside the ladies’ … um… intimate areas.
- Addendum A: We need to take G.D. to a strip club soon.
- Addendum B: When S.M. claims “five fingers,” she’s not saying all go into the same hole.
- Addendum C: A.L. needs to be a little drunk before I can cop a feel.
- D.M. will email people, but won’t follow up to confirm said email was seen.
- Every X-Men movie will be ruined by a 6’2″ Aussie playing a 5’3″ Canadian character. Every… single… one.
- Never attack D.M. in a board game that requires you to roll six-sided dice. She is the D6 Goddess. You will lose.
- Addendum A: S.J. gets as red with frustration as G.D. gets with embarrassment.
- Addendum B: S.M. and I will laugh hysterically the more frustrated S.J. gets.
- Addendum C: Even if she wins a majority of those attacks, D.M. will eventually become sullen and upset because she’ll think she can’t win the game.
- Never trust me when I say I’m not winning the game. I’m winning the game.
- Addendum A: At least I’m honest about who I think is in second place… the person I claim is winning.
- Addendum B: I believe in honoring truces in war-like games… until I don’t.
It was a mostly good weekend.