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If you find yourself in a non-traditional relationship or modern family lifestyle this year or – worse – single, Family Day is meant to hit hard right where it hurts (your pride, obviously) after Valentine’s Day reminding you how very alone and excluded you are. You’re practically a biblical age leper. What the sh*t?! Our thoughts exactly…
Did you have a good Valentine’s Day? No? C’mon now, the plus to having Valentine’s Day fall on a Saturday is that your co-workers can’t confidently confirm that you are as unlovable as you seem based on the flowers and gifts you don’t receive. Every year you think, “Why do I let these stupid rituals make me feel inadequate, especially when everyone knows sending flowers to someone’s work may as well come with the telegram: ‘I hope this bouquet makes your co-workers feel momentarily envious of the happiness they now briefly ponder you having.’”But somehow it always still stings when even Barb, the temp, gets a red rose-dense bouquet and it’s only her second day of a two-week gig. She doesn’t even have a mailbox! …or a desk to put her botanical emblem of undying love on. Still, someone loves Barb enough to track those polyester pants all over town just to tell her, Hey girl. Later I’m going to lay you down on a bed of roses. At home. When you get there. Bring the flowers because I forgot you don’t have a desk.”
That said, the downside to having Valentine’s Day fall on a Saturday is that when you go to the grocery store in your sweat suit to stock up on microwavable cheese dip and cheap chocolate bars, a sadness cloud follows you, casting a heavy gloom that surrounds your every glance down at the calorie count of Pizza Pockets, making everyone around you gasp in fear of catching your loneliness.
That’s why I’ve never understood who gave the thumbs up to Family Day being called Family Day. I lived in the surprisingly-more-sane-when-it-comes-to-naming-provincial-holidays Quebec in 2007 when Family Day was coined and inaugurated by former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, who I take it was also nicknamed “Premier Dad” for whatever creepy Freudian reason a culture rooted in Victorian era thinking has for making father figures out of non-relatives. Or maybe Dalton was just really pushing to star in the Canadian remake of Major Dad. Which I would approve… but who knows? Whatever the case, he was all about families, and by families I mean the traditional kind where there’s a dad and a mom and kids with no major issues outside of their homework and entitled attitudes — not the kind of family I have with my roommates, Eric and Kevin, aka My Two Dads, or the one Mick Jagger must have with his offspring around the world. And what about The Pregant Man and Octo-Mom, or do we draw the line at Jon and Kate Plus Eight pre-divorce?
“There is nothing more valuable to families than time together,” said McGuinty, when he planted the holiday on the second Monday in February, dangerously close Valentine’s Day, making it an opportune time for Mom and Dad to bust a move and leave the kids with a sitter to get naughty in Niagara or somewhere equally as “away but without the effort.” Perhaps because he was married with four kids of his own and had nine brothers and sisters he really did have no other choice but to spend time with his family. But most of us don’t come from a litter of siblings tied together by a rigid moral code and a fear of God, but we have seen Seventh Heaven… and Major Dad so we know parents of nuclear families aren’t all about the board games on long weekends. That’s when Sister Kate, Charles in Charge, Tony Danza, and The Nanny show up, the parents leave, and things get REAL. If families are going to spend more time together, one day isn’t going to help; it has to be a conscious lifestyle change. And if one day really could help, perhaps Wednesday would have made more sense… or is Hump Day that still swingers night in the suburbs?.
What’s daunting to me is that not only is Dalton’s statement about valuable time exclusive to nuclear families like his own, this holiday name and theme got the A-okay in 2007 from everyone else who could have raised an “um…” or at least a “meh?” Seriously? No one was like, yo, I think we’re being a little Brady Bunch about this, and by Brady Bunch I don’t mean that glorious family at all because the Bradys were the outcome of a beautiful merger of broken homes. And if we really were going to pretend a holiday for nuclear families was a good idea, didn’t anyone find it a little strange to put it so close to Valentine’s Day, every year making a last-minute weekend trip the easiest “surprise! I actually got you something!” alternative to “I got you nothing because I thought that’s what we said we were doing”?
Because that leaves where we are today, with those of us who didn’t have a very good Valentine’s Day (unless you count my awesome off the cuff joke: True love is hard to find these days. Even Charles Manson’s fiancé wanted him for his body) being reminded two days later on Family Day that we really are so very, very alone. I thought the point of Family Day was to break up the depressing winter, given the number of Canadians who suffer annually from seasonal affective disorder. Family Day is ultimately no better than those work bouquets of Valentine’s flowers meant to just rub it all in. Are you nuclears trying to weed us out by tipping us over the edge with one too many Hallmark holidays? You have to believe us singles and progressive relationship types when we say that we don’t want to threaten your lifestyle. In fact, if you invite us to your suburban swingers night, we’ll totally come. And, yes, we’ d LOVE to go to East Side Mario’s after. I know, I totally can’t get enough of that bottomless bread either — to die, right?! Until then, I’m renaming Family Day “ The Official Ontario Treat Yo Self Day” for the liberals, the libertines, living solos and YOLO types. Those of us who celebrate Treat Yo Self Day don’t need another hero, as it were, like Dalton tMcGuinty to remind us what values we should pretend to prioritize them one day of the year. Our poster boy is a mirror. Go ahead, take one of those annoying full body selfies — but no crying in a public restroom handicapped stall this year. Today is your oyster, so do what you wanna do on YOU Day. Wait, is there still an East Side Mario’s downtown? I’ll see you there.
What are your thoughts on Family Day? Do you think it’s a load of BS? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.