OPINION COLUMNS

Are you aware of what you need to be aware of?

By Joy Carrico | Published Saturday, March 26, 2016
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Tomorrow is Easter. But today is also very special. Today, March 26, is Epilepsy Awareness Day. It is also National Nougat Day and National Spinach Day. I don’t recommend mixing those last two up in an effort to streamline your awareness observance.

This trifecta of awarenesses occurs for one day in a month in which we are called to be aware of the following things: caffeine, celery, cheerleading safety, crafts, credit education, flour, frozen foods, kidney disease, noodles, nutrition, peanuts, sauce – not peanut sauce, that’s in August (just kidding, there is no peanut sauce day that I could find … yet) – umbrellas, women’s history, colorectal cancer, music in our schools and social workers.

Joy Carrico

Joy Carrico

Keeping myself aware of three things today, in addition to the 17 things I’m meant to be holding in my thoughts all month, may seem like a lot, but it’s a fairly light load compared to other times of the year. October boasts 111 monthly observances. I counted twice to be sure.

I’m supposed to be aware, for the entire month of October, of 111 different things, not to mention the awareness assignments that change daily. Ironically, one of these designations is Month of Free Thought. When will I have time to have any free thoughts if I’m tied up with all these awarenesses? Come October, I’m going to long for the lazy days of March awarenesses.

Those who determine what we should be turning our attention to during any certain day really ought to do some cross-checking. April 15 is a prime example. We all know that is National Tax Day, where we all turn our awareness to the money leaving our pockets. It’s also National Take a Wild Guess Day (hopefully not on your tax return) and National Day of Silence.

I’m going to be forced to choose between these observances, I’m afraid. I doubt I would remember to stay silent for an entire day, so I’ll probably opt for making a wild guess instead. It’s a one-and-done observance.

Also, while March is National Celery Month, April is National Fresh Celery Month. Why does celery get two months in a row of awareness time? Or is March meant to be designated to non-fresh celery? What would that be? Do they sell frozen celery? But wouldn’t that fall under frozen foods, which is also in March? I’m perplexed.

Although today is Epilepsy Awareness Day, November is the month designated for Epilepsy Awareness. This system begs for better organization.

On the other hand, some awareness days seem well timed. Feb. 5 is Shower with a Friend Day, followed two days later on Feb. 7 by National Send a Card to a Friend Day. No doubt, the card will contain an apology for the boundary violation of attempting to shower with them.

National Make a Friend Day is Feb. 11. I’ll need that day to find a new friend when my apology card on Feb. 7 fails to mend the rift in my friendship with my Feb. 5 shower buddy.

Peanuts, whole, clustered and especially in butter form, get a lot of real estate on the awareness calendar. And it’s spread throughout the year. As pointed out earlier, we are meant to be aware of peanuts in general in March. On March 1, we observe National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day. March 8 is National Peanut Cluster Day.

Also, Jan. 24 is National Peanut Butter Day. On Jan. 26, we turn our attention to peanut brittle. April 2 is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. Peanut butter cookies are observed on June 12. National Peanut Day is Sept. 13. I know what you’re thinking. If March is the peanut month, why isn’t National Peanut Day in March?

We are only asked to observe peanuts in the form of fluffernutter sandwiches (peanut butter and marshmallow fluff) for one day in October, which is good since we have so many other things to think about.

November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month (although we all remember the 1st of March when we were aware of peanut butter lovers for a day). National Peanut Butter Fudge Day is Nov. 20.

The peanut lobby is stronger than I realized. We hardly get a break from thinking about peanuts before they are recalled to our awareness.

And if you think peanuts are heavily represented, forget about chocolate. Actually, you cannot forget about chocolate because chocolate in some form is commemorated 45 days of the calendar year, and in May, we are to commemorate chocolate custard for the entire month. No month goes without chocolate awareness.

Interestingly, there seems to be one day in which no awarenesses are assigned. Aug. 31 stands empty of commemorations, awarenesses or proclamations to hug something, clean something, adopt something or eat something. I think we should seize this opportunity to declare Aug. 31 Awareness of Things Forgotten Day.

My favorite of the awarenesses is in December: Awareness Month of Awareness Months Month. It had to be done.

As a final note, I want everyone to be aware of April 4, which is designated, among other things, as National Hug a Newsperson Day. I urge all who read this to give a hearty hug to each of our reporters. They’ll love it. I don’t count. I’m a graphic artist. There is no day of the year on which we are called to hug a graphic artist. I checked.

Joy Carrico is a graphic artist, not a newsperson, for the Messenger.

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