The recent jockeying for position in the primaries by Florida, Michigan, South Carolina and California threatens to destabilize our country’s time-honored primary schedule. However, this jostling may in fact be providing us with a unique opportunity to rethink some of our accepted notions about dates, seasons and even time itself.
Iowa’s governor, Chet Culver, has announced he’s so worried about the caucus getting caught up in the December holiday season that he’s considering changing the state’s Constitution so the caucus can take place in January. While some see problems, I see opportunity. Amending a state’s Constitution to accommodate a temporarily pressing matter seems to me to be a rather draconian measure, although ignoring our national Constitution has not caused our President one lost night of sleep–but I think I might have another solution. Let’s simply rethink this distracting holiday season altogether.
While the United States could join Ethiopia and Eritrea in celebrating New Year’s Eve in early September, since we already have Labor Day, that might make workers feel their day is being overshadowed, so I suggest we rethink Christmas. Let’s face it: Christmas has always been too close to New Year’s anyway, so let’s move that up to the beginning of December, giving people two great separate holidays to look forward to in those dark days of winter. And why stop there? Other holidays are getting the short end of the stick. Sure, April Fool’s Day always makes the paper, but perhaps more people would rally to celebrate National Cheese Ball Day if it occupied a date of greater prominence. So instead of April 17, let’s do a switcheroo. Father’s Day has also had its importance diminished by Graduation Day. My husband relishes his special day, and he hates that “dads and grads” coupling, so let’s move that up also.
While we’re looking at holidays, let’s consider the work week. Mondays are tough, but you need to start somewhere, so Mondays–like our current executive office holders, it seems–are unimpeachable. Tuesday should remain intact, as one has gotten back to business. The second day of the week can often be counted on for at least a modicum of productivity, so that stays. Surely most people would agree that Wednesday makes sense–middle of the week–focused and on-task, you hit your stride. But Thursday is just an endurance test and no fun at all, while Friday is something everyone looks forward to. So let’s just skip Thursday altogether, shall we?
Then, in a bold move that will acknowledge our country’s belated recognition of global warming’s changing weather patterns, we might as well give in and just move summer up to spring–it gets hot so early now, which means we’ll be moving up Labor Day to, say, the beginning of August. That will in turn escalate the beginning of the school year, pushing up the back-to-school shopping season to August, which is a good thing, because August is typically a slow retail season. This may cause children to have a longer school year, but with the science scores of US students well below those of students in other English-speaking countries, and with mathematics testing at the same level of that recognized world leader in education, the Czech Republic–coupled with the drudgery of driving kids around all summer trolling for play dates and camps–I say let them stay in school as long as possible!