By my calculations – and by that I mean my physical counting, and I did lose count a couple of times – I have missed approximately 115 National Days in the last month alone. Upon discovering this, the Type-A Calendar-Keeper inside me became full of self-loathing. Why, on June 1st I missed National Nail Polish Day (never mind that I don’t ever wear it myself) as well as National Leave the Office Early Day (although, in my defense, my workplace did not observe this)!
Except, of course, I must remind myself that these supposed “national days” are really just random days someone sometime decided to name something. According to Marketplace (you know, the NPR show?):
…the more extensive resource is the website nationaldaycalendar.com.
“There’s a couple ways it can happen,” says the site’s co-founder, Marlo Anderson. “Of course, a company or an individual can just declare it, and a lot of people do.”
Point being, really anyone can make up a national day, and there’s no accreditation process or government agency. Though Anderson says they don’t approve just any old day that comes across their desk.
“In the last year we’ve received over 10,000 requests for national days,” he says.
Out of the 10,000, he says they typically take about 20 to 25 days each year.
Per that nationaldaycalendar.com, there are now over 1,500 national days. Yes, that is more days than there are in a year. Thus, June 2nd is both National Black Bear Day and National Rotisserie Chicken Day, among other things. And, yes, some of the national days are just as matter of fact as they sound: “On the first Saturday in June, National Black Bear Day recognizes the most commonly found bear in North America.” National Old Maid’s Day, June 4th, does, in fact, refer to the arguably derogatory term for an elderly single lady, and not the card game I hear exists. However, National Name Your Poison Day, June 8th, is not as much fun as it sounds.
Actually, as the Marketplace article points out, national days really are made for the internet age, with many of nationaldaycalendar.com’s “How to Observe” instructions consisting of something like: “Use #UpsyDaisyDay to post on social media.” And really, truly celebrating even half of these would be exhausting. To cherry pick a few, there’s National Moonshine Day on June 5th, which I’d be willing to bet a certain friend of mine did observe. June 6th, as well as being D-Day, is also National Applesauce Cake Day. (I did make applesauce bread, well, muffins, sometime this month, but they weren’t very good, needing more sugar and leaving me with a sneaking suspicion I used a healthy recipe.) National Ballpoint Pen Day, June 10th, I wouldn’t have observed anyway, as I explicitly asked for “non-ballpoint pens” for the last office supply order. June 13th, being National Kitchen Klutzes of America Day, is the day I likely should have commemorated that time I splattered an entire giant jar of canned garlic all over my kitchen. June 16th has the rare distinction of having only one honorific, National Fudge Day, and I fully agree that this is a thing worthy of having a day devoted to it. In fact, according to Marketplace:
[nationaldaycalendar.com] focus[es] on iconic items over brands — say, National Coffee Day as opposed to National Starbucks Day (which, as far as we know, hasn’t been declared). And they look for things everyone can enjoy or be a part of.
Fudge I can agree with, but June 29th is National Almond Buttercrunch Day, and I have never had one of those in my life. But it turns out I did unintentionally observe National Hike with a Geek Day, June 20th, as I went on a nice little hike that evening with me, myself, and I. Although, looking at the entry, it appears I may have gotten the definitions of “geek” vs. “nerd” mixed up. I can confirm, however, that June 21st, National Day of the Gong, is exactly what it sounds like. At any rate, the following disqualification for most national day requests did make me smile:
The most common request they say no to?
“You know, it’s my girlfriend of three months and she’s changed my life forever, can I have National Heather Day … that’s a very very popular thing,” Anderson says.
In the end, if you, like Leslie Knope, do go for this sort of national day thing, you should be pleased to know that today, June 26th, is only two national days: National Beautician’s Day, and National Chocolate Pudding Day. However, if you are, like me, a fan of Doctor Who, you will be disappointed to know that the “T” in National OOTD Day (June 30th) is actually very important, and the day has nothing to do with the Oods of that TV show, most unfortunately.