Father’s Day and other ‘special’ days

Got the single malt, the Robert Harris novel and the card? I hope so, because tomorrow (Sunday 20th June) is Father’s Day.

This is the day when dads are compelled to have a lie-in while the kids bang about in the kitchen downstairs cremating toast, setting off the smoke alarm, and wailing until he has to descend in his jim-jams to wave the sacred tea towel in front of the alarm. At least, that used to be the annual ritual in our house.

Yes, tomorrow is a ‘special day’ – along with all the other special days throughout the year. There’s a day for everything, it seems.

Do you like milkshakes? 1st August is your special day, while back in February you could have rejoiced on Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Trying to eat healthy? Then you’ll be eagerly anticipating Watermelon Day (3rd August) or National Caesar Salad Day (4th July, bizarrely).

Not all so-called awareness days are food-focused. You can pretty much name a thing, and there’ll be a day for it. Are you fond of putting on funny voices? International Talk Like a Pirate Day is 19th September. Are you a wannabe ornithological artist? Shame, you’ve missed Draw a Bird Day (8th April). Mourning the orphaned socks in your drawers? You could have bonded with like-minded others on Lost Sock Memorial Day (9th May).

What is bothering me is, who decides what day is allocated to what topic? Is there an international committee of the wise and wonderful who set the dates? Who sits on it? Can anyone join? Who co-ordinates the many hundreds of special days throughout the world? What happens if, say, Tooth Decay Week coincides with Suck a Sweetie Day? Or Befriend a Spider Day clashes with Arachnophobia Week? We need to be told.

Of course there are many grown-up awareness events, when worthwhile causes are recognised and given the limelight they deserve, but so many are merely thinly disguised excuses to sell us stuff. They’re not special at all, except to marketers, and mainly in the US.

There are some of which I heartily approve. Independent Bookshop Week, World Book Day, National Read a Book Day, International Literacy Day, National Libraries Week and Tell a Joke Day are thoroughly ‘good things’. And there is one very special day I shall be sure to celebrate when it comes around. It falls next on 16th January 2022. Quite a long time to wait for those of us wanting to mark National Do Nothing Day!