Monday, May 30, 2011

another Memorial day.

Ahh, Memorial Day. A few days back, the emerging Spring propelled itself from rainy getting warmer right into mid summer. And it's humid already. When I first moved here in 1995, there was one, maybe two weeks of high humidity in late July. Now it starts in the Spring. In the next several years, I expect we'll probably see a population shift northwards. And to think that a few years ago we still used to have killing frosts in late May. It wasn't considered safe to plant until Memorial Day. And one may permissibly now wear white without being horribly gauche. Interesting the color white - depending on the geography it can symbolize purity and virginity or death and transformation. K/Cool virginity just doesn't fit with the idea of summer. If you're lucky, it's time to get that escape of one week with pay. The rest of us no longer even try to dream. Where was I?

Memorial Day. Back when I was a kid, the new Federal three day weekends hadn't started yet. Memorial day was always May 30th. I guess it was in my mid teens that the observance of Memorial Day moved to the last Monday of the month. Most of the new three day weekends were celebrations. They became special sales weekends almost immediately. But to my mind, at least, Memorial Day wasn't a day for celebrations. Celebrations always seemed to be festivities of rejoicing. The darker more solemn meaning seems opposed to festive, ya know? Memorial Day was a day when everyone took off. It wasn't just government desk jobs that got the day off. Even grocery stores closed for the day No one seemed to be bothered by the idea that they would have to plan at least a day ahead to fill their needs. There wasn't that kind of a sense of immediate entitlement yet. And no one seemed to catch on that having special sales weekends meant that everyday workers began losing their rights - somebody had to work. In a local economy like this one, it means giving up further rights to a peaceable life so we can get those very important people with money, tourists, to spend it here and keep the part-time jobs flowing. It's an economy based on debasing subservience as a way of life.

Well, what I'd planned as a sort of jolly perambulation down the streets and alleys of memory didn't quite come off as planned, did it? Ah, well. at least one can wear white again.

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