Thursday, July 08, 2010

Holidays, where the "days" part is arbitrary

Yesterday I ran in the Chicago Bastille Day 5K. No, there's no need to double check your calendars. You haven't skipped ahead in time a week; yesterday was not in fact Bastille Day. But, it was the day that Chicago saw fit to hold its Bastille Day 5K. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. Chicago seems to have some serious issues figuring out when to celebrate holidays.

We first discovered this within a month of moving here when it was time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Brian and I woke up, spiked our coffee, headed downtown, met up with friends, watched the Chicago River be dyed green, hung out in the throngs, popped in and out of taverns, and just generally enjoyed the revelry all day long. This all happened on March 13. Now, seriously, at that time I just thought, "OK, Chicago is full of amateurs, but I'll have to accept it." I would just have to accept that the Chicago Irish were not as hard core as the New York Irish or the hardest-of-all-core Boston Irish who blow off work and head out to the bars at 7 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day. They have no use for the Saturday before. I figured, you know, all those Midwest-work-hard values maybe prevented Chicago people from doing it the way the cool kids do. But we were so worn out fulfilled from our Saturday-before celebration that we didn't even bother doing anything on March 17th. What a shame.

Last week was Independence Day also known as, you know, the 4th of July. The fourth. Here in Chicago, there were fireworks on the 4th (we enjoyed a panoramic view of the downtown Chicago fireworks and the various suburban fireworks shows from the rooftop of a friend's 30-story apartment building) but the major disappointment - apparently - was that the fireworks show on the 3rd had been cancelled this year. Um- what? Yeah. This was really disturbing for people. Some people in fact didn't get the memo, and showed up with their lawn chairs on the 3rd to watch the fireworks that weren't happening, but which apparently have always happened in the past - on the 3rd of July. Why? I DON'T KNOW.

And then, yesterday, I ran in the Bastille Day 5K. On July 7th.

What is wrong with you, Chicago?! You wonder why you play third fiddle to New York and Los Angeles as far as being the U.S.' Most Awesome City and Stuff? Well, geez, learn to read a damn calendar. Maybe more people would travel here on their vacations if there were some kind of predictability as to whether you'll actually be celebrating the holidays when they arrive! I guess Chicago figures, you know, why be so conventional as to actually celebrate a holiday - on the holiday?

Anyone want to come celebrate Christmas with us? Brian and I are guessing it will be around December 20th this year. No guarantees, though.

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