Global Obligatory Day


{Insert Andy Rooney voice}

It didn’t take too long in my adult life to begin resenting Hallmark cards. There’s birthdays and anniversaries. Got it. Family matters. These pop up annually, and, as your family expands, they seem more frequent if only for the planned outlays of cash.  

Christmas costs money, too.  Some people save all year for this; others use the bank of Visa.  This was a Christian holiday at some point, but now it’s a fully secular gift giving day.   Make of it what you want, but that’s not the point.

Let’s see, for a family of four, that’s 4 birthdays, one anniversary, and Christmas.  6 days.

Goodness, we have parents.  Father’s Day barely gets noticed, but Mother’s Day may as well count twice.  That’s 8 days.  Never mind Grandparents day.  When did kids ever think of their grandparents?  That’s upside down.  And when did parents think of their parents on the behalf of their kids?  That day was destined to fail and doesn’t count.

Then there’s the fake important days, like Valentines and Halloween.  You can hear the jingle of cash registers for both, back in the days when people actually used cash.  Or coins.  One is for lovers, the other is to avoid the love of spoiled brats with tricks up their sleeves and both invite unpleasantness if forgotten.  We’re up to 10 days.

Easter... Easter counts as a half day.  It’s funny how these religious holidays get bamboozled by chocolatiers, but many feed the kids some Springtime calories.  Thanksgiving counts as a half day as well.  It’s pleasantly non-commercial, but say that to the mom’s who have haul the groceries and serve the feasts.  11 days.  Roughly one a month.  Huh.

And then there’s the “observance days.” There’s one for about everything.   International Anti-Corruption Day.  I suppose that’s the day when everyone is supposed to be honest.   World Kindness Day and World Hello Day both occur in November.  I suppose they tag team well with Thanksgiving.

I wonder if World Post Day will last.   Keepers of the postal flame might need to segue way into World E-mail Day.  That way kids will know what it means.  Well, no.  World Twitter Day, then.  Maybe they’ll tweet about International Talk Like a Pirate Day from the month before, but more likely that would be left to parents who put off such important things to a later date.  Another casualty might be Ballpoint Pen Day.  Texting Day would be more 21st century, I think.

Puppetry, Poetry, Clean Water, Intellectual Property Day... it seems like they’re something remarkable about almost every day, outside of living them.  And if they’re not, we can expand the scope for observances like Breast Cancer Awareness Day.   I think that’s a great day, and it’s so popular it’s become a full month.  Even NFL players are wearing pink.  Well done!

But not so many are taken that we don’t have room for another.  I would like to propose Global Obligatory Day.

This day would provide a day of reflection and absolution for all those obligations left forgotten or incomplete. For all the phone calls you forgot to make, for all those cards you forgot to send, for all the less than optimal candy you purchased, for all the stops you forgot to make at the grocery store after work, for all those occasions that just slipped your mind, and for those observation days of which you were completely unaware, Global Obligatory Day is your “get out jail free” day.

It wouldn’t require a card. Nor would it require a cash outlay.  It would just be a day where a repentant person is obliged to say, “I failed to meet the obligations imposed upon me by my family, society, deserving organizations, Hallmark, the government, the U.N. and assorted nitwits.  For some of it, I’m sorry. I might do better.”  And all would be forgiven.

I think Global Obligation Day might be suitable for my staff at work, who this past Tuesday, October 16th, failed to even comment upon National Boss Day.  It’s fair for me to be judgmental, because I can be judged.  I’d join them on Global Obligatory Day, because I didn’t throw praises, or a free lunch, on my boss either.   I wasn’t aware of it.  And if I had... well, I might have pretended I wasn’t aware anyway.  I’m just cheap that way.

Global Obligatory Day has another benefit.  For the countless who exclaim, “Oh, my God!” without any intention of actually calling a Deity into play, the phrase may be better interpreted as “Oh, my GOD!” – a call to Global Obligatory Day, so that they can rest easy knowing a day is coming to make it all better.


For those who forget what an Andy Rooney voice is...



  1. Well, if we weren't out of the office doing work "you" assigned, we could have helped you celebrate boss' day.