I considered titling this “Slacker Monday”, but then figured that might confuse everyone since this is Wednesday. But I was a slacker in terms of “celebrating” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I didn’t go to the parades. I didn’t watch the presidential inauguration. I didn’t do any holidayish activities. I did what I normally do when my kids have a day off from school and extra activities are cancelled…I got stuff done and I stayed off Facebook.
Ah, yes. Facebook. I alternately curse and worship Facebook. In the beginning, I was pretty free about what I posted. Most of my FB friends were either high school or college friends…people who get what my life is like these days. This was also back when MySpace was still alive and kicking. Then I got a request from a former student. A cool one, but still, I recognized that if I opened it to that one, I was opening it to others. This was back when I had just started writing, and this former student was close enough to my primary target audience, someone whose opinion I valued and had the potential to help get the word out about my book should it ever see the light of day. So I said yes. Other students followed, and then family members, other writers, and ultimately…my mother. Trust me, I don’t post nearly as often and certainly not as “flamboyantly” as I used to. I go through a mental checklist about everyone who will potentially see this and how many of them do I really want to piss off? I even get as far as typing out a rant and hovering over that enter key or whatever button will send it out for the world to see before my fingers shift to the delete key.
So what does MLK Day, Inauguration Day, and Facebook and my upcoming rant have to do with each other? Because of how many people kept posting on Facebook about how history was being made with Obama being inaugurated on MLK Day. First of all, history was made FOUR YEARS ago. Second, I HATED the whole political season. I was disgusted with both candidates. Third, why waste more money that our government doesn’t have to waste on a bunch of big ol’ parties for a second time around. I thought the same in 1984 with Reagan, in 1996 with Clinton, and in 2004 with Bush, so it has nothing to do with political affiliation. Here in America, teen girls tend to make a big deal about their 16th birthday. Do we go to the same lengths for when they turn 32? I mean if it’s Sweet Sixteen, shouldn’t we double up the sweetness for 32? No, we don’t. My feeling is, “Hey, you got voted in. You get a big party the first time around. You get voted in again? Get your butt to work and do all that stuff you said you’d do the first time!” Or as the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld might say, “No party for you!”
Yes, I should probably switch to decaf, but someone could get hurt if that happened. My point is, while I may not “celebrate” MLK Day with a bunch of fanfare, I acknowledge and respect the historical significance of Dr. MLK Jr.’s contributions to society. And I certainly don’t need Facebook world to tell me how to honor it! But if there’s cake, pass me a piece.