Would-be oped writers are gradually learning that I hate few things more than made-up days and weeks and months.
You know: Alcohol Awareness Month, Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month, National Autism Awareness Month, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, National Donate Life Month, National Facial Protection Month, National Minority Health Month, National Sarcoidosis Awareness Month, Occupational Therapy Month, Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month — just to name the first dozen problems that claim April as their very own. (And yes, there is a website for that, or at least for the “health observances.”)
If it’s worth space on our oped page, I tell them, it’s worth that space without the crutch of an artificial designation. More often, it’s worth a letter, but the same rule applies.
Still, some designations seem too irresistible to … resist.
Like National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day.
Which is today.
I discovered National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day by way of a recipe newsletter that offered to help me “Celebrate National Food Holidays” in April with a suggested recipe for each day.
And there you had them: PB&J today, Chocolate Mousse Day on Thursday, Cordon Bleu Day on Friday, Caramel Day Saturday, Coffee Cake Day on Monday, Grilled Cheese Day April 12 (are you getting hungry yet?), Peach Cobbler Day April 13, Baked Ham with Pineapple Day on April 16, Cheese Ball Day on April 17.
Alas, I will not be honoring any of those foods, as every single one of them is on my Lenten do-not-eat list. Alas again, I’ve already settled on the six desserts I’ll be preparing for Easter, so none of these makes the cut — although that peanut butter ’n’ jelly pie might make an appearance at another event.
There are a few celebrations that occur after the Resurrection: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day April 20, Picnic Day on April 23 (which could double as Barbecue Day in South Carolina if the Senate Judiciary Committee would stop sitting on that all-important bill to make barbeque our Official State Picnic Cuisine), Pretzel Day on April 26 and Oatmeal Cookie Day on April 30.
But, well, it’s tough to top a PB&J Day. Or Cordon Bleu. Or Grilled Cheese. Or Caramel.
When I Googled “National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day,” I found a site called Holiday Insights, which offered few for that particular day: “Our research did not find the creator, or the origin of this day. This is referred to as a ‘National’ day. We did not find any congressional records or presidential proclamations for this day. But, we believe America’s favorite lunchtime sandwich deserves a national day.”
I suspect I’d find similar explanations for most of those other foodie days as well. And maybe even for those disease designations.