I have committed to an April Writing Challenge.
" April is the awareness month for many important causes, which one will you be supporting and why?"
My favorite "bit" on Steve Dahl's radio show happens on the first day of every month. He and Jennifer Keiper each compile a list of "National Days". You know what I'm talking about - national kiss a clown day - national eat a poppyseed bagel day - national hug a jagbag day.
Steve goes down the calendar - he'll say "April First - what do you have?" Jennifer Keiper will rattle off what she found on the web '- then Stever counters with a few more thanks to a Google search.
Keiper's are always way more cooler than Steve's. It's all good - Steve knows this and doesn't care.
Facebook has a lamer version of this. I think it has been National Siblings' Day five times since the New Year. Same goes with Cousins' Day ( hey - fun Facebook Fact: did you know that cousins are your first friends? True story.) Please don't even get me started on Facebook's official date for National Margarita Day - I haven't enough toes to count how many times I've celebrated that holiday this year.
And then there are the monthly causes. I remember a time when the only monthly events I was aware of were the Black History thing in February and the March of Dimes in March and of course painting the month PINK in October.
Since the Internet it seems like there are more causes than days each month. An awful lot of shit to be aware of if you ask me.
Don't believe me? Go ahead. Google "April Causes".
You heard me - Google April Causes. Don't worry. I'll wait. We can compare notes when you come back.
My search produced many.
Autism Awareness Month - Organ Donor Awareness Month - Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month - Alcohol Awareness Month - Sexual Assault Awareness Month - Child Abuse Prevention Month - Testicular Cancer Awareness Month- Earth Day - Parkinson Awareness Month.
That's too much awareness. Way too much awareness for me.
How the hell am I supposed to make myself aware of all of these causes at the same time I'm celebrating my siblings and cousins (my very first friends - mind you) while I'm tossing back margaritas every other frickin' day because my Facebook Feed says I should?
Please don't misunderstand - I don't want to make light of the people suffering from Parkinson's. And I'm well aware of how booze can destroy a family. I know a guy who suffered from the esophageal variety of the cancer and two fellas who were struck with the testicular variety. I also had a dad and a sister-in-law and a friend/neighbor who died from the disease - colon-breast-and -breast respectively.
I certainly don't need to set aside a month to become aware of what a son-of-a-bitch cancer is. I'm well aware. I'm pretty sure they all suck just as much as the cancers highlighted in March and May. I'm aware.
It's just that it has become awareness overload. Especially when they're lumped together with the additional nonsense - National Cheeseburger Day - Key Lime Pie Day - and a day dedicated to Curly Fries.
I wish every day were National Don't Be an Asshole Day. Then everyday we could be mindful of things that affect other people - and do something more than just being "aware".
When you're not an asshole you might drive someone to chemo or make dinner for someone who is to busy wiping asses to remember or care about preheating an oven. You might clean their house or do their grocery shopping.
Maybe you don't live check to check and have some extra cash to toss at a cause. Do it.
Take the old gal who just lost her love to a chest-grabber out to dinner. She's well aware of what happens when one has a bum heart but is more interested in some company.
The frazzled lady next door with the kid everyone thinks is weird is ready to jump out the 2nd floor window. Offer to sit with the kid while she takes advantage of a mani or a pedi or a Starbucks Venti. Whatever. The gal needs a break. Help her out.
There are more causes than there are days in the year. And, let's be honest - most of us are too absorbed in our own problems to give a flying fig about someone else's cause.
Make tomorrow the day you work on not being an asshole. And then the next and the next and the next. Everyone has a cross to bear - why not consider making their load lighter.
Becoming less "self-aware" is the key to awareness. Pass that shit on.
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