Community Page: Suzanne Day
Live Journal post by Sela, 29 January, 2009
This year marks the second annual observance of the holiday Suzanne Day, which takes place around my birthday. On Madigan's (Ismene's) journal last week, the issue was brought up of when it is appropriate to start celebrating Suzanne Day, so I'd like to take this opportunity to answer (because I didn't read it 'till today; waaay behind on flist now that school has started).
Suzanne Day is unique, in that it does not start on one specific date each year. It does have the highest day of Suzanne Day (February 15th, my birthday), but it actually lets society's norms dictate its starting. The rule is this: as soon as you start seeing Valentine's Day decorations, products, etc. when you're out and about, you are able to officially celebrate Suzanne Day (though some start earlier, following the example of those delightful and puzzling people who put their Christmas decorations up in late September). This ties into the history of the holiday, in which the first Suzanne Day was inspired by my having to put up Valentine's decorations at the bookstore in the first week of January, 2008.
With that said, I'd like to wish a very happy holiday to everyone out there. If you didn't know me last year when this very egotistical and glorious holiday started, I'll include the text of the short yet astonishing history ('short' being that the histories of Herodotus, Caesar and Gibbon are all longer than this):
Subject: "In response to the extension of holidays to be celebrated over a month before they actually arrive"
...I have decided to surrender.
Apparently Christmas lasts a month and a half (end of November to first-ish week of January) rather than one day. Sometimes it even lasts two and a half, cause some start after Halloween! And apparently now it's time to think of Valentine's Day, and put up something for that all over the mall and in your homes and on your computers. I put out Valentine's stuff yesterday at the bookstore.
In a couple weeks I'm sure, there'll be shamrocks and green all over the malls and internet, for St. Patrick's Day. Then it'll be pastels for Easter and matzo to buy at the grocery store two months in advance for Passover. It's ok to buy matzo two months in advance because it would taste stale even when it's fresh.
And before you know it, everything in America will be red, white, blue and full of the stars and stripes, because it's May already, and it's time to buy hamburger meat to use for your 4th of July barbecue! And no household is complete without Halloween candy in August or early September. You'll end up buying your Halloween candy three times before the actual holiday, because you ate them, and that's the point, really. Get in the mood! 'Tis the season!
I give up.
So I figure it's time to put your money where your mouth is, America and various other countries which celebrate holidays way before they arrive, when really most of them are supposed to last ONE day. Ok! I get it! You want to be happy for prolonged periods. You want your customers to be in mind of spending more money for a plausibly valid reason. You want to plan for the happy day well in advance. I suppose that's your right.
So in the Spirit Of The Season and as a True American, I am posting this notice, to remind you:
It is only 40 days until my birthday. That's right, people. Suzanne Day is on February 15, which is the day after Valentine's. If it's time to celebrate Valentine's Day, then it's time to celebrate my birthday too. I expect a month and a half fully of well-wishes and reminisces on how wonderful it is that I was born oh-so-nearly 26 years ago and continue to live.
People should start singing musicals, reading Greek drama, brushing up on their Scrabble skills and diagramming all their grammar, because 'tis the season for all that stuff, I figure, if we're going to celebrate me in all my glory. We're running out of time already!
I consider myself something of an expert on the subject of Me, and so if you have any questions on how to go about celebrating this holiday season, I am totally willing to help you in your effort to spread cheer and joy. It's only five weeks away, folks! Time to get busy. Disco Darcy, he is dancing.
If you belong to an internet forum, now is the time to start sporting your holiday signature banner. Here's one I've made to help out, in case you're lacking ideas:
Always glad to help. If I'm going to do this Celebration and Joy crap, I might as well go all out.
You can remember my birthday easily whenever I post on livejournal, for it is the reason for the 215 after the clytemnestra! Original to the max.
Happy Holidays, everybody! Happy Suzanne Day!
After that, I announced the Holy Days, which start on February 5th. It is a time of joy and pleasure, because you are ordered to enjoy yourself in a Suzanne Manner, and how can you not have fun doing so? Imagine how overloaded with crazy happiness I am by doing it full-time, 24/7/365! Details within:
In a brief discussion of the holiday of Suzanne Day, being the birthday which lasts five weeks and comes to its culmination on the fifteenth of February, it was decided that the fifth of February would herald the ten days of holiness, the most fervent and joyous days in the month of my birthday.
This specific day was chosen because not only is it ten days before, ten being a right and happily round number, but also because it is the half birthday of James, who was born on the fifth of August. It is only appropriate that the most glorious days would come at a time when we are exactly half a year from James' birthday. After all, he is the bounce in my step, the bookmark in my book, the dancing fire around my hell-bound journey.
What happens during the Holy Days? Well, everyone is ordered to enjoy their favorite dessert at some time during the Holy Days. You should listen to your favorite songs. You should read one of your favorite books. You should watch at least one of your favorite movies and favorite shows. You should devote at least one day to being anti-social. Also, sex is recommended, though not required. Hissy fits are discouraged. It is considered appropriate to rely upon rational decisions during these days rather than emotional ones.
Also, if you didn't already know that everything to do with Suzanne Day is absolute bullshit, I just don't know what to do with you!
And then, my thoughts written in early March, once it was all over:
So I never actually wrote anything about my birthday, and as there was quite the big deal made over it, I figure it deserves something. When's the best time to write about it? When I haven't had any sleep and it's 10AM, of course.
So this year, for the reference of those who were just friended for various reasons, I declared five weeks before my birthday that if I was obligated to get out Valentine's Day decorations at work (I was working at a bookstore in Iowa at that time), then by all that is holy and by many things that are unholy, I was going to insist on celebrating my birthday now as well. My birthday is the day after Valentine's, so this was a very rational declaration on my part.
I named the holiday Suzanne Day, and said that there was a whole season leading up to it, and people were encouraged to celebrate the season in good cheer.
I wrote this post about it.
You'd think that's where it would end (an appropriately egotistical post in a livejournal; imagine that).
That's not where it ended.
Immediately a number of my friends, and bafflingly enough, a number of people I did not know, started celebrating the season of Suzanne Day. People with whom I'm acquainted in 'real life' and also those I know from online communities, as well as random online people who were urged by friends to do so, celebrated my birthday season. One of my own sisters (Caroline) wished me a Happy Suzanne Day a month before my birthday.
All in all, I found out what someone who is spinning utter bullshit can do to impact a small part of the world if only they sound confident enough. Some do it through charity or education or politics. I did it through demanding that people celebrate my birthday for five weeks; we've all got our priorities.
(The above paragraph has some grammatical issues, syntactically-speaking. I have decided to not care.)
I cannot count the number of emails and PMs and text messages I got over Suzanne Day (the literal part of me wishes to make it known that I could indeed count them, yet will not be making the effort to do so). Keep in mind that I'm an introvert who tends to keep to herself and a few friends on a general basis; this burst of communication from many whom I don't know sent me into a state of bemusement.
So I'd like to take this moment to say:
You guys are fucking crazy. If I were the type, I'd wonder if anyone actually thought I was some megalomania-crazed egotist. I doubt the Queen of England got more attention on her birthday and the month leading up to it. (That's not true; I bet she got loads of attention. That there's a bar for y'all to set for next year; you might use it as a guideline.)
All in all, thank you for making my 26th birthday memorable. I worried that someone might create an sculpted statue of me next year in honor of the season, as a way to one-up this year, but then I decided that would actually be pretty nifty.
So there we have it. Celebrate at will. We are in the midst of the season! Turquoise and red ribbons for all! It's that time of year again.
Edited to add:
Also, feel free to grab the outstanding signature James shared with me. He shaped it with his bare hands out of graphite and birch bark!
Marcus Tullius Cicero is there on a bear (Wonderella style, no doubt).