Monday, February 19, 2018
#MicroblogMondays: Family Day (bah humbug...)
I've written (ranted?) about Family Day, and why it bugs me so much, every year for 10 (!) years now, since it was first implemented in Ontario in 2008. ( My primary objection is certainly not to having a long weekend during the dreary days of February (who could object to that, right??), but rather the fact that it's a completely made-up holiday, slapped with a "family-friendly" label by politicians hoping to score political points -- conveniently ignoring that the warm & fuzzy name they chose excludes those of us who don't fit the definition of a traditional family. I would have much preferred something that gave at least a perfunctory nod to Canadian history & heritage, as the U.S. does with Presidents Day, or as my home province of Manitoba does (today is also a holiday there -- not Family Day but Louis Riel Day, which honours an important -- albeit controversial -- Manitoban and Metis leader from the 1870s & 1880s). Perhaps an official Flag Day? (February 15, 1965, was the day the now-iconic red & white maple leaf flag was adopted as the official flag of Canada.)
This year's Family Day weekend (thus far) has included one reminder after another of why I dislike it so heartily. First, the days leading up to the long weekend have been full of media reminders about what's open and what's closed, and about the special activities being offered (many of them free or discounted) to promote quality family time -- fun things that parents and kids can do together. Now, sure, dh & I could lace up our skates (if we had any...!) and take to the ice for the "family skate" at a nearby arena sponsored by a local politician (for example) -- but (a) we hate crowds, (b) do we really want or need to be confronted with yet another reminder about the family we didn't get to have ourselves? and (c) we've heard too many stories about suspicious parents giving stink-eye (or even calling the police!!) when adults without kids start hanging around THEIR kids at parks, etc.
Second, most schools hereabouts also had Friday off (for teacher inservices/Professional Development Day/Professional Administration Day/whatever you call it in your area). This means the streets, parking lots, malls, stores, movie theatres, restaurants and community centres have been crawling with hordes of parents & kids for not just one day, not just two or three (= the usual three-day holiday weekend), but FOUR WHOLE DAYS.
Dh & I have been doing our best to stay close to home and avoid the mobs -- and having lots of Olympics to watch on TV helps ;) -- but four days is a long time to play couch potato; sometimes, you've got to get out of the house. ;) We usually go out for dinner on Saturday nights -- early (as in 4:30-5:00 p.m.), to avoid the crowds (which can be big, even on non-long weekends), but we knew most places were going to be insane no matter when or where we went. I suggested we just go out for burgers at our favourite fast-food gourmet burger place -- in & out, quick and easy (right??). We asked BIL & SIL if they wanted to join us. They did -- but by the time we picked them up and got to the burger place, it was well past 5:30.
The burger place is directly across a vast parking lot from the local mega-cineplex (19 screens). Saturday nights are pretty busy there at the best of times -- and not only was it Family Day weekend, but (we'd forgotten) it was also the opening weekend for the much-anticipated and extremely well-reviewed superhero movie, "Black Panther."
The place was PACKED.
By some miracle, there was one empty table for four right at the very back. It was freezing cold (we had to keep our jackets on), but slightly less noisy than the main seating area. Dh & BIL saved our seats while SIL & I placed our orders & then returned to the table, waiting for our numbers to be called. The time on my receipt was 5:50 p.m., and we overheard the clerk tell another client that it would be at least a 10-minute wait for their food. It seemed to be taking a lot longer than that, though, and it was at least half an hour before SIL's number was finally called.
We expected to be next -- but they skipped over our number & called the next one. And another one after that.
"WTF??" said dh, taking our receipt & heading to the order counter. There is nothing that he hates more than someone who arrived after us getting served first... and that goes double when it comes to food...! ;)
It turns out they had LOST OUR ORDER. It was at least another 15 minutes before we finally got our food (long after BIL & SIL had finished theirs).
Family Day... bah humbug...
P.S. Thanks to The NotMom for their recent post about Family Day!
You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here.