I logged in to the Internet this morning and saw Comcast’s Memorial Day Quiz on my home page. I took it, in part because I wanted to write about Memorial Day today and I thought it might provide some ideas. I scored 58 out of 150. I am the first to admit I am not great at history. But in my defense, I was distracted by all the typos in the questions. I then took it again. Different questions, fewer typos, but still…Star Spanged Banner, Arlington Cemetary, rememberance. This time I scored 148.
Memorial Day means different things to different people. For my husband and me, it used to be all about Dewey Beach.
I commemorated the holiday yesterday. In church I joined in prayers for those who have given their lives in service to our country, and their families. I thought of the American teenagers who have died in war these last nine years, and prayed for their mothers. I joined in singing Eternal Father, Strong to Save, also known as the United States Navy Hymn, which asks protection of those serving on land and sea and in the air.
Then I went home and had a barbeque.
Today I will partake in another important Memorial Day ritual: taking out my white pants and shoes. I know this news will elicit snickers from family members in Arizona who have been wearing white since March. Anyone who knows me is aware I am an etiquette purist. Pathologically compliant. For me, living on the edge means wearing white on the Sunday before Memorial Day, but never past Labor Day. I won’t even wear spectators outside the Memorial-to-Labor Day window.
I believe etiquette makes our lives easier by providing a clear framework for our behavior and lifting responsibility for making decisions about such matters.
In the movie Serial Mom, which stars Kathleen Turner (and my Aunt Patsy), a Martha Stewart-like homemaker brutally murders those who commit simple etiquette violations, such as smacking gum, stealing a parking space and not rewinding a video rental. In her final act, she slaughters Patty Hearst for wearing white shoes after Labor Day.
See, I just wouldn’t want to risk the consequences.
Happy Memorial Day.