It’s a rant. I admit it.
The key upon which my schedule today depended was access to county offices. But it’s Columbus Day… However, not being Italian, I didn’t know or care so I drove an hour through traffic and arrived to find empty parking lots and a locked building. (rats!)
Columbus Day, Martin L. King Day and other ethnic holidays should not be an excuse to close government offices and give workers a day off at tax payer expense. St. Patrick’s Day is not a bank/county holiday and neither is Halloween (witch holiday). I don’t know of any business outside government and banks that takes Columbus Day off. I realize that in parts of the country, there are Columbus Day parades, but not in my part.
I have nothing against Italians. Adrienne may be preparing to scorch me for suggesting that Columbus Day shouldn’t be a government holiday – but it shouldn’t. Every Sunday of the year is a Catholic feast day dedicated to one saint or another. The government doesn’t give employees Easter off work, but Columbus Day — sure. There are something like 58 Indian (red dot, not feather) holidays per year, each dedicated to a different god. But we don’t celebrate one of those.
Let’s face it, some people like to celebrate “their” holiday. That’s why vacation time was invented. I don’t celebrate Kwanza and I don’t dance naked under the moon at the solstice in celebration of whatever they celebrate. But here I am, stuck celebrating Columbus Day. The ethnic food on MLK Day is chicken and watermelon. It’s cabbage and corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day. I guess I’ll have a pizza for dinner and do it up right.
Of course, there were no tomatoes in Europe before Columbus (an Italian sailing under a Spanish flag) “discovered” the same land mass that the Vikings, Irish monks and who knows how many others had already “discovered”. Thus, putting it in perspective, the discovery of corn (meal that goes on the pizza oven’s deck) and tomatoes (which make pizza taste better) does constitute a reason for me to celebrate. However, it still ended up being a wasted day from a standpoint of commerce.