Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury
If it were voted on, there’d be no “National Siblings Day.” Period, end of discussion.
The unofficial “date” is sneaking onto calendars, however, perhaps with a gentle push by brain trusts at Hallmark Cards.
Best I can tell, one woman decided her fellow Americans need to “make nice” to their brothers and sisters, with sentiments exchanged April 10 each year—in close proximity with April Fool’s Day….
Women may take to the holiday more than men. Men may limit expression of warm thoughts to brothers only, often just for birthdays. Exceptions may be guys who cave in, giving posies to little sisters to salve guilt feelings for pain they inflicted during growing up years.
Some men may observe the day negatively. Take Randy Humphrey as a current example. He’s half a decade younger than brother Stephen, and both are leaders of Humphrey and Associates, an electrical/mechanical contracting firm founded by their parents, Stephen Sr. and Jackie, 38 years ago as a “Mom and Pop” company. It now has 450 employees. At the firm’s annual awards banquet–held the day after “Siblings Day”–Stephen announced that his little brother was laid up at home, nursing a kidney stone. “I think we should all send get-well text messages to Randy right now,” he said, “Here’s his cell number.” Just to make sure, he repeated it–speaking very slowly so everyone could jot it down.
Randy got 38 text messages. It may be “payback” time later, perhaps with multiple “hope-you’re-sleeping-well” calls to Stephen, perhaps around 2 a.m….
Hallmark may be left holding the envelope. First off, it is NOT a nationally-recognized holiday, even though the Siblings Day Foundation is lobbying to that end. It is “national” in the same manner that hot dogs, automobiles, airlines, etc., are declared “official” by professional sports teams.
In fact, the holiday is observed in only four-fifths of these United States.
This figure is identical to the percentage of Americans who have siblings….
With all the surveillance going on, I’m not sure what would happen if there were photographic proof of “happy Sibling Day” cards mailed across boundaries of non-participating states. This might violate some postal rule, or at least the spirit of the so-called holiday.
Maybe participants will handle the cards with rubber gloves, mailing them in the dark of night.
Probably the old “easier to apologize than get permission” excuse would come into play if one is guilty of sending—or receiving—cards in the “wrong” states….
Card-pushers point out that siblings being nice to each other might eventually result in larger families.
Now, costs of raising children dominate adult conversations. Back in the day, children were essentially “farm employees” when most folks had rural addresses. Families of 10-12—or even more—were fairly common.
One couple, living in a farmhouse near a tar pit, had 15 children. One day, one of the youngsters–coated head to toe with tar—was admonished to stay outdoors. He heard parental mumblings that it might be easier to have another one than to clean him up.”…
The Smothers Brothers could have had fun with this holiday. You remember this riotous duo that ruled TV for almost 20 years and is still on tour with their straight-faced humor. (My Uncle Mort has always wondered if the late Joyce Brothers and the Smothers Brothers were related.)
It is said that Dick, the younger, once sent a greeting card to their mom, carefully printing these words: “Dear Mom. Thanks 4 putting up with a spoiled, ungrateful, messy, bratty child like my sibling,” signing it “Your Favorite.”
Tom, the older, maintained across the years that “Mother always liked you best.”…
Seems to me the holiday, now just 13 years into play, is more of a “permission slip” than an official observance. Perhaps the 39 governors who signed on figured it to be easier to go along than to oppose the measure. Since it also is acknowledged in India and Australia, look for proponents to call it an “international holiday.”
In the meantime, I hope to stay in touch with my brother with occasional phone calls.
And if I think of it, I’ll send him a birthday card….
Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Inquiries/comments to: email@example.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: http://www.speakerdoc.com. Archived: newbury blog, venturegalleries.com.