July Holidays, Ranked

It’s back. Now in its third iteration, this column ranking holidays of the month has already gone on way too long. Is anyone reading this? Good thing I can laugh at my own jokes. 

Let’s get this one out of the way: 

6. 4th of July: What do you know, it’s on July 4. 

Yea, yea, yea. It’s all anyone thinks about when I say “I’m going to write about July holidays” and they’re all like “oh, like the 4th of July?” and I’m like “yeah, I guess.” When I think of the 4th of July I think of my suburban upbringing, sitting in a field at the local high school for hours waiting until the sun went down to see the fireworks. It’s hot and crowded, I’m sitting on the ground and the fireworks last a total of like 10 minutes, tops. Damn. 

I guess it’s better as an adult because of the beer, but that doesn’t stop the 4th of July from regularly falling short of childhood expectations. I’m over it. If you’re not, go to Bristol and look at the painted line on the road maybe, idk. 

Now that that’s behind us, let’s dive into these bad boy holidays of July: 

5. International Town Crier’s Day: July 11

Hear ye, hear ye! It’s International Town Crier’s Day on July 11 this year. What is a town crier, you may ask. Thank you for indulging me. 

The first town criers were running messengers, bringing news from battlefronts, declarations of war or offerings of peace from kingdom to kingdom. Later they would just call out information in the town square, ringing a bell and announcing stuff like, “Hey the king says y’all gotta pay more taxes,” or “Tunics are 50% off at Bartholomew’s Tunic Emporium.”  Interestingly, whatever the town crier said was considered official notice, so if you didn’t hear what they said right, that was your problem. 

Criers would usually read it off a written document, then nail it to a well-frequented doorpost, at an inn or somewhere people gathered. This is where we get the pattern of association between news and the term “post,” like in The Washington Post. Fun facts!

4. National Mac and Cheese Day: July 14

Mac and cheese is great and all, but I really just wanted to take this opportunity to plug my favorite cheesy meal at the Newport Creamery. Nothing makes me feel more Rhode Island than sitting with my elbows on the lunch counter, hunched over my favorite meal: the Super Crunchy Grilled Cheese, a grilled cheese sandwich with four mozzarella sticks on it, with an ice-cold coffee milk on the side. And yes, if you’re keeping track, that’s breaded cheese then surrounded by more cheese and then more bread. Now that’s Good Mood Food™. 

3. International Kissing Day: July 6

Pucker up, Motif fam, cause you just won a one-way ticket to smooch city — a kiss coupon, or koupon, if you will. Cut out this section of the article and show your current (or hopeful) smooch partner and ask if you can celebrate the holiday together. It expires at the end of this month. Let me know how it goes.

This day has me thinking of all those movies where at the end the main characters kiss and it’s just perfect. I can’t imagine how many awkward kisses that trope has prompted. Think of all the people in your life who are bad at reading social cues, and just pump them full of soppy stories where the solution to all of their relationship problems is a big romantic gesture like a public open-mouth kiss. I’m cringing just thinking about it. 

International Kissing Day falls on the same day as our magazine distribution day this month — if you’re reading this in print, that means that I’ve already offered our distro team a little (consensual) smoochy bonus in honor of the holiday, and I imagine it’s gone incredibly well. 

2. National Words with Friends Day: July 19

Let’s take a trip back to 2009. Obama just got inaugurated, your hair looked like Bieber’s when he was innocent (at least mine did), and Zynga dominated this new thing called Facebook. We poked our friends, answered and shared long personal quizzes about ourselves that we now know were just scams trying to get our security question answers, and we played FarmVille and Words with Friends. Don’t be embarrassed. We all did it. 

Last year, Zynga announced that July 19 was to be National Words with Friends Day. This year the holiday marks its 13th birthday (yea, you’re old, it’s true). I feel like they probably should slow their roll a little bit. While Words with Friends was certainly a major component of my life at that time, does it deserve a national day? Can any company just declare a national holiday for something they make? 

2 ½. National Bradly Writes This Article Day: July 1

Speaks for itself. 

1. Gorgeous Grandma Day: July 23

I feel like anyone in charge of ranking July holidays would put Gorgeous Grandma Day in the number one spot. The idea came from Alice Solomon, who graduated college at 50 years old, and realized that society often treats older women as irrelevant or of limited capacity. She decided to challenge this stereotype with Gorgeous Grandma Day, which teaches us to replace the image of helpless retirees with an edgier, foxier version. 

I’m way ahead of you Alice. Just last week I had to sit down with a friend to explain that while it didn’t have to affect our friendship, I was going to be his step-grandpa now. I think it went about as well as it could have. 

Happy July!