This past weekend a friend of mine who lives in Michigan said that she and her boyfriend were going out to dinner for Swedish Day. This was mentioned in conjunction with something else in the conversation that was more pressing so it took me a minute, and some metaphorical head-shaking to backup and say "Swedish? I thought you were half-Japanese." Then she was confused. "Who said anything about Sweden?" More confusion. "Then why are you celebrating Swedish Day?" After a couple more rounds of this, turns out she was saying "Sweetest Day." As in, that would be the sweetest thing I have ever heard if it weren't a completely fabricated holiday created by the greeting card industry. Sweetest Day is primarily a midwestern thing, which explains why I hadn't heard of it before. It is described by Retail Confectioners International as an "occasion which offers all of us an opportunity to remember not only the sick, aged and orphaned, but also friends, relatives and associates whose helpfulness and kindness we have enjoyed" (Wikipedia). Interestingly enough, although Retail Confectioners International says that it is NOT a fabricated holiday, apparently "dozens of Cleveland's top candy makers concocted the promotion 84 years ago and it stuck, although it never became as widely accepted as hoped" (Wikipedia, again).
On the one hand, this sounds like a nice idea. On the other hand, I think this sounds kind of silly. Like, an excuse for some girls to say "if you don't do something nice for me for Sweetest Day you are going to be in the doghouse, mister." I've always had an aversion to Valentine's Day for a similar reason-it just seems too forced and artificial. I had a friend in college who called it "Single's Awareness Day" and I tended to agree with her, regardless of whether I was dating someone or not. I like the idea of celebrating an anniversary much more. They are unique to the couple, for one. You can usually get a dinner reservation and you don't have to wear pink or red if you don't want to. I know that some people really love Valentine's Day (and probably Sweetest Day, if they've heard of it) so I want to know--what do you guys think? Is it the sweetest thing you've ever heard or is it giving you a toothache?