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  Respect Your Elders This way to the 'Ole Folks Home'  

Have you ever forgotten something?  I mean have you done something that was embarrassing because you had forgotten something?  You know the kind of thing you wouldn’t have done it if you had remembered not to have forgotten something?  I find that I forget things a lot these days.  Maybe it’s because I’m getting older or more easily distracted or….what was I talking about?  Last Monday I forgot something and, well, it was embarrassing because there were witnesses.

Last Monday, 17 September, the third Monday of September is a day I won't forget.  I got up from bed and did all my usual stuff.  I had my morning cup of coffee, ran my usual route, showered, dressed and went to work.  Just like every other Monday.  My drive was unusually pleasant.  There were no near head-on collisions, no almost being forced into a ditch, no dodging drivers who were looking everywhere but straight ahead.  In fact there was hardly any traffic at all; most unusual for this time of the morning.  When I turned into the drive at work the main gate was closed, mmm, unusual.  The guard was standing there looking back at me in a most unusual way.  I turned into the parking area and passed the guards' window and instead of 25 to 30 cars in the lot there were only maybe 6 or 8 and all the guards were peering out the window at me.  Is today Sunday?  I parked the car and pulled my calendar from my wallet to check.  No, it’s Monday but the date is in red!  Damn, it’s a holiday!  No wait, next Monday is the holiday, the 24th, Autumn Equinox Day (shubun no hi), I remember that!  But the calendar continues to insist that today is a holiday too and since no one is here I must concur that it must be.  Now how do I get out of here without looking foolish?  I know; I’ll pretend I meant to do this.  After all I did mean to do this; I just forgot it was a holiday.  I sat there for a few more minutes, put the car in gear and drove out, right by the guards’ window smiling and waving as I went by.  They smiled and waved back too.  Actually they were laughing and waving.  God, I dread tomorrow.

Once home I switched on my computer to see what holiday I had forgotten.  Let’s see, mmmm, the 17th of September, the third Monday of September; Respect for the Aged Day.  Well, at least now they can’t make fun of me!  I hope.


Third Monday of September, national holiday:  Respect for the Aged Day (keiro no hi).
Respect for the elderly and longevity is celebrated on this national holiday.  What a nice holiday.