Friday, August 31, 2007

That Labour Day Blog

Happy Labour Day weekend, cowboys & Indians!

A little history lesson: Labour Day celebrates the efforts of labour unions all over the world (excluding sweat shops, obviously) in achieving the 8-hour day movement - 8 hours for work, 8 hours for recreation, 8 hours for sleep.

Although widely celebrated by the rest of the world on May 1st (May Day), here in North America it's celebrated the first Monday of September - a traditionally ceremonious 'last hurrah' of summer for many.

In Canada, Labour Day can be tracked back to the printer's revolt of 1872 - back then unionization was illegal... like JAIL-worthy - and 10,000 workers took to the street demanding a scant 54 hour work week, leading then-PM Sir John A. MacDonald to repeal anti-union laws and olde tymey blue-collar Joe's finally caught a break.

I remember as a kid I thought Labour Day celebrated the act of giving birth, and still kinda do. Weird how that works, huh?

So, because it's Friday, and because it's the start of Labour Day weekend, I now present my TOP 10 FAVOURITE BIRTHING METHODS!!!

10.) Water Birth

Ahhhh water birth. It's like being at a water park - using your mother's vag as a veritable slip 'n slide into a giant wave pool... HELLO WORLD!

Okay, this is gross. I'll stop. I can actually remember in my OAC [Grade 13... in Ontario, we used to have 5 grades in high school, for those of you not in the know] Sociology class, the teacher - Ms. Rita Kilpatrick - filled an entire hour-and-a-half lesson by making us watch a tape of birthing methods. T'was not for the faint of heart. I made it through water birth and midwife assistance, but holy mother of fuck, once Cesarean came rollin' round the corner I had my limit! I was like "Mrs. K - I'm going to blow chunks. Can I leave?" I was actully palpitating in horror. To this day, I still have the occasional night terrors about it. *shivers*

Anyway... one thing commonly associated with Labour Day, as much if not moreso than it taking 5 hours to drive from Toronto to Barrie, is the belief that you can't wear white after Labour Day.

But from whence did this belief come from?

After some perfectly exhaustive research, I'm come to these conclusions:

The rule seems to originate in the American South... where most good things do.

Originally, the rule applies to shoes. Specifically, white pumps. Tennis shoes, sneaks, off-white boots and an Autumn or Winter Brides' footwear notwithstanding, it's perceived as very bad manners to wear white pumps outside of the period betwixt Easter Sunday and Labour Day in the south. Which actually makes sense. White pumps are ridiculous. Every time I see a girl wearing them, I'm like, "Oh hi. Are you part of Prince's entourage from 1986?"... Digressing...

How did this become such widespread belief? Blame the advent and subsequent boom of the middle class in the 1950's. All of a sudden, people had money, but absolutely no handle on the standards of bonafide high society, soooo they were given a number of broad, definitive rules to follow in order to fit in. Not wearing white after Labour Day was one of them.

Since then, the argument has been that white is only in fashion in the summer, and the rule is in place to prevent people from wearing winter fashions in summer months and vice versa. I say, "SUCK IT!". I'll wear white if and when I damned well please, and I encourage you to do the same.

Unless they're white jeans. No one is allowed to wear white jeans. Especially if they're made into jort form. Hell to the no.


The more you know,

--- Aj