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Celebrating MLK Day the Hallmark Way

January 21, 2019

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Let’s be clear. I love me some Dr. King. I wish we did a lot more than pay lip service to him once a year. I wish we lived and breathed his words and deeds. I wish he’d rise from the dead and smack that MAGA hat off Kanye West’s head. We’d be a much better country and people if he’d been allowed to live or if we had the courage of his convictions.

There are a lot of ways you can honor Dr. King’s memory. Chief among them is to get on the Twitters, Facebooks and Instagrams and post his photo and/or a quote to show you are woke. If you lean to the right, be sure to include a comment about how he was a Republican and would totally want a border wall.

If like me, your company considers this a paid holiday or you’re a furloughed federal employee, you can opt to stay in your PJs and hunker down on the couch and watch Hallmark’s Winterfest Movie Countdown! Nothing says “day of service to humanity” like binge-watching romance movies.

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I’m pretty sure I just heard my woke friends groan. Certainly, there are better ways to spend the holiday. Well sure. Except all the national parks and monuments that honor MLK are closed thanks to Donny’s shutdown. There are no branded MLK Day Holiday sales where I can show how patriotic I am by buying a mattress or a car in his memory. Hell, there’s not even a Hallmark card to honor his legacy.
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I’m pretty sure the groaning I hear is not only because I choose to do something so riddled with middle-class white privilege with my day off, but also because, well, Hallmark Channel. Yes, I should be ashamed of myself for any number of reasons, but watching this kind of television is the least among them. The Hallmark Channel is one of my favorites because it is white noise in its purest form. Everything is perfectly formulaic. I don’t have to care about any of the characters or the plot. I can walk in and out of the movie at any time without having to pause my DVR because I know what is going to happen and I won’t be lost if I wander in mid-movie. Better than a cheap carnival clairvoyant I can predict the future from the opening credits. Even the Poor Bastard has learned the formula. (Okay, yeah. I should be ashamed of having broken his spirit in this way.)

And they are so true to life. We all know that real relationships are built on a solid foundation of truths shared over copious amounts of hot chocolate, not drunken bourbon-fueled confessions. Sadness and regret can be wiped away in a single chaste kiss. Financial worries can be solved or an entire town can be saved with a simple whimsical poorly executed business idea. Every woman owns at least one ball gown perfect for that special gala event she’s hosting with less than a week to prepare.

And the best news of all…there are so many unmarried princes running around Europe looking for American brides in the throngs of tourists in their kingdoms. I always thought that there were 7 monarchies in Europe, but apparently, there were 11 others like Landora, Calpernia, Monstsauri, St. Ives, and Voldavia where everyone has egregiously fake posh English accents and queens are notoriously uptight snobs. Of course, they can easily be won over by showing her that you don’t have a Cinderella Complex, you’re an independent woman who just wants to love her son and help the poor disenfranchised children of her kingdom.

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Every girl dreams of marrying her prince, you’re lying if you say otherwise. I had my eye on Prince Edward of England back in the day. And, as Meghan Markle has proved, it’s still viable to believe that, even for an American commoner, someday your prince may actually show up. In these bleak days of Trumpian America, we all want a dashing foreign prince to come save us. Or even rule us.

So, judge me. Question my taste, my commitment to ending racism in this country, my life choices. Sure, I could spend Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in service of others, but that would mean showering. And besides, I’ve got an Amazon Prime shipment coming for which I have to sign. Priorities people. Cheezits.

 

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