down with dia del amigo

July 20, 2007 at 12:01 pm Leave a comment

Call me scrooge, but I’m not buying into Dia del Amigo.

The basic premise of the holiday is decent enough: a day to re-connect with old friends and express to new friends how much they mean to you. Like an anti-Valentine’s day, Dia del Amigo attempts to position the role of the friend as equal, if not paramount, to the role of lover.

The day was created by Enrique Febbraro, who felt that July 20th befitted celebrating friendships because it was the day of the first landing on the moon. It’s hard to follow this logic, I know, but according to Febbraro the entire world became friends with these three astronauts.

But like most holidays (Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Mothers/Fathers Day, etc.), Dia del Amigo has become one of consumption. Stores remind you to buy your friend a gift, restaurants remind you to make a reservation for an overpriced meal, bars remind you to buy your buddy a couple of drinks.

And then it becomes a day of hurt feelings and broken friendships. You ask a “good” friend to dinner, just to find out that he/she already made plans with someone else; you receive a gift from a friend, but don’t have anything to give them; you party all night with your friends just to make your wife mad (or so complains a student of mine). Why all the added stress? If you’re friends with someone, you don’t need a special day to take them out to lunch or buy them a drink. It should be natural.

And unlike in some other countries, portenos take their Dia del Amigo very seriously. Cell phone networks momentarily shut down on Dia del Amigo in 2005 because they were  overrun with calls and text messages, and most restaurants are totally booked at least a week before the holiday.

So rather than drive myself crazy over Dia del Amigo, I’m taking it easy and celebrating the accomplishments of friends, rather than the friendships themselves. Specifically, the store Arriba, located in Galeria 5ta Avenida, is celebrating its 2nd Anniversary this evening with wine and discounts. With Arriba’s handmade purses and t-shirts, it would be the perfect place to pick up a Dia del Amigo gift. But you didn’t hear it from me.–REBECCA

arribaropa's photo from 7/16/07

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Entry filed under: calendar, feriados, pop culture, trends.

diferencias y repeticiones this is a show

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