[break it down: sytten = seventeen, de = of, Mai = May]
As I’m sure the endless media coverage has made you thoroughly aware, today is Norwegian Independence Day—celebrating the 1814 Constituent Assembly at Eidsvold where we signed our new Constitution and began our quest for independence after 400 years under the oppressive reign of the (not so great, it would seem) Danes. (We joined into an unholy union on this day with Sweden and didn’t gain our full independence until 1905, but that’s a topic for a different post.)
First of all, I thank all of you for wearing red and blue today to help me honor my heritage. Even though I totally forgot myself and I’m wearing black dress pants and a dress shirt in stripes of blues and whites and teals. Which looks kind of red if you have blue-teal-red colorblindness.
Our office had a small Cuatro de Mayo celebration on May 4 (for those of you struggling with the translation), because the cincoth of Mayo was a Saturday and while I love free fajitas I’m not coming into work on a Saturday to eat them. I wanted to stage a similar Norwegian celebration today at work, but I ran out of time this week so I didn’t get any lefse or lutefisk or rommegrot made to bring in and share. And—as you can imagine—all the local Norwegian shouting choruses had been (regrettably but understandably) booked months in advance, so I couldn't even provide some basic background Norwegianness to put people in the mood. I’m sure we have some leftover piñatas lying around the office somewhere, though, and we could probably get a mariachi band here muy pronto, but I don’t think Great-Great Grandfather Gustav—who came to America on a boat with a fjord motor—would approve.
So I will just leave you with some Norwegian good cheer (which is easily confused with Norwegian bad cheer because we’re a stoic people) and sincere wishes for a very happy Syttende Mai.
I also leave you with last week’s marathon training photo, which only yesterday was made available to me so it’s totally not my fault you didn’t get to see what we looked like after running five miles until five days after the fact. And for the record, I look much younger today than I did last Saturday because I’ve been exfoliating.