Bad National Opposite Day, Everyone!

January 25 is National Opposite Day, and we’re here to wish you a bad one! Putting aside the fact that opposite days are, across the board, incredibly stupid, let’s talk about the implications of opposite day real quick.

How Serious?

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If one was to celebrate National Opposite Day, how seriously should they take it? Will literally every sentence that comes out of their face be the opposite of what they mean? Or just the opposite of what they would normally say? Or are there limits? It’s opposite day when you have a cheeseburger for breakfast and an omelet for dinner, but not when you’re talking to your boss?

I mean, in a professional setting that would never fly, right? “Hey, Jim, how about you go down and drop these envelopes in the mail?” “Hey, Mr. Smith, how about you do it since you’re the boss but it’s opposite day?” Right? That mess ain’t gonna fly in an office.

And for that matter, how seriously should it be taken in your personal life? “Have a terrible day, honey! I hate you!” “Thanks, babe, I hate you, too! I hope you have the worst day of your life?” I don’t see that exchange happening in many households today.

Where’s the Line?

Maybe the spirit of opposite day is to do things you wouldn’t normally do. Maybe opposite day is a day to try out some good habits that you’ve been contemplating but not executing yet. Maybe for opposite day you only eat lean meat and fresh green vegetables, or you read instead of watching TV, or you watch a documentary instead of The Bachelor.

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Or maybe opposite day is a cheat day for people who are normally straight laced. Have a burger instead of that salad for lunch. Go ahead, make your coffee a bit Irish. Come on, just admit you like The Bachelor and that you only watch documentaries to make yourself feel smart.

Where’s the line? The line, surely, can’t be too subjective, otherwise it’s not a holiday at all. If there are no fundamental rules to Opposite Day, then it’s not really opposite day, it’s just an excuse for everyone to act differently to whatever degree they want, and people can do that any day they’d like to.

Suggested Opposite Day Parameters

I think there are some fundamental parameters to Opposite Day. First, I think the spirit is that you should do at least one thing that you wouldn’t normally do. It could be something small like eating a different lunch, or maybe going to the movies on a work/school night, or even taking a different way home from work. As long as it’s something that you wouldn’t normally do, I think that fits in the spirit of Opposite Day.

I also think that if you have a spouse/significant other who will also be participating, you need to set ground rules. For example, no matter how much jest is intended, I’d rather not hear my wife say “I hate you, have a terrible day!” But if it’s just saying “goodbye” instead of “hello” or whatever, then that would be more my speed. But if you and your significant other like the cheekiness of saying “I hate you,” then by all means, enjoy yourself. But just make sure y’all are on the same page as far as that goes.

There should also be an understanding that interacting with the general public should minimize oppositeness. Don’t go into a store and start opposite-ing the employees. “I hate this dress,” you say, actually meaning you love it, but the clerk isn’t in on the joke and just thinks you’re being a dick. “I’d like my steak well done,” you say, knowing full well that you want it rare, but the waiter doesn’t know you’re celebrating opposite day and brings you the most overcooked piece of irregular steak you’ve ever seen. Just be normal unless and until you know whoever you’re dealing with is in on the game.

And finally, don’t under any circumstances take it to far and cause a fight. Opposite Day is ripe for a Stanford Prison Experiment type result if not kept in check. If your office celebrates National Opposite Day and for one Tuesday you become the boss and the boss becomes the subordinates, don’t be an asshole about it. Sure, make your boss get you a cup of coffee for a change, but don’t berate them, don’t poo-poo on their work, don’t try and imitate them in any sort of meaningful way, and definitely don’t start or escalate an argument over some opposite day whateverness.

Keep it Light

Opposite Day Shouldn't Be Everyday | Glenn Melancon

Ultimately I don’t know why anyone would celebrate National Opposite Day, but my final bit of advice is to keep it light. Do you and your spouse typically have different housekeeping responsibilities? Maybe mix that up for the day. If you normally do the kitchen and your wife normally does the floors, swap jobs for today and just see how it goes.

Or maybe just set some general theme. Today every meal will be the opposite. Lunch for breakfast, dinner for lunch, and breakfast for dinner! Can you imagine? A ham sandwich and chips for breakfast, steak, asparagus, and potatoes au gratin for lunch, and end the day with some fried eggs and sausage gravy.

Whatever you do, have a bad National Opposite Day.

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