Once upon a time, back in the late ’90s, I was a professional photographer. It was a job I resisted, but ultimately wound up enjoying, primarily because of the person I worked for.
His name was Shawn and he was an amazing photographer. He had his own studio, and it was located at the edge of a very classy part of town called Officer’s Row. All the buildings were historical and renovated, and the studio was across the street from a place called The Academy.
Shawn was an all around great person to work for and with. He was technically proficient, artistically proficient, and quite funny. I began working for him as an office manager, and later transitioned to shooting for him.
(I wrote a bit about the experience of working for him here.)
We used to be terribly sarcastic with each other and in general. It was all in good fun, but, sometimes, when it seemed we had gone a bit too far, we would find our way back through the sarcasm maze and wind up being really nice to each other.
Those days, we decided to formally call “Sappy Day.”
The first time this happened, one of us (I think it was me) wrote on the calendar “SD” and that whole day we said all the nice things we thought about the other person.
For example: I would tell him how his work was excellent (and it truly was), and he would tell me I was good with the clients.
And, while the day would start in a sincere stead, it sometimes veered off the rails by day’s end where we were both saying sugary sweet things to the other person that bordered right back on sarcasm.
It was fantastic.
Sappy Day would roll around every month or so. It was never planned, it just happened at random. I liked that better; it meant the sincere and kind things that were said weren’t forced. It was like a floating holiday of (mostly) kindness.
The other day I was talking to a friend and one of us said something uncharacteristically nice about the other person. I declared it Sappy Day and then explained what Sappy Day was and how it worked. Granted, the friend and I don’t work together so it wasn’t quite the same, but it was a charming reminder of days gone. It was also fun because it was an enjoyable “holiday” to bring around after such a long hiatus.
I try to tell people the positive things I think about them as they occur to me, but, sometimes, it can still be nice to have a properly declared Sappy Day; it’s a free pass to say all the nice things that have been stored up over time. I don’t think Sappy Day will ever go out of style. It’s kind of like ordering pizza. Who doesn’t like pizza? Who doesn’t like telling people the nice things they think about them?
I’m a fan of both.
If you think nice things about someone else, do you let them know? What would you tell people if you had a Sappy Day of your own?