Millions of people suffer from excessive awareness. Learn the signs here.
1. Extreme randomness throughout January. No, not random acts of kindness. January is National Random Action month. When Jenny Frost’s* brother Frank* sang “I Feel Pretty” in the shampoo aisle on January 2nd, Jenny thought it was funny. But by the 20th, Frank’s randomness had escalated. To incorporate Healthy Weight Week, he volunteered advice to random overweight strangers wherever they went, and Jenny knew he had a problem.
2. Insufficient personal information on Twitter and Facebook. February has 29 awareness topics. The danger, for the overly aware, is that they will only have time to post helpful information, and their friends won’t know what they ate for dinner or who has offended them now. Excessive awareness sufferers have trouble distinguishing between the important (Heart Disease Awareness Month) and the topics their friends couldn’t care less about (World Salt Awareness Week). Even posting about important problems on social media sites is unnecessary, really. If someone doesn’t already know that doughnuts for dinner and cigarettes for dessert aren’t good for his heart, a Facebook meme will probably not help him. So go ahead and tell us what you bought at Target today. We either already know about your awareness topic, or we won’t care about it. Exception: Go ahead and advertise that February is National Condom Month. That’s just plain funny.
3. March Madness Guilt. If your husband used to enjoy watching NCAA basketball every March, but now he stares blankly at the screen, feeling bad for people with colorectal cancer, he could have a problem.
4. April is Autism Awareness Month. Although I encourage knowing the signs of autism, call your pediatrician if your three-year-old knows what “echolalia” means.
5. Watch for these signs in May: Absurdly erect posture, trying to contract hepatitis, buying expensive furniture for pets, suddenly thinking you have arthritis. Note: hypochondria of any kind is indicative of excess awareness. Excessive awareness doesn’t just affect the excessively aware person. Consider doctors and nurses who tend to the long lines of women expecting a checkup on May 10th, National Woman’s Checkup Day. Or in July, unsuspecting recipients of sudden massage during Everybody Deserves A Massage Week. May I add my own awareness event in July? Everybody Also Deserves Personal Space Day.
6. A few other things to keep an eye out for: Men trying to breastfeed in August, spontaneous yoga in September (really? Yoga needs an awareness campaign?) and fake stuttering in October. Also, reckless commuters on October 9th, when Drive Safely To Work Week is over.
If you or someone you know shows these or other signs of excessive awareness, such as tweeting the symptoms of their anal fissures, immediately direct them to places that encourage ignorance, such as large groups of seventh graders or politicians.
*Not a real person