National Kale Day with Kale Day gets leafy outside of Greenleaf
Superfood. Lettuce. Arugula. Veggie-Head. Cabbage-Head. Cabbage-Patch. Leaf. Kale Chip.
These are some of the many nicknames that have been given to freshman Kale Day, who celebrated National Kale Day on Wednesday.
Yes, that is his name. And, yes, that is a thing.
Donning a full kale-themed outfit, including kale socks, Day commemorated the holiday by throwing a party outside of Danforth House, complete with a banner, green party hats and balloons and vegetable-themed music.
While chomping down on kale chips that Day made himself, party-goers begged the main question of the evening: Why in the world did Day’s parents decide to bestow on him this hilarious name?
“That’s the question everyone wants to know. That’s the question I want to know,” said Day. “There really is no story behind it. What [my parents] told me was they didn’t know what kale was, the vegetable, until about five years ago. Like, when it blew up. I didn’t know what it was until it blew up. But they heard the name Kale somewhere. I think they saw it in a newspaper or something and thought it was a nice name and named me that. But, usually people spell it with a ‘C’ because I guess it’s typically short for Caleb, but they didn’t want me to get called ‘CJ,’ because my middle name is Jerome, it starts with a J. So, they spelled it K-A-L-E, and then I was cursed.”
In addition to being called Kale, the fact that his last name is Day is just the salt on the kale chip. Still, Day enthusiastically embraces the ridiculous coincidence of the holiday’s existence.
“You know how you would go on the computer and Google search your name, Google image search your name and see what comes up?” said Day. “Couldn’t find me. Couldn’t find me on there. Still can’t find me on there because it’s all Kale Day stuff—National Kale Day. And it wasn’t until about three years ago that I decided: might as well start celebrating it. So, this would be the third year I’ve done stuff for Kale Day, but in the past, I’ve just gone dressed in my kale stuff to Walmart, bought a bunch of kale, walked around with it, and then went and ate kale with some friends and took a bunch of pictures.”
Though Day has turned his name into a veggie-themed extravaganza, being called Kale Day has not come without its awkward moments.
“There’s this vegan restaurant in Columbia, Mo., that I would go to with friends a lot. And they ask for your name. And my name’s Kale, so they’d think I was screwing with them. Then I’d have to explain to them that that’s my real name,” said Day.
Day brought his tradition to the Washington University community when he created a Facebook page for the party as a joke, but as word spread and more and more students RSVP’d (47 responded “Going” and 84 responded “Interested”), “National Kale Day with Kale Day” became a fun event for students in need of relief from midterm stress, leaving those who were unable to attend green with envy.
Though Day has a clear love for the holiday that shares his name, his feelings about the plant itself are much less favorable.
“It’s OK,” said Day. “Kale is OK. That’s my official opinion on it.”