Fighting the Sunday blahs

I don’t like Sundays.

Maybe not as much as Brenda Spencer and, later, the Boomtown Rats disliked Mondays. Brenda was the California teenager who opened fire on a schoolyard in 1979 because of her distaste for the first day of the workweek. “I just did it for the fun of it,” Spencer said when asked about her motive. “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.” The Boomtown Rats never explained their reasons for picking up this obscure quote and turning it into a number-one single. Perhaps if they had, we could’ve appreciated their follow-up hits — “I Hate 1:15 p.m.” and “January 12, 1968 Really Sucked” — a little more.

As I write this piece, it’s Sunday afternoon and I’m battling the combination of anxiety and stress I always feel at this point in the weekend. If you’re among the lucky few who still have jobs, you’re probably familiar with the sensation yourself.

The weekly two-day break during which you’re free to pursue leisure unencumbered by responsibilities, except perhaps to the lawn, starts winding down shortly after you get up on Sunday morning. If you’re the religious type, you head off to church and pray to God that He pick a day other than Monday to dawn the next morning. If you’re not, you try to squeeze the last bit of enjoyment out of your time off, maybe going out for brunch, maybe watching an old movie on TV, or maybe, like me, doing my laundry and cleaning the kitchen floor.

I choose to do household chores on Sundays because the sense of accomplishment it provides makes a nice antidote to the dread I’d otherwise be drowning in. I have a feeling that, if I tried it, I’d probably find even more comfort in a search for spiritual peace in the community of like-minded worshippers than I do in mopping. Or maybe not. One should not discount the solace reflected in a shiny floor.

I can remember not liking Sundays as far back as my childhood. Half the day I’d be berated by Pastor Papke of Biscayne Lutheran Church for not being Christ-like enough. Then the other half, I’d be the one doing the berating, screaming at my hapless Miami Dolphins to try a little defense for a change.

Bedtime at this early age was 9 o’clock. I’d struggle to get to sleep while my parents watched the intro to “Mission: Impossible” in the living room. “Bump, bump, bump-bump, bump, bump,” mocked the theme song. “We’re all about chasing adventure around the world and overthrowing oppressive regimes, and you lie there in your bed worried that Mrs. Stonecypher will make you deliver your oral report to the fourth grade tomorrow. How pathetic.”

Shortly before I headed off to college, my father’s work schedule changed. He had to work Saturday but was given Monday off in return. That struck me as an extremely raw deal. Now his weekend was made up of the two worst days of the week.

What I liked much better was working at the college newspaper. Since we published Monday through Friday, we had to work Sunday through Thursday to prepare the next day’s paper each afternoon. Getting Friday and Saturday for the weekend was like a dream, as was smoking marijuana while laying out the front page and most everything else I did in my days at Florida State.

What ruins Sunday now is the inevitability of Monday and the return to work. If there were at least a chance that the day following Sunday wouldn’t be a day of office drudgery, you could probably get through it a little better. Here’s a proposal: each week, make the two days you’ll have off be scheduled on a random basis. Every evening, there’d be a nationwide announcement declaring the next day would either be a workday or a day off. You’d never know which was coming, so you couldn’t get all agitated. Since five days out of seven are spent at labor, you’d always be assuming the next day would mean work, and it’d be such a pleasant surprise when it didn’t.

Who should I speak to about making this happen?

Now I look at the clock and it’s 3 p.m., and I mull over my choices for what I could do when I’m finished with the blog. I can fold the towels. I can check on the NFL scores. I can go for a run. I can call my mother. While all of these pursuits are worthwhile in their own way, there’s little that will excite me, or make me forget that I’m back in the office tomorrow morning at 6 a.m.

I know! I could have a heart attack!

Sunday afternoon seems like the ideal time for a catastrophic cardiac event. The emergency room will be almost empty. The ambulance would come right away. There’d be little pressure to survive, because you know you’re dealing with back-up crew at the hospital. And yet you’d still get all this attention.

And best of all, you get to call in sick on Monday morning with the following awesome excuse: “I don’t think I’ll be able to make it in today. I have a 90% blockage in my three of my four pulmonary arteries and it’s unlikely I’ll survive the night. If I’m feeling better then, maybe I’ll make it in Tuesday.”

Of all the major medical calamities you can have, I would think heart attack would be the best. I’m sure there’s some pain involved, but the characteristic dull ache radiating down your left arm seems manageable. As they advise in those commercials, just take an aspirin. It’s not as bad as the raging headache that accompanies a stroke, or being hit by a car, or having your house catch on fire. Your appearance isn’t defaced and there’s no smell of a slightly-off barbecue. You just tell the triage person in the ER that “my heart hurts” and you’re admitted faster than you can say “insurance card and two forms of identification.”

Okay, heart attack it is. Now I just have to summon one up. What’s the best way to give yourself a heart attack? Seems like straining might work. Mmmmmhhh. No, that didn’t do it. A bunch of jumping jacks done real fast? I don’t know, that’s a lot of effort. Let me check those football scores again — the Cleveland Browns won a game? Huh, even that didn’t work.

I suppose I could fake one. I’d have to do a little more research on the symptoms. Shortness of breath I can do, thanks to that drama class I took in high school, but not so sure about the clammy skin. Then what happens when they hook me up to a heart monitor? I’d once again be tormented by the “bump-bump, bump-bump.”

This is why I hate Sundays.

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2 Responses to “Fighting the Sunday blahs”

  1. Phillip Donnelly Says:

    Ah, Sunday indeed: the day when the sun never shines; at least, not in our hearts. Perhaps it would be more palatable if we did like the Vietnamese and called it Day 7. Perhaps not.
    Another inspiringly mixture of the maudlin and the macabre from the indomitable W; who seems to share so many of my opinions that he may well be an extension of my psyche, but with a knowledge of sports grafted on to make it less obvious.
    Hum… and the last letter of ‘hum’ is an ‘m’, which is an inverted ‘w’. Conclusive proof, I’m sure you’ll agree.
    Oh, if I don’t start getting more than five hours of sleep soon…

  2. Paul Dixon Says:

    You had better stay busy every day of the week, Davis, or the Langoliers are gonna GET you!

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