Victoria Day’s coming up and we’re all looking forward to a long weekend, even though we’ve forgotten why we’re celebrating the birthday of a queen who’s been dead for a hundred years. Any excuse for a Monday off though, right? Then there’s me, grumpy as ever. I want all the extended weekends to start on Fridays. I don’t do much in the way of work outside the home these days because my advanced age allows you to pay me to stay out of the way, but when I was gainfully employed, I always wished for this.
Having Monday off is a dead loss, if you ask me. If the holiday were on Friday, all during the week you’d savour the certainty of finishing work early, and, come Thursday, luxuriate in the sheer joy of knowing that the week was over. No-one would mind if you slept late on Friday. It would be like Saturday. Imagine — two Saturdays!
A free Friday’s better than a real Saturday. You could go cycling, camping, visiting — anything you liked. You could go away on Thursday evening, have two glorious days away and have never a thought of the inevitable end. Coming back on Sunday to get ready for Monday is what everybody does anyway.
With Monday off, you finish, jaded as usual, on Friday. The holiday’s still a distant prospect and you pursue the usual Saturday: vacuum, scrub the bathtub, do laundry, shop for groceries. Except that this week, shopping is a battle royal with crowds of other anxiety-ridden long-weekend shoppers apparently scared that they might never ever again find a single shop open, and therefore loading their carts with seven times more of everything.
Sunday as usual and, as usual, Sunday-night blues — night-before-work worries about a Monday that this week is going to be a non-event. There’s no escaping it: if you have a Monday to Friday job, on Sunday evenings you worry about work, because even if you don’t have to go tomorrow, you’ll have to on Tuesday. No relaxing Sunday evenings for you. Then, when Monday dawns, the day may be lovely, but, in the evening, here they come again — the same Sunday blues you had last night. No fair! So why? It’s the night before work, that’s why.
Having a day off after the weekend is like extra ice cream for a kid who’s already sated. After the usual amount, the extra isn’t as delectable as it would be if it were a new treat. Similarly, Monday off loses its glitter after two regular days off. Not only that, but by Wednesday, you’ve forgotten that it was a “short” week and plod along as usual towards another ordinary Friday, the holiday forgotten.
Jane Austen observed that the expectation of happiness is happiness itself. When you’re looking forward to a Friday off, the pleasure is extended forward as you start the countdown. The exhilaration of it! If we made Friday the start of long weekends, we’d get two Saturdays, and Sunday blues only once — on Sunday, night, where they belong!
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