I understand that we all have to contribute. We have to get up and do something — school, work, drug dealing — more days than not so that the cogs of civilization can continue to turn. And yes, it makes sense that there is one day that, generally speaking, kicks off the “contribution” period of our weeks. There has to be some beginning to those five days, and it just happens to be Monday. But the way in which this unassuming little day has, by and large, ruined so much of what’s awesome about existence is pretty astounding. Though there will always be the yin and the yang of work and play, Monday must be universally reviled on principle.
There are so many things about being an adult that suck from which children are generally excused. Kids don’t pay taxes, they don’t have to parallel park, they don’t have to pick people up from the airport super early in the morning. And yet, even for the most innocent kindergartener, the cruel mistress that is Monday is a pain from which they are not exempt. They, too, have to go from a weekend jacked up on cartoons and Nesquik to the daily grind of homework, quizzes, and that one kid in class who asks the teacher if there is any homework thirty seconds before the bell rings. They have learned to hate at such a young age. And perhaps it’s a good thing, perhaps the utter dread that settles like a fine mist on Sunday evening as they pack their bookbags and finish the homework they put off is preparing them for the reality of life. But I can’t help but feel that children should be free of some horrors.
It should be said that that dread, that Sunday night malaise, it has frankly begun devouring Sunday in its entirety. There is a certain degree to which you can’t fully enjoy Sunday, because even as early as brunch, you’re acutely aware that tomorrow is going to be filled with commuting, with projects, with meetings, and with people you don’t want to deal with. The only time that really remains pure, weekend-speaking, is Friday night. You know that even tomorrow, when you wake up with a throbbing hangover, there is a whole day and night of absolute freedom. There is a buffer before Monday. How unfortunate that weekends are unable to reach their maximum relaxation potential with the oppressive cloud of the work week looming over it.
And even if you love your job, your classes, your coworkers — Monday is still an enormous hassle. Yes, there are going to be many times when you enjoy what you’re doing throughout the week, or feel fulfilled by the work you’re doing. But to know that five days of straight obligation await you, with no option to say, “Yeah, no, I think I’m going to retreat from society for a week-ish” is pretty brutal. That’s what’s truly unfortunate about Monday, and what it represents in life — the concept that we have responsibilities, whatever they may be, and we only get two days of respite from constantly being told what to do. In middle school, even going on a field trip or knowing you’re watching a movie in class that week couldn’t take the edge off of getting up that first day after the weekend. Sure, it would probably be awesome when you got there, but beds are never more comfortable nor TV shows more watchable than on Monday mornings. It is a day that, if we had our way, would be spent hanging out in pajamas and watching movies — Sunday version 2.0.
But perhaps the worst part of all is the enormous tools who rub in your face just how refreshed, energized, and motivated they are on Mondays. They bound into school or work with an air about them that says, “I got more sleep than you and ate Greek yogurt with homemade granola in the morning, please punch me in the face.” There should be some sort of law that, even if you just found out you won the lottery on Sunday night and Jay Z asked you if you wanted to do a song with him and ride around on one of his yachts, you still have to be melancholy the next morning. Our collective hatred of starting the week is directly proportional to how much Steve next to us is talking about how awesome he feels after the bike ride he went on at 6 AM. We all have to work together.
So it’s pretty certain that Mondays are always going to plague humanity with their demands of productivity and participation, and we may never build complex enough robots to make the work week obsolete, though I’m holding out hope that I’ll see it in my lifetime. However, in the meantime, we can always start the week of with a special breakfast, a decent night’s sleep, and maybe a little cocaine to take the edge off.
Or we could just add some more three-day weekends to the calendar. Those are God’s gift to humanity for discovering fire.