Gift horses have very sharp teeth.


I have learned something very important about myself today: I really dislike “days off.” Or perhaps what I’ve learned is that when things are going well, I hate to upset the status quo. It’s also possible that I learned about having a giant stick up my ass, but you can make that call after I explain.

You may have noticed the dearth of updates on this thing lately (if for no other reason than that I incessantly call attention to the problem). I have been very busy, with the sudden influx of jobs (two of them!) and Connor going through a particularly delightful stage (he thinks “love” is an essential gardening tool!) and an overflowing garden (fifty-odd squash plants!) and the usual round of husband-house-cats-sleep. (Let us not even mention the brilliant idea I had to go into food-bloggy cahoots with Alicia when we are both rather busy, and we probably shouldn’t bring up my predilection for a sparkling kitchen either.) Several times, I’ve sworn to myself that I would leap upon the very first opportunity to do nothing that came my way. So today, with Connor packed off to visit his great-grandparents in Albuquerque for the weekend, no work matters straining at deadline-point, and the garden reasonably well-tended and not threatening hostile takeover, I did nothing.

Well, I did nothing if you don’t count activities such as “pacing the living room pretending to have a stretch while actually rearranging our wall photos and dusting crevices” and “anxiously creating lists of problems to be solved and tasks to be completed, only to settle into my chair with a resentful harrumph and check Go Fug Yourself for the 19th time.” I have hated every minute of this day, and I would have signed into ChaCha at many points throughout the day, except that lounging about had become a point of pride. After all, I was once the queen of lounging! I love summer for its heat, langour, and napping potential! I am… I am… oh, fuck, I am bored. I’d noticed, over the past several months, a new and fresh hatred of weekends, but I thought it came about because my weekdays were similarly empty. I thought that by Friday I had simply reached my nothing-to-do capacity and looked forward to Mondays because at least there were new blawwwwg posts to amuse me. Apparently this is not quite so; it seems more accurate to say that I am a big whiny whiner who can’t amuse herself without strict guidelines and the promise of monetary (or gardentary, or child-being-adorabletary) reward.

People, I ask you: Can this be healthy? It feels downright un-American, all this enjoyment of my work and disdaining of “pleasure.” Maybe if I were richer I would have solved the problem by heading out for some hedonistic shopping followed by excessive wine-and-McDonald’s consumption, but I somehow doubt it. (Though the wine does sound nice.) Alas, my fancy new debit card has not arrived, and unless I want to drive to Indiana there is no other way to access the stockpile of cash my new hardworking habits have built. I have considered and rejected movie-watching, cooking, cleaning, and squirting the cats with a hose. (With the exception of that last one, they all sound too much like work to fit into my self-mandated day off — even movie-watching, because I would feel guilty if I didn’t watch a particular movie and write the review that I offered to Kate lo, these many moons ago.)

I have to come to you for the perfect solution. Please send me some email telling me what an asshole I am, or leave a comment to the same effect. I will pass the rest of this neverending day replying with gusto and interest, and flamewars technically count as fun so I won’t be breaking the Day Off Rules. Ready… go!

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4 Responses to Gift horses have very sharp teeth.

  1. mildlyscruffy says:

    I hate days off — but also days totally on. These days I get up around seven, try to be in bed before midnight, do whatever I’m doing with lots of breaks, and pretty much enjoy myself the whole time.

    you’re not an asshole, you’re just hypersensitive.

  2. Anne says:

    You may have noticed the dearth of updates on this thing lately (if for no other reason than that I incessantly call attention to the problem).

    Ha ha!

    I like days off, but there are just always so many things to do on days off, that they might not be some people’s idea of a day off. Monday I’m off work, and I’m going to the osteopath, meeting Justine for coffee, housey cleany moving things (we have builders coming in in the first week of September) and then antenatal yoga in the evening. It’s a day off work, but not out of life, just the way I like it. Of course, I do enjoy a day of bed, reading and movies too…

    The only time in living memory I can remember being bored is watching the football in Germany. Because I’d run out of reading material and the game was just not my cup of tea. Cricket on the radio has the same destructive effect on my brain, although M is listening to South Africa not quite beat England right now, and I seem to be able to tune it out. Only took 37 years.

    Connor is right. You can’t grow things without love :)

  3. Alicia says:

    I detest days off unless I have something to do with them. This weekend our “days off’ were spent sanding down and repainting the chair frames and preparing the chair pads to be recovered. Oh, and all the cleaning.

    It’s always something that Jesse and I differ on. He’s very happy to come home and hop on the internet, to read Ioz or the comments section on the Onion AV Club. Or he’s very happy to spend HOURS of the day watching movies or DVDs of TV shows where if I agree to do that with him, I have to bring a book. And not just any book. Generally a text book, because otherwise I feel like I am wasting time.

    So, sorry! You’re not an asshole. Or I am too. I don’t really mind which option turns out to be true.

  4. Anne says:

    I had a CRAP day off yesterday. Osteopath appt – good. Met Justine in Westminster for cake – good. Came home to Bad Mood Mario and was a bit careless in what I said and anger ensued. Went to B&Q to buy wood – how exciting. Antenatal yoga at 6pm redeemed things a bit. Long time listening to Mario after dinner, which helped him a lot. but did not improve my bad mood much.

    The bad overwhelmed the good, of which there was quite a lot. And today at work I was in a foul mood, cannot wait for maternity leave in October.

    I prefer days off where I have maybe one thing to do, and then I can just relax, see a film or whatever.

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