Beating the Sunday blues

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Beating the Sunday blues

Start your engines, ladies and gentlemen! It’s Thursday! The weekend is near!

While TGIF - Thank God It’s Friday - grew firmly entrenched in this country’s psyche with the introduction of the five-day workweek in 2005, OGIS - Oh God, It’s Sunday - is on equal footing.

I work in an industry that doesn’t put too much stock in the spiritual well-being of its workers, as newspapers require reporters to work on Sundays and holidays so that the few newspaper readers still out there get their papers the following day.

So for me the agony of Sunday is reduced - or, should I say, shifted to Saturday.

The point is that the day before the workweek starts again is the most dreaded day for many of us, and it keeps coming back to hit us in the mouth. Other than getting to sleep in, there’s nothing to love about a Sunday.

For those of us not named Bill Gates or Warren Buffett Sundays are sacred, at least in the sense that believers worship at church, and non-believers worship in front of the TV.

For married couples it’s a day of constant reassurance that your partner is there. For singles it’s a day of checking your laundry list and taking out the trash. All the while, the demons of Monday sit on your shoulder with a smirk.

Even TV stations contribute to this syndrome, showing reruns that hypnotize us into the dull mindset best suited for that dark, edgy Sunday mood. Society as a whole comes to a standstill on Sunday. In other words, it’s doomsday - D-1 - with no hope in sight. Like King Louis XVI before the guillotine, people surrender to the inevitable. A phone call from your workaholic, just-divorced boss for whatever reason is the crusty icing on the stale cake.

So how to make this experience more pleasurable? Winning the lottery would be ideal. I live and commute near two kiosks that have sold several first place-winning tickets (none of them to me). I can’t help thinking I am contributing to someone else’s lucky draw.

Of course, there is the option to jump ship and work on an island somewhere, where every day is Friday and the closest thing to work is checking parking meters and standing watch for shark attacks.

These jobs are out of reach, I hear.

On very delirious weekends I fantasize about joining the underground group of meterologist-assassins who must go after every forecaster who ever starts getting it right. (After all, there must be some reason our weather forecasts are statistically worse than a coin flip.)

According to a government study, the activity Koreans most enjoy in their free time - apart from leisure activities such as hiking - is sleeping.

Some might say they’d rather hit the gym or rearrange the furniture (or how about a car wash, so you can feel the full weight of Monday when it rains). Maybe learn some Klingon: “Hab SoSil’ Quch!” (According to the Klingon Language Institute, this is a serious insult this means “Your mother has a smooth forehead.”)

But amid this veritable minefield of leisure activities, one stands alone for me: reading a book. The reason I love this time-tested method of escape is simple. Reading a book instantly creates a separate fantasy world.

I do it often. For example, whenever I ponder relationship problems I read “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.” On very lucky days, I get lost in my book and fall asleep just in time to wake up at the start of the week. That terrible day has disappeared. Problem solved.

*The gwangdae were entertainers in ancient Korea who wandered the land in search of their next joke or adventure

By Brian [africanu@joongang.co.kr]

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