1. You wake up with a hangover even though you had nothing to drink the night before.
It’s a fascinating biological phenomenon. Your head hurts, your mouth is dry and there’s a weird bruise in a surprising place. It takes all the strength you have just to reach over and slap the alarm clock against the wall, repeatedly, until you finally throw back the covers and stagger out of bed, weeping quietly. You completely ignore the person lying on the other side of the mattress, because you can’t remember their name right now. It’ll come to you later.
2. Despite your best intentions, you never got around to doing any laundry over the weekend.
So now your wardrobe options are completely uninspiring, consisting mostly of things you haven’t worn since Clinton was in office, faded t-shirts with exclamatory slogans that could lead to your dismissal at work, and a certain leather outfit you bought during a lusty moment coming home from the wine festival in Grapevine. (The sad little price tag is still on it.)
My personal clothing dilemma this morning led to the donning of a questionable pair of slacks that technically no longer fit me. I did not let this stop the show, sucking in my gut as I struggled valiantly to conquer the demon fabric. Fastening the top button resulted in the pleats at the front committing suicide in a frenzy of ripped thread, and a firm tug on the zipper led to my instant sterilization. But I got the damn pants on.
Of course, walking became a challenge after that point, as I hobbled from room to room, taking tiny baby steps while the sounds of structural stress filled the air. And actually sitting down was out of the question. Once I got to work, I just leaned against my chair and used a plastic fork to reach the keyboard.
3. You also forgot to fill the gas tank, which means you’ll have to stop on the way to work, along with everybody else that didn’t remember this little task.
I never have a good time at the gas pump anyway, but I especially don’t enjoy it when I’m trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey and I can’t breathe. First, you have to deal with all those short-attention span people that don’t pull through to the first pump, forcing you to circle around and back in. Then you basically have to re-program the pump because the loser before you was trying to use a stolen credit card and just drove away in the middle of the transaction.
And finally, no matter what you do, carefully handling the gas nozzle with tenderness, there’s going to be that last squirt of gasoline that splashes on your pants. Great. I already have enough friction going on down there, and now I’ve just doused myself with liquid accelerant.
4. The knowledge base of other drivers on the roadways has always been questionable, but during the course of a weekend these folks will forget even the minimal skills they possessed. Monday is clearly a brand new day in their lives.
I don’t think I need to go into this much further. Some people should never be allowed out of the house. I’ve overcome too many obstacles in my life to be taken down by some fool swerving all over the road because they don’t grasp the concept that they are behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.
5. The knowledge base of your co-workers has always been questionable, but during the course of a weekend these folks will forget everything they have ever known. Ever.
They will ask you how to do everything, especially the critical things you covered in detail just three days ago using slide shows and hand puppets. They will be confused about how to turn on their computer, they will no longer remember passwords that they use every day, and they’ll even be a little unclear on where their cube might be located. You might as well buy a roll of toilet paper when you stop for gas on the way in, because they’re apparently going to need help with personal hygiene as well.
6. Everyone wants to talk to you, despite your prominently-displayed company badge where you have clearly scribbled “I don’t like people” in black crayon.
They bounce around and jabber away, gushing with endless anecdotes that mean nothing to you and never will. You will be unable to stop them. Turning your back and acting very busy doesn’t work. Phrases like “I think the Boss needs to speak with you” or “Is that your phone ringing?” or “Do you realize I could have you arrested for harassment?” don’t sink in. Just let them ramble on and pray for daylight.
7. The very first work email you read will cruelly announce that the massive project you’ve worked on for the last six months is no longer funded.
You have been assigned to another functional team. Your new manager will be meeting with you shortly. His name is Damian. Don’t stare at the triple-6 tattoo on his skull. It’s rude and, more importantly, he is now in control of your fate. This is why you went to college on nights and weekends for 10 years, so some 12-year-old who is related to a high-level executive officer can waltz in here and destroy all concepts of professionalism and common sense. Yay.
8. You will have 47 voice mails.
Only one of them will be of any importance. It will be the very last one in the sequence, so you will be drifting off long before you get to that one. Sadly, when the tone of this voice mail causes you to snort awake, you will only catch half of it. It’s somebody in Payroll. In your fogged state, you will accidentally erase the message and not get the all-important callback number. When you desperately call the main Payroll line, they will have no idea who you are. They hang up on you.
9. Everybody on the entire planet had a better weekend than you did.
Fascinating parties. Great nights at the club. Wonderful dining experiences. Travel to exotic places. Visits with family members that are not rude and stifling. Marriage proposals, sex changes and an Oprah sighting. All kinds of fun stuff. Your weekend? You cleaned the toilets, trimmed the cat’s claws, and watched a Discovery Channel documentary about warthogs.
10. The Mamas and The Papas warned us forty years ago that Mondays will find us crying all of the time.
And I’ve always firmly believed in the prophetic wisdom of colorful hippies who sing in four-part harmony…
(Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 03/29/10. Revised and updated with extra flair for this post.)