To be anxious on Sundays, to spend the day treating oneself with care and delicacy, has become an obligation. Sure, I’ve felt a tinge of nervous regret on Sunday evenings since middle school, but it wasn’t until the proliferation of marketing geared toward “Sunday Scaries” or “Self-Care Sunday” that I was forced to be aware of the phenomenon on a weekly basis. It’s really harmless bullshit, but I hate it. I hate that it’s transformed relaxation into something with material requirements, something designed intentionally to prepare me to best meet the demands of work the next day.
But, okay, fine, I’ll buy into this pathologizing, light the candles, order the herbal supplements, take the yoga class on one condition: On Saturdays, I get to be psycho.
If the idea of Sunday Scaries and self-care are going to become prescriptive, then I’m going to treat Psycho Saturdays the same way. This isn’t exactly new — the concept of someone in the club on a Saturday night and waking up for church the following morning has probably been around for more than a century. The thing is, devoting Saturdays to fun and general misbehavior hasn’t fully been given the categorization that Sundays have. The closest we’ve come is Barstool Sports’ “Saturdays Are for the Boys” campaign which, while popular, obviously excludes a significant portion of the population both in name and ideology. It captures the essence of Saturday energy, that it’s a day obligated to general debauchery, but ignores the fact that nearly everyone functioning on the Monday to Friday, 9-to-5 work week feels the same compulsions. If Sunday is the period of Lent in our week, then Saturdays should be the period of carnival.
The general idea ought to be to engage in your most basic pleasures, whatever they may be. Self-Care Sunday and the experience of Sunday Scaries have been made into a consumerist opportunity to prove how together you are, how prepared you are to perform the labor ahead. But what does a CBD gummy bear do to change the socioeconomic circumstances of my existence that yield the anxiety they’re designed to treat? And what does it actually say about my anxiety if I think purchasing gummy bears will even help?
To experience Sunday Scaries and partake in some form of self-care to combat it ultimately feels like a pathetic salve against the mundanity of everyday life. Yet it feels almost inescapable. I’ll accept this Faustian bargain of milking my Sundays for everything they’re worth in exchange for Saturdays where all bets are off. Give me a day where the restrictive axioms of what to consume and when to exercise and how to behave can be ignored, and maybe the next day I can actually appreciate the utility in them.