Saturday, August 29, 2009
When I worked at the university, it was not a problem remembering what day of the week it was. I had field biology lab on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, I lectured in conservation biology on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Friday, I had no class, and then came the weekend. Simple. But now it is a challenge, because one day pretty much seems like any other when you're retired, except that the stock market is closed on Saturdays and Sundays. If today is the day before tomorrow and the day after yesterday, which day is it? I give up, and so does the Management at DrTom's.
What can we use as benchmarks as to which day of the week it is? Today's cigar is a Dunhill Diamantes and yesterday's scotch was a 12-year old Aberlour. Does that make today Thursday? I filled the hummingbird feeders this morning and turned the compost pile with a pitchfork. Friday? Next week I have a urology appointment to check the plumbing and last week I had a neurology appointment to check the wiring. Saturday? If my sister-in-law is visiting on the 5th, and that is 10 days from now, what is the day today? But to answer that requires additional information. How many days are there in August, 30 or 31? Darn! I almost had it there.
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I even went to extreme lengths to find out this time. I drove into Ithaca to see if the Farmer's Market was open. That only happens on Saturday. Nope. I listened for church bells, cause that happens on the 7th day of the week. Or is that the first day of the week? Do the expressions on other motorists' faces look happy, like it is a Friday, or angry, like it is a Monday? Geez. I hate tinted windows in cars. I turned on the radio and flipped the dial, now almost in a panic, but light jazz, heavy metal, and pop stations don't talk about this sort of thing. I hear on the news that Ted Kennedy died yesterday. But what day was that? Tell me dammit!
At this point I decide to do what no self-respecting man ever does. I will ask someone. So I pull into a Citgo gas station, I run into the convenience store attached to it, and I ask the clerk. What day is this? "It is Pizza Supreme Special day, sir". What!!! We never learned that in primary school. That is NOT one of the seven names I memorized. I regained my composure, I gently grabbed her wrist and held it on the counter, and I looked into her eyes intently. Please.. tell.. me.. what.. day.. of.. the.. week.. this.. is. You know, like Monday or Tuesday or whatever. And she said, "just a minute, I'll have to ask the manager". Honest to God. The 20-year old kid from Ithaca College was as clueless as I was.
I returned home. I walked into the house and Robin said, "Hey, you wanna go to the movies tonight? It's Friday. We can see that Keanu Reeves' film." I sat down, on the verge of a headache and stared at her incredulously. How did you know what day of the week it was, I asked? "The cell phone". So we went to the cinema downtown, and saw "The Day the Earth Stood Still". What a dumb title. It didn't even tell us which day of the week that calamity happened.
(Note: if you want to really blow your mind, try figuring out when to take the recyclables to the curb here in Danby. They pick up only on alternate Mondays!).