Manila – One annoying Monday as I was doing online research, rather resentfully, I came upon the music video of a young Bob Geldof and his band, The Boomtown Rats, singing “I don’t like Mondays.” As I was already distracted by it, I read through further that this was the Irish wave band’s second single to reach number one on the UK charts in 1979.
The story behind it, however, was tragic. While doing a radio interview, Geldof read a report from a telex machine beside him about a shooting spree involving a teenage girl who fired at people in a playground, killing two adults, including a cop, and injuring eight. The 16-year-old unrepentant girl told police and journalists an odd explanation for what she did: “I don’t like Mondays.”
A few more details of the event jammed into Geldof’s head and found their way into the lyrics, including the journalists’ questioning the girl, “Tell me why,” and the opening line of the song, “The silicon chip inside her head” got “switched to overload” so she did what she did. Geldof in later interviews said he resented writing the senseless song and making the girl famous for such a senseless act.
I went back to my research feeling the urge to shoot down Monday like every person on this planet who despises this day of the week. But my Monday chip, though already raging and wanting to explode, was still in its right place.
Like the girl who didn’t like Mondays, I also started hating Mondays when I was a schoolgirl having to put on the starched blue and white uniforms to go back to school after a weekend of rolling in the hay, jumping and running, and sweating and screaming like there was no Monday.
I can still remember my hesitancy of putting on white socks and black shoes on my carefree feet that trod and trampled on soil and grass during the amazing weekend, then switching to prim student demeanor from the previously ecstatic weekend rapture.
The situation becomes complex when you’re a grown-up with work and multiple responsibilities, plus errands and obligations, compounded by people who irritate you. Mondays ruin our Sunday leisure and sleep that we always wish would have more hours added before we have to get up on Mondays to face all of this life stuff.
Several movies have characterized Mondays as a dreadful day. The Hollywood-produced “Office Space” popularized “a case of the Mondays” with office employees dragging themselves to start the workday week.
Monday’s infamy is so universal that we trudge slowly and heavily, with rather ugly faces, on this dull first day of the week. We wait for it to be over, as soon as possible, as we also wait for our lives to begin.
And so with Bob Geldof’s indignant song in my head, I was able to finish my research work. But by the time I started writing, I had spent hours shifting from desk work to standing up and walking, eating to checking on my plants, then spacing out, then going back to my desk to start writing again.
It’s because I was hoping that Tuesday, which is tomorrow, will welcome me with a bear hug and help me go to my happy place the rest of the week.
Diana Mendoza is a longtime journalist based in Manila. Send feedback to email@example.com