If You’re Not Going to Do it Right, Then Don’t Bother Doing It At All

In the true spirit of my lapsed Catholicism, I declared yesterday to be a “Whole Day of No Obligation“.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this particular holiday, I think it’s high time you get with the program.  You probably won’t go to Hell if you foolishly disregard it, but you might as well be in Hell for all of the enjoyment you’re probably getting out of life.

WDNO’s are not on any calendar – yet – so you can just announce your own.  However, now that I’ve celebrated more than a few, I think you might be wise to consider my advice before you institute your own WDNO willy-nilly.

1.  Decide on the date of your WDNO at least two days ahead of time.  A spontaneous WDNO may sound like a great idea – until you realize at 10 AM that your annual gynecological appointment was scheduled for that day and it will be another 6 months before they can fit you in and you will be charged $100 for not canceling your appointment 24 hours in advance.

2.  Announce the date of your WDNO to all family and friends who may be involved.  Again, this should be done ahead of time.  This will allow them to prepare for your emotional absence on that date.  Clearly explain that, while they may be able to see you as you lounge around the house doing whatever you want, they will not be allowed to request any service from you.  Nothing.  They will be completely on their own for 24 hours.

3.  Delegate chores.  Or not.  It’s kind of fun to watch everyone come to the sudden realization that you are actually not going to put the wet clothes that were left in the washing machine the night before into the dryer so that they will be ready for the party that you are not going to drive them to at 3:00.

4.  DO NOT FALL FOR ANY ATTEMPTS TO FOOL YOU INTO DOING SOMETHING OUT OF OBLIGATION!!!!  If so, your WDNO is considered forfeited and you must start all over again on another day.  This includes, but is not exclusive to:  killing cockroaches that suddenly fall on your ten year old daughter in the shower, opening pickle jars, getting off the couch and unlocking the door for your husband who claims he forgot his key, and cleaning poop off of your dog’s foot so it does not get all over the house.

5.  Once you have had one or two successful WDNO’s, the rest of the family is bound to think this is a good idea.  Obviously, (especially if you have pets or infants), not everyone can celebrate a WDNO on the same day.  Not so obviously, however, they should not be celebrated on simultaneous days.  Here is why:  if your child/spouse celebrates WDNO the day before you, you will spend your own WDNO steaming because there are things you must command your child to do, but you cannot because that would be doing something you feel obligated to do.   However, if your child/spouse celebrates the day after you do, you will be so rejuvenated that you will want to get a lot done and you will have no one to order around to do it for you.

What should you do on a Whole Day of No Obligation?  Whatever you want, but are not required to do.  I read books, play on my computer, sleep an unspeakable number of hours, and read books again.

My bulldog, Wonderbutt, is completely on board with the sleeping part of the agenda.  In fact, you could probably consult any household pet for the best way to spend a Whole Day of No Obligation.  They have thousands of years of practice.


Photo May 26, 8 41 18 PM

Wonderbutt hiding from his obligations

Wonderbutt being forced to confront the real world

Wonderbutt being forced to confront the real world



Posted on May 27, 2013, in Dogs, Family, Humor, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships, Wonderbutt and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. I call them “Mental Health Days”, and don’t do a goddam thing.

  2. Brilliant! Planning my 1st WDNO now…

  3. Yes I am one of those Catholics who suffer from inflicted guilt. I really need this day.

    • It’s amazing how much less guilt I had about it when I remembered that my mom used to go away for long weekends on Catholic retreats on a regular basis. At least, that’s what she told us she was doing…

  4. WDNO! I love it. Wonderbutt has the right idea, but in that second photo he looks a little hung over. Poor baby. Perhaps facing life does that to all of us at some point. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Wonderful idea. I’m going to put it in my diary now. Great advice, especially about not having your day before a spouse who should really be willing to do all the things you’ve thought up. Love Wonderbutt’s take on the whole thing and his reaction to facing the real world 🙂

  6. I can see where I wouldn’t be very good at this unless every living thing were out of my house. The poop on the foot would do me in.

  7. BOL sounds ideal!

  8. How has this not been added to a calendar yet? Why is it not in the bible? Or on a schedule like car maintenance? I love this idea.

  9. I need one of those days. Not until after Finals next week though…

  10. we had a wwno whole weekend no obligation (or I did and therefore everyone else was kind of forced into either wwno or goyob – get off your own butt). it was absolutely delightful even though I did have to answer a few questions….”MOM, are you going to get dressed today???” “MOM, is there anything to eat???” “MOM, are you done READING???” luckily the weather cooperated and I could answer most questions with, “is it still raining? yes? then, no.”

  11. Hysterical. I am glad you gave us a manual of sorts and even kindly gave suggestions to people with babies. Very useful! I now feel I could take one and it would be done right and not wasted.

  12. Awesome! According to this handly list, I’ve been doing the WDNOs wrong this whole time. It sounds like the pre-planning is key. Usually my WDNO start out as a sick day and they tend to backfire in that a 24 hour flu isn’t so relaxing. I’ll be taking lessons from WB on this! Do you have another WDNO coming up for yourself? Maybe to celebrate the start of summer? 🙂

    • How did you guess? I haven’t told anyone, yet, though. That’s another rule. Don’t tell people too far in advance or they will have time to plot a way to spoil it!

  13. Awesome idea. I’m planning my first one in 6 years right now.

  14. This is a fine, fine idea. If I get motivated I may adopt it. Not in the Bradgelina way.

    BTW, I have never missed my gynecological appointment.

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