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.