Yesterday was supposed to be a Whole Day of No Obligation according to the orthodox Firepants Family calendar. Friday night, I informed the entire family, since they never pay attention to the Firepants Family calendar. I generously offered that all members were welcome to participate, but to keep in mind that, no matter what, I was not obligated to do a thing.
(I was telling one of my girlfriends about this sacred day, and she asked what it meant, and I said that I don’t have to clean or cook for my family, and she said, “Since when do you ever cook for your family?” which was a very good question, and made me think that I probably need to redefine this whole unHoly day.)
Everyone seemed on board with the idea. Cap’n Firepants was going to be out all day anyway, and Dimples was more than happy to accept a 24-hour respite from me nagging her about chores. There was only one problem…
According to our bulldog, every day is one of complete obligation – to him. No holidays allowed.
A WDoNO begins with me sleeping as late as I possibly want. Cap’n Firepants very quietly got ready for his meeting and left the house around 7:00 a.m. I sunk back into luxurious sleep.
A persistent moan started to interfere with my dreams. I opened one eye, and looked at the clock. 7:45.
I didn’t have to look far for the moaner. Wonderbutt was right next to the bed, staring me down. (I would like to point out that Wonderbutt does not whine. He moans. Like Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter. And really not less annoying.)
I tried to explain that he should have gotten up with Cap’n Firepants to eat breakfast, but Wonderbutt does not like to eat with Cap’n Firepants. In fact, when invited to eat by my husband, Wonderbutt gives Cap’n Firepants the same look that I was probably giving Wonderbutt at that moment. A not very nice look that anyone trying to coax me from my bed is very stupid.
But the pillow I placed over my head did not cancel out the moaning.
I got up, and fed the dog.
Then I went back to bed.
Wonderbutt returned. With his squeaky toy. I took it away, and threw it in the sink.
Wonderbutt moaned. But he finally gave up and decided to fall asleep on the floor next to the bed. And snore.
Snoring is easy to block out with a pillow.
Then the doorbell rang.
Wonderbutt woke up.
I couldn’t tell him to stop barking because then the person at the door would know that I was home. And I didn’t want the person at the door to know that I was home because then he or she would know that I am a very rude person who refuses to answer doorbells. And that I am very lazy to still be in bed at 9:00 on a Saturday morning. I forgot to put the sign up on the door that I was observing a Whole Day of No Obligation, which included not being obliged to answer the door.
The person at the door was very persistent, ringing the doorbell 4 times. I realized that he was a burglar trying to make certain that no one was home. I debated whether I would break my vow of a Whole Day of No Obligation to whack a burglar over the head with a baseball bat. Then I realized that was silly. We don’t even own a baseball bat.
I went back to bed.
My phone vibrated off the nightstand.
It was our neighbor.
“It’s National Margarita Day, and we are inviting you over tonight to celebrate!”
I panicked. Socializing with neighbors is an obligation. Drinking margaritas is not. Unless it’s actually a day that requires it. How could I have been so ignorant as to schedule a Whole Day of No Obligation on the same day as National Margarita Day?
Note to Self – Next year, schedule Whole Day of No Obligation for day after National Margarita Day.
And lock Wonderbutt in the pantry with his dog food.
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.