Sunday, April 19, 2015

SUNDAY


 

I had a career as a registered nurse. Prior to that, I was a secondary school science teacher. Decades in nursing erased any sentimental feelings I may have had for Sundays. Unlike office workers, for me Sunday was just as likely to be a work day, or work night, as any other day. This explains in part why I was often involved romantically with restaurant workers, airline personnel or other workers in service fields. The other reason is that I am prone to warm easily to those who share my working-class roots.
 
Since leaving scheduled work due to medical disability, I managed to avoid poverty by buying, living in and fixing up houses for resale with contracted labor . The equity from this kind of flipping is moderate, not extraordinary, but it has kept my boat afloat. It is also hard work in its own way. Moving is a drag and expensive, especially is you have physical limitations. Having workmen about is confining and demands constant vigilance. Treading the minefield of contractor ethics is dicey. Working with real estate agents is a mixed bag, and can be an expensive one. Selling your own home with your things in it is not a joyful exercise.
 
Some of my Sundays have been spent going to real estate open houses, where I see myself reflected in the weary eyes of an agent who would rather be at brunch with friends, despite her cheerful demeanor. Yes, I think, we are both working today at something we would rather not be doing. I do my best to act like an interested consumer, even if the place is ridiculously overpriced.
 
Those who can work a career-long weekday 9-to-5 job with ample benefits and vacation time are becoming a smaller segment of the U.S. work force. I suppose, in some ways, they are elite workers, even though their jobs may not seem glamorous. My parents' generation, those born in the 1920s-1930s, took this lifestyle for granted. Saturday night socializing, Sunday church, after-church trips to the bakery for breakfast goodies, late extended-family lunches around a big table. The occasional extended holiday weekend. These were some of the better days of my childhood.
 
What will life be like eventually, when Sunday is totally absorbed into a week of drudgery for those who have to work several part-time jobs to live a very modest lifestyle? Well, that Sunday is already here for millions of Americans. They are serving brunch to the privileged. They are changing sheets in 5-star hotels. They are cleaning a room in their own home after airbnb customers leave. This is the Sunday of corporate capitalism in America for millions. This is the future Sunday for millions more as population and environmental challenges increase.



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