Ahh, the three day weekend. Is there anything better? No -- don't start listing things you think are better, just say yes and keep reading. This Memorial Day weekend, I found myself asking the age old question: Why aren't all weekends three-day weekends? I also asked what's really in ambrosia salad, but one rant at a time people. So why do typical weekends only last two days, while our work weeks last five? Why not four days on, three days off? Couldn't every Monday be a holiday? Our troops are more than deserving of a weekly honor. And according to my free calendar from the dry cleaners, we could also be taking off Mondays for Admin Assistants Day, National Pie Day, and May the 4th (be with you) Day. Throw in all the Jewish holidays, Arbor Day, and the oft-overlooked Casimir Pulaski Day, and we've got plenty of people to honor, actions to celebrate, and excuses for a Macy's Three-Day Sale. So why don't weekends clock in at 72 hours?
I blame God. Yup, God. Not CEOs or HR folks or the mean people who take away a restaurant frequent punch card program just when you're about to earn a free sandwich. I blame good old God, and here's why:
God created the world in six days. And on the seventh He rested. Really? One day off? That's it? Dude, what were you thinking? You're God! You just created a friggin' universe. Why not kick back a little longer? Catch up on your DVR. Throw back a couple cold ones or some warm Manschewitz, whatever you're into. Why'd you return to work so quickly? What's the big rush? What kind of example were you trying to set for the rest of us? A terrible one. Because now we all have to go back to work that quickly.
Think how different our lives could be if things had gone down like this:
God created the world in six days. And on the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth days, God rested. Or, for the whole next week, God took a break. Or, then God admired his good work and decided to spend the rest of his year backpacking through Europe while contemplating what to do next. And visiting Amsterdam. If God had just chilled for a little longer back then, all of our weekends could be a little longer now. But no; go-getter God was up and at 'em on Day Eight. No case of the Monday Mornings for the Almighty.
Now I know, I know -- our one day of rest was extended to two-day weekends, thanks to various groups who celebrate Sunday as their holy day. Seriously, thank you, various groups, we owe you one. But two days still feels too short. How much more fun are three day weekends than two-fers?
On long weekends, we visit family and friends. We commune with nature. We commune with a grill. We garden and hike and layout at the beach. We read. We road trip. We indulge in seven layer dip for three days straight. And here's the ultimate truth about long weekends: when they're done, we're way more rested and relaxed than we are after short ones. During three day weekends, we actually decompress enough to appreciate everything around us. We have time to explore all life has to offer. We have time to enjoy the little things, and the big things, and the kinda-medium sized but more on the smallish side things. For many of us, three day weekends are the only weekends during which we keep the true spirit of Shabbat. We get our rest on. We get our yoga on. And in line with the Shabbat tradition, we just get it on.
So how do we officially establish the three day rule? We can't go back and rewrite Genesis. We can't send out a revised supplement. And even the catchiest Maccabeats video only goes so viral. No, there's only one way we can universally and legitimately bump things up to three full glorious days of rest. We need a miracle. Yes God, we need a burning bush, parting sea, US beats Russia, do-you-believe-in-miracles, kind of miracle. And once God creates this miracle and consecrates long weekends for life, He should take the whole summer off before punching back in at the factory. He should sip a Corona while sitting on the beach. He should sleep in. He should take a spa day. He should do nothing but rest and relax for a few months straight. You know, to set a good example for the rest of us...