I’ll be upfront about this: I didn’t put a whole lot of effort into this one this week. But I know what you’re thinking, “But hey! You still wrote one!”
Darn right I did. I totally agree. Thanks for understanding. This one’s called, “Thursday.”
On my 10th birthday I got a child’s version of the Reader’s Digest. It was one of those huge skinny books with a slippery cover that as a child I aggravated over because it wouldn’t fit nicely with all the other small and stout paperback books on my bookshelf. My bookshelf was a great sense of pride and I imagined strangers looking through my titles and sniffing out what kind of a girl I was. “Little House on the Prairie?” She must keep a diary. “Anne of Green Gables?” She’s probably got spunk and a bad temper. I thought that whatever attributes the heroines had in the books I read automatically transferred to me.
In that Reader’s Digest book was the poem, “Monday’s Child.” It went:
Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day,
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.
I remember reading this and then running to my mother to ask her what day of the week I was born so I could diagnose myself. You know, the way you do when you read a horoscope and make it fit your day even if it didn’t. Like even if it said “today everything will go your way” but your hamster died and Dilan Kemp definitely cheated off your paper during the spelling test, you’d still arrange it in your head so it was true – that hamster was holding you back from getting a kitten, and Dilan Kemp would have to take the third grade for the second time if you didn’t help him.
Mom was making dinner when I asked. I was barely tall enough to see the blue and white tiling behind the sink and could see the motion of her knife swaying back and forth on the cutting board.
“You were born on a Thursday,” she said. “But you were supposed to have been born on a Wednesday.”
Thursday? What was the Thursday one again?
“Thursday’s child has far to go.”
Hmm. But wait, I really was meant to be a Wednesday’s child …
” … is full of woe.”
I was meant to be a Thursday’s child. Definitely.
It’s not that I wouldn’t have minded being “full of woe.” It would have been a great excuse for practically everything. The perfect get-out-of-jail-free card. A natural match for my melancholia that pops up every once in a while. You can’t be a writer without a healthy dose of melancholy. It’s law in four of the 50 states.
“Why did you fail algebra?” my mother would ask.
“I’m full of woe, Mom.”
“You had me on a Wednesday. This is all your fault.”
And so on and so forth.
Being a Friday’s child would have been great though. Who doesn’t like loving and giving? Though that could backfire. Anyone who’s that nice ALL the time could rally up a good bit of inner angst. Or be destined to become a nun.
Monday and Tuesday children have it pretty darn good, though. “Fair of face?” That pretty much guarantees you won’t be plagued with pimples on school picture day. No freckles. No blemishes. No sunburns. Just a lovely olive complexion. Not too dry. Not too oily. Are Monday’s children Mediterranean? Meanwhile Tuesday’s children are “Full of grace.” That could range anywhere from being a prima ballerina to the Virgin Mary. Remember the prayer? “Hail Mary, full of grace…” Nevermind.
And Saturday’s kid? “Works hard for a living.” Simple enough.
I don’t even want to talk about the Sabbath day’s child. They got all the good stuff. Not even counting the alliteration.
Thursday is by far the most nebulous day. Far to go? Should this be taken literally or figuratively? Do I physically have miles and miles to go? Or do I need to mentally progress. Does this mean I’m not trying hard enough? That when I think I’m finished, I really still, “have far to go?” Give me a break.
Whoever got me this book for my 10th birthday was totally a Monday’s child. A vindictive Monday’s child with blemish free skin, who knew this book would drive a Thursday’s child up a wall.