Sunday, 20 April 2014

I have heard so many people, so many times complaining, moaning and hating Mondays. This is something that took me a while to understand when I first came to Ireland AS I wasn't fully integrated in the Irish mentality when it came to talk about Mondays.

I  came from Venezuela, where I didn't have a job. I was unemployed for a good number of years. Then when I did have a job, I was so painfully underpaid which meant every penny I earned was gone in a blink of an eye (I know you're already thinking that it is the same here in Ireland, but believe me guys, I assure you, it is not the same). I was always broke and always longing to have a bit of extra cash to do something exciting with my weekends such as going to the cinema, eating out, getting together with friends. Something that would represent entertainment and joy, simply, wanting to have a good time. I didn't have that for a very, very long time and when I did have it, if I tried to have a social life, I would spend the rest of the month penniless, struggling to survive or just getting by.

Those financial constrains meant I did not have any choice other than staying at where I lived, where things were violently bad. A house - not a home - where the main components were fights and shouts, insults and more insults, especially at the weekends when alcohol was the perfect visitor in our household.

People in Venezuela - or at least in my poor circle - do not usually drink during the week, but only at weekends. I could say it's a cultural thing, but I could also say that the reason being is because we can't really afford it. It's one of those situations where if you drink during the week, you will be even more broke at the end of the month, so for those who would love to have a drink they would have to wait until the weekend.

And it was those weekends when my love for Mondays was born and nurtured.

After my mother's death, I moved to live with one of my sisters and her family. She was married and had 3 children. It was my decision to live with them - I think now about how did a 11 year-old choose which family to live with? - but I realistically did not have another option. They were kind enough to take me because, obviously I could not live on my own.

Life at my sister's house was traumatic not only for me, but also for her 3 children and herself. Her husband was a weekend alcoholic (this is how it's called in Venezuela when you drink every weekend) and he was frequently violent at home. He regularly beat my sister and the children, for all the wrong reasons only an alcoholic brain can 'comprehend'. In addition, he was a womaniser. He was repeatedly unfaithful with other women and he made no attempt to conceal this. 

Weekends were the worst time for me. I dreaded the weekends as I knew that the same pattern would likely occur. He would find a reason, more so when he would get drunk, to get verbally offensive and physically violent. He always, for some reason, respected me, but nobody in the house would escape his wrath. I always tried to be the peacemaker, but until one day, when I was in the middle of his punching, trying to protect one of my nieces, I received a hard punch in my face, and my lower-lip was split and I was bleeding. It was awful to be the victim of someone riddled by anger and rage for no apparent reason.

My anxiety levels rose as each weekend approached, as I knew exactly what to expect. I hated the weekends with passion, but I loved Mondays with passion too, because peace would return to the house. I will describe it this way: I was happy and feeling great on Mondays and Tuesdays, but a sense of discomfort would start to invade me on Wednesdays and by Thursdays and Fridays, my anxiety levels were so high that all I would want to do was run away from that house and disappear for the weekend and come back when my beloved Monday had return.

It's funny to realise that - in most cases- the reason why people in Ireland hate Mondays is because they had a great weekend and loved the weekend, but for me the reason why I loved - and still do love - Mondays is because I usually had a horrible-violent weekend.
          Now that I live in Dublin, Ireland, my home, I love Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. I           love Saturdays and Sundays and I love Mondays, too. But I love Mondays even more when I have               been out over the weekend and I am wrecked and tired on Monday, because I can tell myself that the           reason I'm tired today, Monday, was because I had a fantastic weekend, full of dancing and drinking             so Mondays always remind me of how amazing - quiet or not - my weekend was and that's why I                 keep finding reasons as to why I love Mondays

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