Those of you who watched the Masterpiece Classic “Downton Abbey” that aired in January will recall a scene in which the young lawyer (newly heir to the estate and title) discusses his plans for the weekend with the dowager countess (played by Maggie Smith). The countess responds condescendingly sneers “Week end? What is a week end?” Her point, of course, was to emphasize just how unacceptably middle class the new heir was.
She’s right, of course. For aristocrats who never have to work, the concept of a weekend is meaningless. The same is true at the other end of the spectrum: Many people have to work non-stop just to feed and clothe themselves (and even then not everyone makes it).
I wish I could be as middle class as the lawyer in Downton Abbey. (Alternatively, I also wouldn’t mind inheriting a landed estate and a title, but I was born in the wrong country for that.) Having worked straight through yet another weekend, I realize that over the past month, I have worked through every week-end but one. Granted, working 6 or 9 hours on Saturday and Sunday is still fewer hours than the normal workday (which ranges between 11 and 15 hours), but still on those days the other hours are spent cleaning, running errands and trying to organize a move into a new apartment. I’m tired!