Every Sunday evening around 9 PM — after I’ve eaten, showered and eaten again — it hits. My heart rate rises, my eyes sort of bug out of my face, then I get all twitchy and nervous and paranoid and worried. Scientists have studied this end-of-the-weekend phenomenon in great detail across various demographics*, and all have come to a single diagnosis: The Terrors.
To avoid any confusion, let’s first explore the different colloquial variations on this name. “Sunday Scaries,” for example, has permeated much of New England and the surrounding New York City suburbs. “Sunday Blues” can be found on the anxiety ridden tongues of those in the Midwest. I’ve heard West Coast adoptions of “The Sunday Shakes,” and come to think of it there’s a band named The Alabama Shakes — I wonder if they have a chronic case of Terrors and sing to soothe their restless beings.
I had a Finnish friend who called this feeling “morkkis.” I may be butchering the spelling of that word** and if anyone can correct me please do, because no ones description of the horrible Terrors has come quite as close as her foreign word. What does it translate to?
It’s said that this feeling of nervousness is often exasperated by weekend consumption of alcohol — sort of the hangover’s hangover, if you will. While that extra hair of the dog you decided to pluck at Sunday’s brunch probably didn’t help your case, I know first hand that The Terrors affect even the most sober of Sandras. The looming work week is enough to set anyone off into a fit of convulsions and nacho consumption. E-mails! Is there anything worse than an inbox of unreads? If you’re in school you might have a test you didn’t study for, or a presentation on some sort of solar system for which you forgot to make a diorama. All fodder for Sunday’s stress-a-thon.
But it’s not just the imminent Monday that freaks us out, it’s the weird shit we did Friday and Saturday: the evil call logs, the ominous ghosts of texts-past that we know we sent and then deleted (no evidence, never happened) and then remembered the next day but can’t quite remember exactly what we said. Was it “I hate you,” or worse, “I miss you,” or a misdirected “Where are you I just bought shots,” to whom you thought was your friend Caroline but is actually your boss named Carla? Oh good lord, get me out of my own brain.
The important thing to remember while rocking back and forth in fetal position after Homeland‘s credits begin to roll is that come Monday morning, things are usually okay. Life carries on. Tuesday happens. Then Wednesday, then Thursday, and I mean you once wore calendar undies so you know what comes next: Friday. And there’s no remedy for a scary Sunday quite like the beginning of a new weekend.
If you ever need a little help to get to get you through The Terrors, just remember that we’re here, probably biting our hair and avoiding something and wishing you’d hang out with us in the comments.
Last thing: what do you call The Sunday Terrors? And how do you cope with them? Please tell me, because laying upside down on the couch until all the blood rushes to my eyeballs just isn’t cutting it.
– Amelia Diamond
*No they have not.
**Thank you to our fluent-in-Finnish commenters who provided the proper spelling of morkkis and who let me know that it translates to a “moral hangover, literally.”