Sunday Afternoon

The two words “Sunday Afternoon” almost immediately conjured up for me the Young Rascals tune Groovin from the summer of 1967 with the iconic line that is really imprinted on my mind: Groovin on a Sunday Afternoon”. Though I readily admit to being one of the most musically challenged human beings on earth I totally am able to recall the melody and many of the lyrics to that song. I fondly remember singing along on the radio usually out of earshot of any one who would cringe at my off-key rendition.

I actually had an aunt who would bug my mother to get me singing lessons. I distinctly remember my Aunt Dorothy at a large family gathering that may very well have been on a Sunday afternoon actually imploring my mother to get me a voice teacher. I was of course oblivious to the fact that I must have sounded like a cat caught in lawn mower to those around me when ever I would attempt to launch into a song. This was of course about the same time my voice was changing around age eleven or twelve and on top not being able to carry a tune to save my life I was beginning to sound “gay”.  Perhaps this aunt was on to something very different about me and was perhaps in an unconscious fashion trying to intervene and avoid in her view a very unnatural catastrophe. I may be giving her way too much credit here though since we are talking rural Indiana in the late 1950’s and anything queer at the time was truly buried deep underground at best. This was despite the fact that I came from an extended family with more than its fair share female spinster relatives and Catholic priests.

Not only was I most probably exhibiting several other very fey qualities at this age but I had also cooked my family’s contribution to the meal referenced above.  It was a nice roast chicken with potatoes and carrots as I recall that received rave reviews from several of the adults in attendance.  One other aunt that day did say she wished one of her kids could cook that well. In hindsight of course I might have remarked be careful what you wish for.

Why this aunt thought I should be forced into voice lessons with the ominous caveat “that can be fixed you know” unless perhaps she was foretelling the future and saw a career in musical theatre in my years to come. Perhaps because my mother often had issues with this particular sister-in-law the advice to get me into singing lessons was ignored.

For a big chunk of my life Sunday afternoons were actually sort of down times for me not looking forward to the return to school or work on Monday morning and wondering why the time from Friday evening until Monday morning seemed to always fly by. Though the first thirteen years in my nursing career involved changing shifts with a rotating schedule with Sundays often just being another workday the last several decades of my work life were pretty much a Monday through Friday routine.

In my retirement years Sunday afternoons seem to hold nothing special positive or negative. Hell, the real challenge is simply remembering what day it is. This seemed to never be a problem when the workweek was always laid out the same. Though I for the most part really enjoyed my work life any enthusiasm on Sunday afternoons was often dampened with the looming prospect of Monday morning. An amazing portion of mid-week spent in anticipation of Friday. I am sure there are many poignant life lessons to be learned from the realization that a significant portion of my adult life was spent wishing for it to fly by. That is no longer the case and if this is Story Telling it must be Monday.