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The only way they can truly be defined is by calling them “sludge.” Obviously, it’s not actually sludge but it’s what it feels like you’re covered in on these rare occurrences. Every step you take in the office feels like you’re carrying a man twice your size. Every email you send is guaranteed to contain at least one glaring error that you’ll kick yourself for the next day. Each sentence you utter manages to trail off into a mush of words that barely form a coherent sentence.
They’re the Monday Scaries, and yes, they’re a real thing.
The Monday Scaries aren’t guaranteed to visit every Monday nor are they guaranteed to follow even the severest cases of The Sunday Scaries. At the end of the day, they’re simply a once-every-few-months “why did I go on that bender” feeling that visit your office like auditors to make sure you have your life together.
And these, my compatriots, are the telltale signs of them.
General aches and pains.
These aren’t to be confused with the symptoms of a hangover — your headaches, your upset stomachs, your willingness to do literally anything for a glass of water. No no, these shake you way beneath the surface at your core.
Can’t figure out why you’re simultaneously sweating while also freezing cold? A doctor will tell you that it’s probably “alcohol withdrawals” or some other made-up jargon, but that’s just the Monday Scaries grabbing you by the shoulders and rocking you back and forth at your desk.
Once you finally regulate your temperature by taking some Advil washed down by ice water, that’s when you start discovering the bruises. Or “bender bruises,” as I like to call them. You’re not really sure where they came from, but it was probably the bike rack your tripped over while chasing down an Uber.
Again, the Advil will help, but only until your entire body feels like you just ran a marathon rather than drank Miller Lites for three days straight. The only solution is rest, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
The complete inability to make dinner.
That lettuce you bought last Wednesday? It’s now wilted. The chicken you put in the freezer on Friday morning which made you feel like the most responsible person on the planet? Well, you forgot to take it out while making coffee on Monday morning. Everything else in the fridge? You truly have no idea whether or not it’s still good. Because it’s probably not.
Nothing looms over you on Monday at your desk quite like the thought of having to trek to the grocery store in search of a bunch of food you have to cook yourself. Obviously, you could order in, but you’re still afraid to check your bank account and the idea of spending $19 on a Chipotle Burrito Bowl only gives you more anxiety.
Enjoy that leftover Domino’s from Saturday. It’s the best you can do at this point.
Insomnia (accompanied by sweats).
The only possible explanation for the inevitable insomnia that Monday night holds is that you slept too much on Sunday. You didn’t want the weekend to end, but as that movie you rented came to a close at 10:23 p.m., you simply couldn’t keep your eyes open anymore.
“How do I feel so shitty even though I got nine-plus hours of sleep last night?” you wonder all day. But then as 11 o’clock hour approaches on Monday night, you can’t sleep. All the sleep aids in the world couldn’t put your thoughts to rest.
Unfortunately, once you finally do pass out closer to midnight, you wake up in a panic. Perhaps you think you forgot to turn the oven off after reheating that Domino’s. Maybe you have to pee. Maybe a work nightmare scared you awake and your heart is beating out of your chest. No matter what it is, you’re drenched and wondering (yet again), “How the fuck am I going to fall asleep?”
Indecision regarding what to watch on television.
Sure, Sunday nights in the fall and winter have you covered. Football, football, and more football. But come the dog days of spring and summer, you’re staring down the barrel of a gun. Baseball isn’t enough to keep you entertained, and the thought of the same Netflix reruns on loop isn’t enough to keep you invested.
Rent a movie on iTunes? Start a new series and fall asleep during only to eventually abandon because you couldn’t figure out where you left off? Find something deep in the DVR catalog that you desperately need to clean up? So many choices, so much time wasted trying to figure out what the hell you can turn on in an effort to forget how much you drank and spent all weekend.
Uttering “I’m so tired” over and over (and over).
Pairing perfectly with double-handed face wipes, you explain to your coworkers that you aren’t in the midst of a two-day hangover — you’re just “tired.” But both of you know that’s bullshit.
Sometimes it just falls out of your mouth. “I’m so tired.” You might be talking to your significant other on the phone on the way home from work. “I’m so tired.” You desperately send in the group text containing everyone you just went hard with all weekend. “I’m so *fucking* tired.”
Luckily, there is light at the end of the tunnel. It comes in the form of Tuesday which is somehow worse than Monday. But hey, at least the weekend’s only four days away and you can do it all again. .