Blue Monday

This is a Blue Monday. Things aren’t going my way—the way I’d like, the way I’d anticipated—and in this case it’s not really down to me; it’s due to circumstances beyond my control.

Believe it or not, the term Blue Monday has its roots in the laundry room. Women traditionally did the laundry on Monday: soaking garments, scrubbing them, rinsing them, wringing them out, and hanging them to dry. That was followed by ironing, which was started on Tuesday if you were lucky. The process took days to complete.

The “blue” part of Blue Monday referred to bluing, a laundry additive of iron powder mixed with water that was designed to whiten white fabrics. Maybe you remember the perplexing commercials for Lever Brothers’ Final Touch fabric softener “with bluing for extra whiteness.” Now you know what they were talking about. (Another laundry mystery solved.) You can still buy bluing to make your whites whiter, if you really want to wash old school. But we’re not fanatics here.

The term “Blue Monday” has been co-opted by public relations people to describe a particular day—the third Monday in January—on which the weather, debts left over from Christmas spending, and other factors combine to create a perfect storm of blah.

Fats Domino sang about how much he hated Blue Monday. New Order had their own take on the subject, which had nothing to do with laundry—or Monday for that matter—but was a downer nonetheless. (Immensely successful for the band, but still a downer.)

In his song, “Blue Monday” Fats says, “Monday is a mess,” and with regard to this particular Monday I’d have to agree.

I think it’s time to do a load of laundry. I’ll determine when, where, what, and how much laundry is done. No one needs to be consulted; no one needs to sign off. Some things are beyond my control, but laundry is not one of them.

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