The Pain of Doing Nothing
There is a famous Italian phrase : Il Dolce Far Niente – The Sweetness of Doing Nothing
And it is sweet, when you relax and choose to do nothing. You know when doing nothing is not sweet? When you want to do something, and you’re forced to do nothing.
Today Ryan and I had a great plan. I was going to go to the mall to pick up some things I need, and then go to the grocery store to stock up for the week. Ryan was going to go to a friend’s house to help him install his car stereo (that he had bought from Ryan when Ryan accidentally ordered two – long story).
Miracle of miracles, we managed to get an early start. Kiss, kiss, “Have a good day” and we were off to be productive.
11:40 Kate arrives at the mall, and parks in a mostly empty parking lot.
The parking lot is surprisingly empty … but it is early (for Italians). Normally the Italian crowd arrives at the mall in droves around 3ish on Sundays. In fact, Sunday is the worst day to go to the mall because it is SO crowded. But unfortunately Ryan and I are never organized enough to get there on another day.
11:44 Kate goes back to the car, and moves it to a more crowded parking lot
It turns out that the parking lot was empty because the door it was closest to was blocked off. And there was a sign that said “Enter at the blue entrance.” “Weird, there must be construction going on,” thinks Kate.
12:06 Kate texts Ryan
“The stores in the mall are closed – and there are kids in Halloween costumes …”
12:07 Kate texts Ryan
“Also, there is confetti everywhere, the food places are open, and there are lots of people here. I am so confused.”
12:09 Ryan calls Kate
“Maybe it’s a Holiday?”-Ryan
Kate debates her options, looks around for signs, and considers hanging around at the mall in case it’s just going to open late. There are an awful lot of people here.
12:14 Kate texts Ryan
“So, I’ve found lots of signs with mall hours, and they all conflict. But there’s one that looks newish that suggests that the mall is never open on sundays. So, you know, that’s interesting. I’m going to try the grocery store.”
12:16 Kate has an epiphany
One of the signs that lists the mall hours is on a glass door. It looks like the line that lists Saturday hours has a new sticker on it. I walked around to the other side of the door, and the ‘Saturday’ sticker is covering a line that used to say ‘Saturday and Sunday’. So, I’m not crazy, the mall used to be open on Sunday … now it’s not. Awesome.
12:40 Kate arrives at the grocery store
Sign: “Avviso: Gennaio, Febbraio, Marzo: Domenica: Chiuso” (Notice: January, February, March: Sunday: Closed)
12:43 Ryan calls for a favor
“Hey, we ran into a snag, can you pick up a part for us at the computer store?”
“The mall is closed on Sundays now.”
“Everything at the mall is closed?”
“The restaurants are open”
“Who would go to the mall for the restaurants?”
(Keep in mind, this would be like living in New York city with millions of amazing restaurant options, and driving an hour to Menlo Park mall for Sbarro pizza, McDonalds, and Dunkin Donuts coffee.)
1:00 Kate concedes defeat, and heads home. Sunday 1, Kate 0
1:08 Ryan conceded defeat, the car project is at a standstill for lack of parts. Sunday 2, Ryan 0, Kate 0
Lately Ryan and I have established the habit of using Saturday day to relax, sleep in, and generally recover from the week. On Sunday, we feel replenished and ready to be productive. Which is too bad for us, since we apparently can’t accomplish anything at all, anywhere, on Sunday. As a friend once told me: “Rome has been this way for over 2000 years. It didn’t change for me, and it’s not going to change for you.” *sigh* – I think we’re going to have to learn how to be productive on a Saturday.