Why is there Friday? And why call it Friday?
Why ask such questions? Association executives are over-booked, with little time for critical thinking. Life, however, sometimes intervenes and we find opportunities to consider truly important issues. Today is such a time.
After my second coronary angioplasty I have been confined for four weeks with no travel. I am a boat aground. This time of year, I normally have weekly trips to Beijing or Brussels; to Houston or Toronto. But not these four weeks! Thus, I have been spamming Jamieâ€™s and Jeffâ€™s web site and many others. Spamming is not the issue, since Jamie, Jeff and others have intelligent and insightful blogs, deserving all the spam you and I can throw at them. But I digress.
So I have the opportunity to consider whatâ€™s truly important in the galaxy. And this is it: Why Is There Friday? And why call it Friday?
I have researched the literature. Contemporary minds will know this means checking Wikipedia. Anyone have a problem with that? Know-it-alls should check out â€œFridayâ€ and â€œDays of the Weekâ€. They are good reads.
Being an experienced researcher, I also checked with recognized authorities in the fieldâ€”yes, my youngest daughter and my wife.
My daughter (who works next door at One Park Avenueâ€”a good thing for father-daughter lunches, which is a very good thing indeed) replied without hesitation, â€œFridays are for an early day at the shore!â€ For those of you on the Left and Bottom Coasts, â€œshoreâ€ is what you mean when you say â€˜beachâ€ (â€œshoreâ€ not being in your vocabulary). For those of you in Nevada and Wyoming, this important linguistic subtlety is meaningless, since you have to travel thousands of miles to see either noun. But I digress. Again.
Good wife Merle patiently pointed out that early agrarian societies needed as many days as possible to work in the fields and thus Friday was necessary. After 43 years of marriage to my first wife, I donâ€™t question logic like that.
â€œGet on with it,â€ you backbenchers scream. OK, OK. The answer is as plain as the nose on your/my face. Friday exists to prepare us for Monday, when All Things Bad Happen. We all know that, right? Even Fats Domino sang about â€œBlue Mondayâ€. (Editorâ€™s note: If you are age-disadvantaged and donâ€™t know Fats, find a Baby Boomer.) Friday, therefore, serves the essential purpose of being A Day When Nothing Bad Happens! And since we all know bad things lie ahead, Friday is the day to enjoy and prepare for Blue Monday. End of story. Friday is justified.
â€œWhoa, cowboy,â€ you say. â€œI can do a better name than Friday!â€ Sure, dude. Everyone knows if Microsoft had been in charge of naming days, Friday would be Monday ver. 5.0. If Steve Jobs had his way (and he may), it would be I-Day. In fact, every day would be I-Dayâ€”365 of them! But, boys and girls, history took a different course.
Good wife Merle suggested checking on the Latins, always the usual suspects. Research (OK, Wikipedia) shows that the Latins were overwhelmed 6 to 1 (like the Yankees, dammit) by the Old English (eat your heart out Millennials) who used up all the names for Sunday through Friday, leaving only Saturday for the Latins, who, not to be outdone, called it Dies Saturni, named after the god Saturn. The Old English named Friday Frigedaeg, meaning the day of Frige, the Germanic goddess of beauty. After the trademark expired, Frigidaire grabbed the term for a line of only modestly attractive kitchen appliances (Frige, after all, is in the eye of the beholder).
Fridayâ€™s name? Blame the Old English. If this doesnâ€™t challenge the Millennials to do something historically enduring, what can? Happy Frigidaire! Beware Blue Monday!