The Saturday Night Syndrome…


Alright, this is kind of curious. Maybe peculiar. Confusing. And hard. But the good news is that I have just discovered, talking at length to a good friend last night, that this may not have anything to do with being single and alone, or being in my 60’s, because my friend is about half my age and happily married. We both have, uhm, this thing. It is being uncomfortable, sometimes WAY uncomfortable, when people are not where they’re supposed to be. Let me explain.

I am every bit as single and certainly every bit of my 61 years, the rest of the week as I am on Saturday nights, but Saturday nights are painfully lonely for me while I do pretty darned well the rest of the time. Oh, I could give you reasons, like the fact that someone I was really in love with and spent most of the weekends with even if on the phone because we were long distance, is gone from my life and I still miss her and Saturdays which we spent together I now spend very much alone. But it’s more than that.

Monday through Friday everyone I know is in their proper place. They are at work or at home in the evenings doing what they do and I know where they are and that gives me a fair amount of comfort. So and so is home doing such and such, or at work, or doing errands, or… It just makes sense. But comes the weekend and anybody might be anywhere and it is as though the earth shifted beneath my feet and I am clinging to my uncertain surroundings for dear life. My world seems to be solidly in place in proportion to other people being where they are supposed to be.

Now I thought this was very odd until my friend said that she got so uneasy when her parents went out of town she told them they should just go and not tell her. Go, have a wonderful time, she told them, just don’t tell me you’ve gone. This made perfect sense to me. I swear my whole life seems to make more sense since this wonderful young woman and I have begun to be closer friends and talk on the phone. There are real people in the world who experience what I’ll call The Saturday Night Syndrome. It can happen at other times but for me since it mainly happens on Saturday night I’ll call it that.

I thought it was because I am bipolar and God knows I am more than peculiar as far as all of that goes, and I thought it was about being lonely and lost love, and I’m quite sure that colors things more than a bit. But it’s The Saturday Night Syndrome, or the “They’re not where they’re suppose to be” syndrome that mucks things up and by gosh and by golly I surely wish people would get some place and stay put. My friend is not bipolar either which further convinces me it has something to do with Saturday nights. Fridays still have enough of the rest of the day when people are in their proper place and Sunday is close enough to Monday when everyone gets where they are supposed to be soon enough but yegods Saturday is a no man’s land.

If it were just me I could understand it to be part of the slip-slidy bipolar ladder business. I tell people, and it is surely true enough, that my life and days are strictly structured, my routine is so rigid it is as though I am climbing a ladder and if anything disrupts my routine and causes me to miss a rung of the ladder the whole day can be in ruins. More than one rung of the ladder and the whole business will be so precarious I might fall to my death. This happens a lot this time of year which I call The Thanksgiving To New Year Holiday Slide during which the holidays cause so many disruptions to my carefully ordered life that I am as if an inch away from going down with the Titanic on a regular basis. Get me past New Year’s and I just might make it, I think every year, but even this is not the issue. The ladder and the Holiday Slide come each day or year in due course and I muddle through. Saturday nights can be treacherous. If I am going to blow my diet big time it will be on Saturday night. If I am going to have a glass or two of wine, yep, Saturday night. I go to bed with a sigh of relief on Saturdays. I will wake up on Sunday, one step closer to Monday, and it will all begin to make sense again.

It is 10:47 p.m. If I thought it wouldn’t break the internet I would keep writing here on into Sunday and stop writing only after I was safely past Saturday but this blog post would be one hundred times longer than a blog post is supposed to be and I think there are RULES about that somewhere. I guess I’ll have to stop here and sit and wonder and worry over where people are and if they are safe and if they are where they ought to be and when the hell they’ll get back to where they belong. I don’t guess the love of my life is going to show up again, after nine years one’s ardor cools anyway, and not much about my life is going to change before tomorrow, so I will just hold on. I will end this blog post and spare everyone 100,000 words of nonsensical blubbering. But it is still Saturday night and anything might happen, so hold a good thought and toss me a life raft (Or pour me a glass of wine.) and I think I might just make it. Maybe. Perhaps.

The pugs have passed out. They are all snoring loudly around my feet under my work table. Saturdays aren’t a ball of laughs for them either with me at the helm. It’s almost Sunday guys, hang on!


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  1. Sandra Carter says:

    Hang in there, sweetie!

  2. I love your sense of humor despite the real uneasy feelings we can get with these things. This line especially made me laugh out loud-” I guess I’ll have to stop here and sit and wonder and worry over where people are and if they are safe and if they are where they ought to be and when the hell they’ll get back to where they belong”. I laugh because as you know I’ve been there and yet here we are having humor about it to some degree. AND it is much easier to chuckle with a friend over these oddities that others may not get unless they are prone to anxiety and things being off the typical routine gets them in a tizzy. You are right about it being something about Saturday. Sunday people are coming home to go to bed earlier because Monday they have to work. But Saturday- for cripe’s sake they could party until 3 am for all we know! Who knows how far away they will be or what shenanigans are going on. 😀 Love you <3

    • Who knows WHAT kind of shenanigans Bekah! Ha ha ha! You are such a sweetie! It has helped me so much to talk to you. Thanks for being there and being you… <3

  3. You may think this odd, but I totally get what you are describing…but for me, a former teacher, it was Sunday nights. I used to call it the Sunday night blues, and I spent many a sleepless Sunday night filled with dread and anxiety. I loved my job, so it wasn’t that…it was more like a bad case of the should’ves…..I should’ve graded more papers, should’ve prepared more…you get it….I should have done more. It’s funny but even since I’m retired I am still afflicted with the Sunday night blues! Go figure…

    Sending you love & hugs on this very early Sunday…the dogs and I were woken up by the howling of coyotes! Very eerie….I’ve never heard them before, although I know they are out there. Love You ❤️?❤️

    • Darling Donna I don’t think it’s odd at all. We all have our things and ways of being and seeing the world. Life is so much more regimented Monday through Friday no matter what you do, even if you don’t leave the house the world around you is in a certain framework of being and acting and doing, and then the weekends come and its a free for all! Ha! I love you too, be safe and well, Sunday will be over soon! 😀

  4. cynthia pisano says:

    Maitri, I get the same way on weekends, it starts on Fridays for me. I have all of the diagnoses as yourself and sometimes it is soo bad I have to take medication for it. I feel so fearful that I just sleep. I am living with a husband and son and I still get those feelings Like you the holiday slide as you call it is more than I can handle. I have decided for my mental health that we will not celebrate the holidays this year.
    Much Love,

    • Oh Cindy, I am so sorry things are so hard for you. I know these things so well. I hope you will be able to gently navigate the weeks ahead and enjoy the good things without those that weigh heavily on you. I send you blessings and love and good wishes all around…

  5. I’ve experienced something much like this as well, but for me I think there’s a strong streak of the Fear of Missing Out to it. I’m just peachy keen on a Saturday night if I’m out and about and amongst all of the others who could be anywhere, doing anything… but if I’m at home on a Saturday night? Totally worried about where everyone else is and what they’re doing and if they’re having fun or not, and worried that I’m not having enough fun with my own Saturday night.

    • I understand Nikkiana, I think that’s a pretty common fear for a lot of people. For me, being bipolar, and struggling to feel *safe* if my safe people are not easily reachable (I seldom ever try to call anyone, it’s just knowing that they are there) is really hard. I can feel from slightly unhinged to profoundly depressed. I’ve made light of this in the blog post but it can get serious and really hard for me and others that I know. We all have our *stuff* and it manifests in many different ways. I think the culture is such that weeks are more structured and weekends are not and that is just the base of it all. For me. I hope you find peace and fun for your Saturdays as they come. <3

  6. Hmm, I’m with Donna (as a former teacher, too). It was the Sundays that were hard (and still that can be, even absent the stress of actually showing up on Monday morning, no matter how much good and gratification that it might bring..

  7. One of my people is leaving today. I so get this–maybe my routine matters more than I realize and that’s why this time of year messes with me so much, too. Good things to think about. Thank you, Maitri!

  8. Maitri Dear!

    This is such an interesting perspective as my 25 yr old daughter and I were talking about Saturday night last night. She went to the fancy grocery to get fancy bread and cheeses. The young burly cashier asked her if she was having a party. She said, “No, I’m going to make hors d’oeuvres and eat them in bed while watching Netflix like I do every Saturday night.” He replied, “That’s exactly what I do except first I wrap myself in tin foil.” She just died laughing. So apparently it’s not just an age thing. BUT I know what you mean. It seems like I was in my forties for a loooooong time and I can’t get used to being older.

    Much LOVE,

  9. Roberta Jones says:

    Dear Maitri . . . thank you truly for your words that have so inspired me . . . to take my single, bipolar self OUT this Saturday night! You, and the friend you tell of, have helped me realize that “supposed to” are two of the saddest words in the English language. The only two words that are sadder are “if only.” (J.K. Rowling was the wise woman who once wrote that about the words “if only.”)
    You have helped me to see that the delight of Saturday night is that everyone IS just where they belong. As long as they are on the earth, they are Home. They are just in a different room of that home. Home, like the heart, has many, many rooms, and what a delight it is to be able to open a door to a new room and see the many precious things and events and people it might hold. Every room everywhere is equally safe and dangerous. I can die on my couch from worry and disuse and familiarity as easily as I can die on a city street or on a mountaintop or in deep dark woods. There is no wall that cannot be knocked down to expose us; no timecard rigid enough to protect us from the wild beauty of the unexpected . . . and no amount of worry that can keep one darned thing from changing.
    Rigidity and routine felt to me like safety. Stagnation felt to me like safety. A still pool of water looked mighty safe indeed compared to the wild waves of the ocean, until I saw that the calm water is moveless, dead, stale, undrinkable, incapable of sustaining life . . . no fresh current runs through to carry away the muck under the surface. Love does not live in tranquil pools. It comes to us with the current and on the tide and in the flood. I think it was Edna St. Vincent Millay who mourned that her heart was like a little tepid pool drying inward from the edge. That little tepid pool is what causes me true worry and fear.
    Whether we are in a house, or out having unscheduled adventures, we are just where we are “supposed to” be. We are simply Home. And all our people are safe in other rooms, wherever they may be. Thank you, thank you for helping me realize this!

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