Warning: Old lady rant up ahead.
You know what I miss? I miss the early 70′s when stores and businesses were closed on Sundays. It wasn’t a religion thing as much as it was a family thing. Sundays were for spending time with families and that’s exactly what we did.
Most families I knew growing up during that time spent Saturdays doing some chores and visiting with friends and family. Sundays were for church, if that was your thing, and then hanging out. It was for reading the Sunday paper, relaxing in the backyard, going to the beach or a picnic, playing with neighborhood friends or having an epic Sunday dinner. The last thing on anyone’s mind was work. We were allowed to relax and didn’t think of how we could fill our day with shopping and more chores.
Closed on Sunday
Malls were closed. Utility companies were closed. Banks, supermarkets and hardware stores also closed up on Sundays because they wanted their employees to enjoy time with their families too. It was a way of life for us. There was nothing so important that we needed to go to the mall on Sunday. We went to the stores during the week or Saturday and anything we forgot, could keep until Monday – or we borrowed from close by family members or neighbors. We didn’t call customer service lines because there wasn’t anything happening that couldn’t wait until Monday. If our power went out we lit up the Coleman lanterns and played a game. It would never occur to us to find someone to handle our issue on Sunday. Sunday was a day of rest and we understood that. What kind of person would make employees work on Sunday? The only kinds of places open on Sunday was the newsstand – usually until church let out – and some restaurants, usually chains. Family run, Mom and pop restaurants were rarely open on Sunday.
Is it really so important to have everything open on Sunday?
I’m not quite sure when we lost Sundays as a business day. I can attest that life is certainly more convenient now. I can call a 24 hour hotline to offer feedback on my shampoo or buy a week’s worth of groceries at the supermarket at 11:30 on a Sunday night, but is that really so important? We’re sort of not trained to think of Sundays as relaxing family days anymore.
Are we spoiled?
I often wonder if life is better with 24 hour service. Personally, I think it’s made us more demanding. We expect service at all hours of the day and night, even stuff that can wait a while. When everyone shut down on Sunday, it wouldn’t occur to us that someone should be working, catering to our every whim. Now, everything has to be instant.
I once worked for someone who needed me to come in on a Sunday. I told her I had family plans and she said, “Are you telling me you have a life? Well I have a business. Decide what’s more important.” We shouldn’t have to make such choices.
I understand plenty of people choose to work weekends and don’t mind. What if this sort of thing wasn’t the norm? What if stores and businesses still remained closed on Sunday?
What would you do with your time?