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Just Another Manic Sunday

It’s Sunday, and the morning routine is much the same as any other day, except for one inexplicable difference: the force of Murphy’s Law—whatever can go wrong will go wrong—is strongest on Sunday mornings.

It starts with everyone being slow to get out of bed. It happens every Sunday, but each time it seems to come as a surprise and creates the time pressure of being fifteen minutes behind schedule.

Not long after, son pushes his little sister. Sister hits her head on the kitchen table. Ten minutes of wiping away of tears, hugs, and a spanking for son create another delay. The family is now twenty-five minutes behind schedule.

Dad jumps into the shower only to step on a yellow rubber ducky that mom didn’t put away after bathing daughter the night before. Dad slips, catches himself, but feels a twinge in his hamstring and aggravates a shoulder injury he first suffered during his high school athletic career, when a boy feels no pain and answers the call, “Suck it up!” Twenty years later, dad feels the pain as it spurs into anger towards his wife.

“Son of a…! There’s no soap!”

Dad, unable to suck up his pain, sucks up his anger. He finishes his shampoo shower and continues his morning routine with one arm and a limp, saying as little as possible.

Mom, seeing dad hobble into the bedroom, asks if everything is okay. Dad’s glare communicates more than either of them want to discuss.

Mom returns to pulling up her pantyhose, but wouldn’t you know it, they get a run and, of course, they are her last pair.

Dad’s limp and mom’s wardrobe malfunction combine for another eight-minute delay. If you do the math, the family is now thirty-three minutes behind schedule, but somehow, somewhere, Murphy showed up and the family is an hour behind.

“I guess we’ll have to go to the second service…again,” Dad mutters. The words and tone suggest that the delay is Moms’ fault—it’s always Mom’s fault.

Eventually they finish getting ready, load up the car, and go—the Average family is on their way to church. The ride is silent. Daughter rubs the bump on her head as she plots her revenge. Son stews over the spanking he received, knowing that his mother hit him in anger, making her a hypocrite and no better than himself for pushing his sister. Mom thinks about what she will wear to church next week given that she had to put on next week’s outfit today. And dad sucks up his bubbling anger, but after having to stop at five red lights, can’t hold back any longer and erupts, “Un-freaking-believable!”

The Average family finally makes it to church with a few minutes to spare, and mom and dad put on their happy faces as they exchange pleasantries with the people they pass on their way to the sanctuary.

“Hello, how are you doing?”

“Good. How are you doing?”

“Good.”

This exchange is repeated over and over, again and again, week after week.

As son and daughter get older, they begin to resent the very notion of going to church. They wonder, “What’s the point?” and dream of being old enough to stay home. But until then, it’s just another manic Sunday.

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