Blog: What Day is It

Burt Ross

When Gary Hart campaigned around the country for president in 1988, a reporter asked him how he knew what city he was in. Hart truthfully responded that each morning when he awoke in a different hotel, the first thing he did was look at the local telephone book to find out where he was.

Gary Hart knew how to figure out where he was.  I know exactly where I am—-the same place I have been locked in for the past 12 weeks or so, but I rarely have any idea what day of the week it is. A local phone book which I haven’t seen for years will not help me figure out whether it’s Monday or Friday.

I once accompanied a relative through marriage to a neurologist’s office to determine whether the initial signs of dementia were occurring (they were not).  One of the first questions the doctor asked was “What day of the week is it?”

My relative immediately knew the answer, but if this pandemic doesn’t end soon, I might well flunk the dementia test.

Most of us have no trouble knowing what day of the week it is. For instance, if your cleaning lady normally comes on Wednesday, then when she shows up at your front door, you have a pretty good idea it’s Wednesday. And it doesn’t take a genius to calculate that the following day is Thursday, and so on. But what if she hasn’t come to your home in months? Then how do you know it’s Wednesday?    

If you normally eat out at a restaurant on Friday night, or have breakfast with the boys Saturday morning as I do, and all the restaurants are closed, then how do you know when it is Friday or Saturday? This is the dilemma facing all of us every day, and why I often don’t have a clue what day it is.

Now I have discovered one helpful tool. I take pills, mostly vitamins, every morning when I first wake up. They are in a pill box earmarked with the seven days of the week. If I am awake enough to notice the day on the pill container before I gulp down the pills, then I might be awake enough to remember what day it is, or at least for a few hours. Other than that method, one day might just as well be any other day.

I guess it really doesn’t matter what day of the week it is, or whether it’s May or June, let’s just stay safe, and this too shall pass.