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Why we keep Sundays to ourselves

Why we keep Sundays to ourselves

Sunday is my favorite day, despite its unfortunate proximity to Monday.

Sunday is my favorite day, despite its unfortunate proximity to Monday.

There was a time in my youth when I slept until noon on Sundays, and there was a time when I spent part of the day in church. I don’t do either now, but don’t read any significance into that. As the Greek sages observed, change is the only constant.

I like Sunday principally because it has evolved into a day of exclusivity — just for my wife and me and the pets. Sometimes, later in the day, we might choose to open our world to others, but often we hole up alone.

It’s a great day for doing exactly what we want to do — and nothing more. In the morning, we sit in our study and listen to music as we catch up on correspondence. We read emails, we write emails. We read the newspapers, often online.

Our desks face each other and we share tidbits from our mail. We talk about the week past and the week ahead. We discuss books we’re reading or planning to read, movies we want to see and food. Not much of it is very serious stuff. The topics run from domestic matters to the little confidences that married couples share.

If the weather’s pleasant, we’re apt to spend some of our day in the garden where Beverly is the botanical counterpart of biblical Noah, having as I like to tell friends one of every species of plant. (That’s an exaggeration; I believe she’s still missing a couple, which is why we spend a lot of time browsing at Faddegon’s.)

Don’t get the idea that we become hermits for a day. We do go out. Often we visit the greenmarket downtown where we run into friends and chat for a bit. But that’s like speed dating, mostly pleasant and over with quickly. It doesn’t interrupt our Sunday mode at all. Similarly, if we’ve put off grocery shopping until Sunday, it’s not disruptive, even if we run into friends in the market.

In the evening, in nice weather, we’re on our patio for drinks and dinner, which is usually made up of something I can grill — vegetables, corn, chicken — and salad tossed with some of Beverly’s homemade dressing that includes — quelle surprise! — fresh herbs from the garden.

Later, there are guilty pleasures on TV — whatever’s on “Masterpiece Theater” or “The Borgias” or “The Newsroom.” (Understand I don’t stay awake to see any of these, but I’ve heard they’re all very good.)

I suppose some would view it as an unexciting way to spend a day, and I say that’s very perceptive of you. An unexciting day can be thoroughly satisfying in the right company.

Most recently, we spent a rainy Sunday catching up after a week apart caused by a business trip. It was also an anniversary of sorts — a year since we’d learned that I had prostate cancer and a couple of days after I’d completed radiation therapy.

One hell of a stressful year, we agreed, but time to get back to a more normal routine.

Our friends were understanding when we were less visible for a few months, and now we’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

But, it’s probably not going to happen on Sunday.

Irv Dean is the Gazette’s city editor. Opinions expressed in his column are his own and not necessarily those of the newspaper. Reach him at P.O. Box 1090, Schenectady, N.Y. 12301 or by email to

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