At some point when I was younger, the girl group The Bangles came out with a song called Manic Monday. The song was written by Prince, and it's all about how the singer is running about, "manic" about getting to work. It's a catchy tune, no doubt, and that's probably why the song was so popular. Still, it has always bothered me. Because my Mondays are more depressive than manic, and I can tell that I am not alone in that experience.
The song starts out fine--it's "six o'clock already". She doesn't want to get up--check. I don't want to get up, either! It's still mostly dark outside at that time, for one thing, and there is just something inherently wrong about having to get up before the sun does. Getting up with the sun is fine, but getting up before the sun? Not so much.
And let's face it: nobody is "manic" when they first get up in the morning. Most of us are grouchy, cranky, and complete slugs. Even those horrible "morning" people, who are always so bright-eyed and disgustingly cheerful in the mornings, have that five to ten minute window where they are completely unintelligible and have sleep-drool all over their face. This is the normal state of being for humans. I resemble Nick Nolte's famous mug shot in the morning, and it takes me a good two hours and at least three cups of coffee before I remember that I know how to talk in a coherent sentence. If I have to make a decision prior to 7am, I become as agitated as that gorilla in the old Samsonite commercials. I am not what one would call a "morning person", and I know lots of people like me. Now, Prince, who wrote Manic Monday, might be one of those rare individuals who leap out of bed each morning, ready to face the day with a smile and lots of energy. But the rest of us every day schlubs? No. If we are rising early and are cheerful about it, there is usually a reason, such as pharmacological assistance.
The song continues with a reference to an early train, and how she can't get to work by nine. What? She gets up THREE hours before she has to be at work, and she still can't get there? What the heck is she doing? Where does this train leave from, that it takes her so long? I recognize that there may be extenuating circumstances, such as trains breaking down or Dennis Hopper fighting Keanu Reeves, but still. A little planning takes care of all that, and I cannot believe that I just said that, but it's true. I know exactly when I have to leave the house, compensating for school traffic and base shift changes, and that's when I try to head out. I put my clothes out the night before, and I don't even have to open my eyes to get into the shower. Surely this person who takes THREE hours to get to work can figure this out? She could wear her jammies on the train, and not a single person would notice!
To top it off, the girl singing indicates that her boyfriend decided that he wanted to fool around last night, and that's why she is running late. The song specifically states that she is the main breadwinner in the house. I am all for a bit of the hanky-panky on a school night. It's a great stress reliever, and helps ensure good sleep. However, if I am in danger of losing my job because I'm chronically late, that has to take priority, and the boyfriend will just have to deal with that. Of course, I would not consider supporting a man who wasn't working, unless he was earning his keep in some way. The toilets don't clean themselves, after all!
So what the heck is Prince/The Bangles singing about, really? Over the years, I've decided that they are singing about the fact that growing up and being an adult kinda sucks. Yes, you get to make all your own decisions, like when to stay up all night bingewatching Justified. Which is great, except that you still have to maintain all of the other responsibilities of adulthood, like paying the bills and keeping food on the table. That means waking up before the sun comes up, and going to work.
Not a happy song, is it? Oh well, at least the tune is catchy.