The Home Office has been hard on the federal government over the past few years. In the interests of fair play, it's time to point out one thing the Feds got right: Monday holidays.
I used to make fun of the official federal holidays, especially the ones they made up just so they always fall on a Monday: Martin Luther King Day, Presidents' Day, (the moving of) Memorial Day and Columbus Day. (Labor Day was always on a Monday, so it didn't count.) "Let the holiday be on the day it commemorates," I used to think. "January 15, May 31, October 12, whatever."
This year my favorite federal holiday, Independence Day, fell on a Friday and showed me the error of my ways. "A three-day weekend is a three-day weekend," I used to think. "It doesn't matter whether the short work week falls before or after the holiday."
Mondays are much better. It was nice to have last Friday off, plopped into my schedule much like the rain that fell off and on throughout the day. Saturday was Saturday, and the Sunday routine stayed the same. Translated: back to work tomorrow.
If the holiday fell on Monday, the weekend would go on as usual, except when I got ready for bed on Sunday night, there would be no need to set the alarm; a bonus extension of the weekend was at hand. Sweet. Even better, the upcoming workweek was only four days. With the Friday holiday, we're staring at coming right back into a regular week. (True, last week was short, but that was last week; what have you done for me lately?)
So here's a big thank you to Congress for promoting the idea of Monday holidays. Yes, it was quite a few Congresses ago, and the current Congress has done little to recommend itself to anyone other than narcoleptics. Still, it's only fair to show appreciation where it's due. Granted, Monday holidays don’t quite tip the scales when balanced against the Iraq war, torture, the erosion of civil liberties, no energy policy, an unfair tax structure, faulty levees, and the failure to provide any meaningful oversight to banks and lenders that prompted the current economic downturn, but that's me: Mr. Glass Is Half Full, the eternal optimist.