Late last year I met a friend in the pub for a celebratory ‘end of week’ catchup. We got our bitching about colleagues and various crappy work issues dealt with whilst the post work crowds rolled in, but as they started to head home to loved ones, or headed off for a night out on the town, we moved on to other topics; specifically Sunday mornings and just how much they can suck.
As a child, Sunday mornings were largely about going to church. Dressed in my best Sunday clothes, hair slicked down to look presentable, I was shipped off to Sunday School before attending the morning service. Sometimes the Sunday School kids would sit together upstairs and try not to giggle and goad each other through the service. Other times I sat with my parents and their big hymn books, singing the hymns and letting the words of the sermon wash over me, the prayers lulling me towards sleep. Then it was home and time to head off to visit my Grandparents.
I fell away from those Sunday mornings after leaving school; I think the presence of the church was more of a structure that my parents thought would benefit me, than a particularly strong belief they held and, looking back, I have to agree that it had it’s positives. But, ultimately, God lost out to the demonic attraction of alcohol and women.
And thus my Sunday mornings changed to be more about recuperating than worshipping, even when that included an early 7am start at my weekend job. Mind you, typically Sunday morning was already 4 or 5 hours old as I stumbled home to the accompaniment of the dawn chorus.
Then it was time for me to leave home and move in with my then girlfriend (and future wife), and Sunday mornings shifted once more. How long we could lie-in given that we’d only gotten home at 4am, and only kicked the last revellers out of our flat at 5am? Such were the problems of living in the closest flat to the high street, minutes from the legendary Cheers nightclub, where people would decant to ours and there was always one or to hangers-on to be found the next morning, face down on the living room carpet.
We moved a year later and as we grew out of the 4am finishes our Sunday mornings started to change as those late nights became more infrequent. More and more the long lies I’d gotten accustomed to shifted to more grown-up activities, liking getting up and ‘getting stuff done’.
A move to England sealed the deal, with new places to explore and only the two of us to explore them. Sunday mornings were still relaxed but started earlier and always with the anticipation of getting out and about. Faster forward a few more years and a small black furry creature brought Sunday mornings to life around 6am each morning whether you liked it or not.
Which is all pretty standard, life moves on, you change and adapt, your needs and desires change too.
And change they did once more. Since my divorce, and through subsequent relationships, I’ve been lucky enough to try some other Sunday mornings, lazing in bed with cups of coffee, or steaming mugs of tea, snuggled up on cold winter mornings talk about everything and nothing, big spoon/little spoon, early rises for cold winter walks before falling back into bed again to warm up.
I’d forgotten about that conversation until last weekend as I lay in bed, trying to figure out how bad my hangover was (not too bad thankfully) and whether I could be bothered getting out of bed. I had nothing planned for the day and with the remnants of the recent snow still limiting my options for getting out and about, I just lay there for a while and spun that conversation over in my mind, contemplating just how much Sunday mornings can suck when you are single.
I’m not sure exactly what it is I miss. I’ve been single for a couple of years (bar some dates here and there) and I’m perfectly comfortable in my own company most of the time, but I do miss waking up next to someone on a Sunday morning. I miss the gentle arguing about who has to go and make coffee, I miss listening to someone else’s choice of Sunday morning music, I miss the quiet conversations about life.
Sunday mornings were always the mornings you could take a little more time with, you could always lie a little longer on a Sunday. But I guess sometimes Sunday mornings are just a little lonely when you are single, when the bed suddenly feels far too big, the coffee too far away, and your lazy day fills with an air of melancholy.
It was with a sigh that I got up, slipped in to my slippers and donned my dressing gown. Coffee first, for one.