Thursday is the best day

You heard me.




Thursday is the best day

You heard me.

You wake up, without the prompting of an alarm, and survey the vast expanse of the weekend laid out before you. “Saturdays are the best days,” you think to yourself, deciding to stay in bed a little longer. Or perhaps it’s the joy of sleeping in yet again, indulgent and serene, that prompts you to think, “Ah yes, this is it — Sunday is the highlight of every week.” Maybe you’re a Friday-loving sociopath. It doesn’t matter. You’re wrong. All of those days are fine, but they’re not the best day.

The best day is Thursday.

Thursdays are wily: Unlike most days, there are no expectations for Thursday, and it deftly plays that lack of promise into a wealth of possibility. Thursday is that guy at work who you never talk to, the one that seems nice enough, always shows up on time, doesn’t raise a fuss, and quietly does a quality job every time. Thursday is humble, understated excellence. It will never make you feel ashamed of not “doing enough with your Thursday.” You’re welcome. (Thursday would never say it sarcastically like that, which is why I’m saying it on behalf of Thursday.)

How should we rank the days of the week? Great question. Here’s the answer:

  1. Thursday
  2. Saturday
  3. Sunday
  4. Friday
  5. Tuesday
  6. Wednesday
  7. Monday

Everyone knows Monday is trash, that’s a given. Wednesday is right in the middle, which isn’t doing anyone any favors. (Plus, Wednesday has a terrible disqualifying nickname which I shall not utter here.) Tuesday is better, but really only because anything looks good after Monday. Friday is manic and excitable and overrated and almost always too much — the Ace Ventura-era Jim Carrey of weekend days. Sunday is great, but Saturday is, of course, greater.

But! Thursday is the best. It falls late enough in the week — especially if you work in an office — that most people have chilled the fuck out. The first few days have been wild, yes, but y’all got shit done. Thursday feels like a much-deserved break.

Importantly, it also avoids the pressure of the actual weekend. A lot of people — college kids especially — like to unofficially kick off the weekend on Thursday, and no wonder! It’s low stakes. Hang out and do something fun, maybe have a few drinks, but only if you want. The actual weekend is still on the way. In the meantime, here’s Thursday. Isn’t it nice to see Thursday again?

And if you do have a few drinks, it’s fine to be a little bit hungover on Fridays. Only an asshole would send something difficult in your direction on a Friday. You may have an asshole in your life, and if that’s the case, I’m truly sorry. Get away from that person as soon as you can.

Granted, it may seem like Friday brought about your salvation, but that’s simply untrue. Friday never did shit for you. Friday announces itself at the end of the week, just when you are at your most exhausted and ready for relief, and yells, “Time to party, motherfucker! It’s Friday, you better have plans!”

Friday delights in fucking up your good time. Friday’s reputation is unearned. Do not let Friday swindle you.

Saturday is a great day, if we’re being honest. Hence, the coveted #No. 2 ranking. But Saturday’s got a couple things going against it. First of all, there’s Friday, the coked-out rabbit of days. Just by virtue of its placement in the week, Saturday often has to spend a lot of its time accounting for Friday’s misdeeds. Saturday is the underappreciated janitor that cleans up after Friday’s happy hour.

Plus, Saturday has so much pressure! As the classic — misinformed, of course, but nevertheless — best day for many people, it’s the day where a week’s best occasions are slotted by default. Birthday parties, sporting events, beer festivals, playdates in the park, you name it, it’s scheduled for Saturday. See you on Saturday. There’s way too much going on on Saturday. Oh god, let’s just stay home on Saturday. We’ve set up Saturday to fail, people.

Sunday can be pretty chill sometimes. But since it precedes Monday, it all too often comes with loads of anxiety. So stressful is the first day of the week that modern-day working adults have coined a term for it: the Sunday Scaries. You suck, Sunday. Have a seat.

You can count on Thursday in the clutch, and Thursday will stay out of the way when necessary.

Friday and Saturday’s egos are a problem, but perhaps this is unsurprising. Saturday has had myriad musical hits written about it by the likes of Elton John, the Bay City Rollers, Chicago, Sam Cooke, the list goes on forever. Friday is similar: The Cure, Rebecca Black, Katy Perry, etc. Saturday Night Live. Ice Cube’s Friday franchise. These are monumental pop culture moments, iconic household names. These days have got a lot to live up to! As a result, they almost always try too hard. And they’ve gotten a little too comfortable in their popularity, frankly.

Thursday, meanwhile, takes a more interesting, less-heralded path. That screamo band with the thrilling, overdramatic slapper from 2001. A surprisingly incredible meal from a local restaurant that your alternative weekly has yet to discover. That oddly meme-able moment from the Netflix show. You can keep the bluster and the limelight and the fame — Thursday doesn’t need any of that. Thursday is happy to do great work, be kind to others, and sleep well at night. You can miss Thursday with that bullshit.

There’s an interplay at work when it comes to the days of the week and which ones are the best, of course. What’s terrible on Monday — and frankly, cliché or no, sometimes everything is terrible on Monday — is usually not so bad by around lunchtime on Wednesday. In that way, Wednesday is something like the idiot nephew of the boss. Much like Friday, Wednesday doesn’t deserve its place in the week. But just by virtue of being there, it’s better than most days. Things have cooled off, Wednesday feels good. But most importantly, Wednesday is setting us up for Thursday.

Which brings us back to our hero. Take a moment and think about last Thursday. Wasn’t bad, right? Maybe it wasn’t especially great, either. But it’s kinda like when you can’t remember what you had for lunch yesterday. You must’ve gotten the calories you needed. And you certainly didn’t get sick. It wasn’t like that depressing breakfast from the other morning.

Thursday is reliable. You can count on Thursday in the clutch, and Thursday will stay out of the way when necessary. Thursday never speaks up just to hear its voice in a meeting. Thursday always goes out of its way to praise you publicly and give mannered criticism privately. Thursday is a tasteful guitar lick in a sea of overdriven power chords.

But crucially, Thursday isn’t a pushover. It’s not a stick in the mud.

Thursday is full of surprises. Thursday unexpectedly has a splash of whiskey in its coffee sometimes. “Thursday!” you’ll say when you smell it. And then you’ll join in as well. Thursday is good at making bad decisions — a great thing at which to be savvy.

Thursday is surprise and delight. Thursday is never overrated. Thursday is just right.

It is the best day.

Austin L. Ray is an award-winning journalist based in Atlanta who's written for Good Beer Hunting, Rolling Stone, Creative Loafing(RIP), Oxford American, First We Feast, and one terrible gas station periodical. He loves gardening, rap music, and hoodies. Zach Galifianakis once screamed in his face.