What did I do on Saturday Just clocked up an art exhibition, a hearty walk and a three-course dinner with friends… welcome to Competitive Weekend Syndrome

There was a time when the weekend was a simple enough concept.
After a week at the coalface, you clocked off on a Friday and looked forward to two days’ hard labour on the sofa, accompanied by a takeaway.

You might have friends over; you might go shopping. But, by and large, the weekend was about what you didn’t do rather than what you did.

Not any more. Because even if you do spend a large portion of it with your backside parked on a large armchair, the chances are you feel a wee bit reluctant to admit as much when confronted with the paranoia-inducing phenomenon that is ‘other people’s weekends’.

Action-packed: Many of us feel we have to exaggerate our weekend activities (posed by models)

Action-packed: Many of us feel we have to exaggerate our weekend activities (posed by models)

Welcome to Competitive Weekend Syndrome, in which you disguise the fact that you sat lounging in bed until midday playing Solitaire on your iPhone, and pretend instead that you clocked up an art exhibition, a hearty walk and a fabulous three-course dinner with your extensive group of good-looking, hilarious friends — in between those cello lessons, because it’s important to acquire new skills.

Sounds exhausting doesn’t it But according to a new survey, exhausted is what most of us are by the weekend, which is why, left to our own devices, we don’t really want to do much. Nonetheless, we feel compelled to lie about it back in the office on Monday for fear of seeming under-achieving.

One in three of us has exaggerated what we got up to at the weekend, and felt a hot surge of jealousy and inadequacy on hearing about our workmates’ action-packed days off.

This all strikes a chord with me. /01/11/article-2085354-015EBE25000004B0-643_233x358.jpg” width=”233″ height=”358″ alt=”What we'd rather be doing: Just chilling out watching TV” class=”blkBorder” />

What we'd rather be doing: Just chilling out watching TV

Admitting as much, however, is quite another thing, given that responding to an enquiry about your weekend with ‘Fine — didn’t do much’ now feels like the equivalent of sticking a Post-it note saying ‘loser’ on your nose.

I blame social networking, with all
those ‘Just hanging out in a glamorous hotel spa this Saturday
afternoon’ status updates. They’re hard to take at the best of times,
but even more so when you’ve done nothing more than pop to the
supermarket for a sausage roll and some Vimto.

have wasted hours forlornly looking through other people’s jazzy photos
and wondering whether posting a picture of me in my sweatpants watching
an old episode of Columbo would cut the mustard.

goodness for my occasional mini-break — the ultimate weapon with which
to meet the advances of the competitive weekender. Is there a more
joyful phrase than ‘Me Oh, I’m just going away for the weekend’

course, unless you are Tamara Ecclestone, you can’t go on mini-breaks
every week. And most of us, come Saturday morning, want nothing more
than a few extra hours under the duvet with a good book and a cheese

It’s just a pity all us like-minded sorts can never find each other on Monday morning.