[G. K.] Chesterton argued that a man compelled by lack of choice or by social pressure to play golf when he would rather be attending to some solitary hobby was not so different from the slave who might have several hours of leisure while his overseer slept but had to be ready to work at a moment’s notice. Neither could be said to be the master of his leisure. Both had free time but not freedom. To press this parallel further, have we become enslaved by the weekend?
At first glance it is an odd question, for surely it is our work that enslaves us, not our free time. We call people who become obsessed by their jobs workaholics, but we don’t have a word for someone who is possessed by recreation. Maybe we should. I have many acquaintances for whom weekend activities seem more important than workaday existence, and who behave as if the week were merely an irritating interference in their real, extracurricular lives.