38 Hacks to Maximize Labor Day If You’re Spending It Alone

Image: Gizmodo/Shutterstock
Image: Gizmodo/Shutterstock

If anything reminds the plan-less of how fundamentally alone they are in the world, it’s the long weekends of our country’s lesser holidays. Labor Day can be the most melancholic of them all; not only do you get an extra day off to be alone with yourself, but it signifies the transition from summer to fall, a nasty reminder that everything eventually dies. Personally, if I’m not working over a long holiday weekend, I usually find myself hungover in bed, feeling too overwhelmed by all the things I could theoretically achieve on this special day off to even text that acquaintance to see if it’s “cool” if you hit up their friend’s barbecue. (No worries if it’s not, just checking!)


I’m here to assure you, it’s OK to be alone on Labor Day. Sure, you might be feel a pang of sadness as you scroll through your social media feed, the smiling photos of your former classmates and coworkers who are honoring “the social and economic achievements of American workers” by getting day drunk with similarly good-looking people. If you’re alone today, find strength in this moment of solitude. Don’t drown in a sea of your own self-pity! Seize the moment. Here are 38 activities to try out solo on this special day off. Who knows, maybe they’ll change your life, or even the world.

  1. Masturbate.
  2. Meditate.
  3. Make a vision board.
  4. Ponder why the fuck it’s called Labor Day if it’s the one damn day you’re not supposed to work.
  5. Consider this: Leftists claim that celebrating Labor Day in September is a way to undermine May Day. Instead of celebrating workers, September’s Labor Day “marks our historic defeat, not our triumph.”
  6. Think about how the sharing economy is slowly rendering public holidays—along with the traditional Monday to Friday, 9-5 work week—obsolete, in part because idle hands do the devil’s work, but also because in late capitalism, we’re more or less required to work until we die.
  7. So you ostensibly feel an inclination to work, or more broadly, “be productive” during this supposed day of rest. You, however, exist in a culture that values labor above all else. Where do you go from there? Is your desire to produce inherently good? Would it be ultimately beneficial to place less value on the act of work, covertly liberating yourself from the chains of society? There aren’t universally correct answers to these big questions, but there is a correct answer for you.
  8. Catch up on chores for the coming week. You can never be too prepared.
  9. Educate yourself about local politics. If you want to create institutional change, start small!
  10. Tell her you love her.
  11. Fuck her right in the pussy.
  12. Learn a new language.
  13. Practice French kissing on the back of your hand.
  14. Help the poor.
  15. Steal from the rich.
  16. Reorganize your closet, metaphorically speaking.
  17. Reorganize your actual closet.
  18. Become one of those “free hugs” people.
  19. Figure out whether you’re lawful good, neutral good, chaotic good, lawful neutral, true neutral, chaotic neutral, lawful evil, neutral evil, or chaotic evil. Figure out whether you’re a Carrie, Miranda, Samantha or Charlotte.
  20. Fuck, Marry, Kill: Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook.
  21. Fuck, Marry, Kill: Anne Coulter, Martin Shkreli, Milo Yiannopoulos.
  22. Fuck, Marry, Kill: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
  23. Fuck, Marry, Kill: Jesus, God, Holy Ghost.
  24. Fuck, Marry, Kill: your mom, your dad, your sibling.
  25. Creep out your friends on Facebook.
  26. Destroy your phone and computer in order to liberate yourself from the prison of technology. Also, breaking things is fun.
  27. Consume the entirety of Lifehacker.
  28. Close your eyes and pretend you’re a spaceman on one of the good Jupiter moons for eight hours.
  29. Make a decision: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or one of the others.
  30. Burn a man at Burning Man.
  31. Read some letters these sad Redditors wrote to their dead dogs.
  32. Figure out whether you’ve already peaked, have yet to peak, or are currently peaking.
  33. Contemplate the trolley problem in the context of another ethical dilemma. The trolley problem asks you to consider a scenario where a trolley is headed toward a track where five people are bound. The brakes are broken, but you have the option to redirect the trolley to side track with one person on it. You can pull a lever to change tracks, saving the lives of those five people, but killing one. Or do nothing at all, saving the life of the person on the side track, but letting five people die. In the next scenario, you are an exceptionally skilled surgeon who has five patients— two of whom need a new lung, two of whom need a new kidney, and one who needs a heart. They need new organs within a day or they will die. A healthy young person comes in for a regular checkup, and you discover they are a perfect match for your five patients. You have a choice: You can kill the healthy person and save five lives or let the healthy person live, which means your five patients die. Both thought experiments ask you basically the same thing: Is it ethically sound to cause the death of one person if it’ll save five? Why does the scenario with the doctor seem far more sinister than the trolley problem? What does it mean to kill someone versus let someone die? And what does this say about the way we value life? Oh, and in the second ethical dilemma, the doctor is a woman. Does that SHOCK you?
  34. Update your iTunes.
  35. While you’re at it, might want to update your iOS and OS X.
  36. If it exists, then there’s a porn of it. Where does that leave ethical capitalism?
  37. Drink and/or do drugs.
  38. Or, just go to that acquaintance’s friend’s barbecue. It’ll be less scary than you think it’ll be.

Eve Peyser was the night editor at Gizmodo.



I’ve been trying to do 8/17 (they’re kind of the same thing for me) and 37 every weekend. I’m on the hunt for the perfect cleaning spree strain of weed. I seem to always find the couchlock stuff.