Friday . . .
The best cafeteria lunches were offered on Fridays (tuna melts and tomato soup was my joint) and teachers seemed to let up on the gas a little (I mean chill OUT, Ms. Eckberg - we're in the first grade. What's with allllll the letter and number talk. Let's just relax a little. Bonus playground time or some-tin. DAMN, Woman!) and my parents always seemed to be in a good mood, too (I now suspect that they, being of sound middle class and family of five, probably got paid on Friday so that was a good chunk of it). Anywho - as I grew up Friday just kept getting better.
You had junior high and high school dances on Fridays (and those had girls there so - rest assured I was on the bleachers or standing against the wall for most of them . . . until "It Takes Two" came on then brace yourselves, fools). Football games (I was in the marching band so I attended all the home games) were on Fridays. You could wear different clothes to school on Fridays. If you were going to plan a student activity it was on Friday.
Fast forward to college and Friday was just, well, everything. I don't know about you but I had no classes on Fridays after about Freshman year (I think I had one 11:00 AM class on Friday fall semester of my Sophomore year). If you were going home (or to someone else's house) for the weekend you got going as early as you could. By 3 PM the kegs were tapped, the music blaring, the naps completed, and the weekend had begun. I will never forget one Friday Junior year when I was giving a 4 PM tour of the campus and came upon three naked freshman, drunk and running for the quad. That kid could not say "yes" to matriculation fast enough.
By the time I entered the world of work I thought I "got" why Friday was so special. I'd work for 4 1/2 long days a week so I could blow off Friday afternoons and hit the weekend. I used to work in the National Press Building and we would go to "Taco Bar" at the National Press Club every Friday evening (truly the greatest boondoggle in DC happy hours, if you have access). By 10 PM on Friday I was generally off in my own little world not to be shook back to reality for 56 hours or so.
Once I got in to a relationship, Friday was about being able to spend the weekend with a woman I loved. By the time we became parents it was about the plans we'd made for the week to spend our family time finally being activated.
Friday. Friday. FRIDAY!
And yet here I am, 37 years old and I still can't really tell you what is "special" about Friday because it keeps shifting and changing. Now Fridays are either about starting my weekend as a father or starting my weekend knowing I'll be alone for the duration. I build my evenings around temple (a special time for sure) and going to bed early to get up and run the next morning. I try to leave work in my cubicle and try to spend time with people and things I enjoy.
I won't say Friday has faded in "coolness" but I'll suggest I have. Or maybe I'm just realizing that - like so many other "special" things in life it is all about the moment and the context and the perspective. Maybe temple time, parenting (or not), and early-to-bed is the perfect way to spend the pop culture world's favorite day. At least that is my perspective today.