They’re supposed to be the best day of the week, aren’t they? Proof that we have muscled through five more days of work, no matter how harrowing, and the promise of two full days off still ahead, everyone loves Fridays, right?
A fumble with the radio knob at any given point in time these days will undoubtedly yield on some station Katy Perry’s reminiscence of her recent Friday night indiscretions. She reassures us that while she may indeed have made some poor choices, next Friday night she will “do it all again”, because it was just that much fun. For The Cure, Friday was the day to be in love. And don’t forget Rebecca Black’s alarmingly irritating crooning about whether she should be “kickin’ in the front seat” or “sittin’ in the back seat” because she’s having so much fun on Friday that she simply can’t make up her mind. Vapid though her lyrics may be, she still manages to have the right idea about Fridays.
I used to be that way, fist-pumping a good old “TGIF!” with the best of them, looking forward to Friday beginning each Monday morning and careful not to plan too many fun things at once, because Fridays tend to lend themselves to exactly that. I see the Facebook statuses of my friends who share this sentiment, and I wonder just what it is they anticipate with such zeal each and every Friday. I wonder if it is all a facade, and whether or not they hide behind the armor of that blue and white screen as I often do, posting their enthusiasm for the world to see yet surreptitiously willing the evening to pass so they can move on from the solitude that companionless Friday nights consistently bring.
It’s not that I don’t have invitations or opportunities to spend time with friends on Friday evenings; I do. In fact, tonight I declined two such invitations because I am feeling under the weather and preferred to make it a quiet and early evening at home (my training seems to have caught up with my immune system once again). No… the bittersweetness of Friday nights, for me, stems from a void of companionship and its ensuing loneliness, which is inevitably deepened when I venture out to places where others revel in the arrival of the weekend, laughing, eating, drinking, and feverishly swapping stories about the highlights of their workweeks and impending weekend plans. Counterintuitively, the more crowded a place, the lonelier it feels. I wonder if others feel the same. Do you?
If I had to put a label on myself, I would say that I’m a homebody… an introvert through and through, a classic INFJ on the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator. In theory, then, spending Friday night at home alone should rejuvenate me. I’ve got my book, my blanket, a glass of wine, perhaps… what’s not to love? Admittedly, it’s not a horrible way to spend an evening, and I am sure that to many out there, it must sound pretty idyllic. I am sure that many out there would happily swap places with me and trade in a few hours of tending to their families’ needs for some quiet time with a good book. I am equally certain that I would feel the same way if I had a family’s needs to tend to. After all, at some point or another, we always seem to want what we don’t have, right? Isn’t that how we operate as human beings?
Overall, I am content with having the freedom that I have, I truly am. I can do what I want to do, when I want to do it, and how I want to do it. I have the luxury of being able to come home, plop myself down on the couch, pick up my book, and eat cookies for dinner as I read, if I so choose. I have the luxury of being able to spend four hours of my Saturday morning running, without concern for when I will be home because no one is there waiting for me. I enjoy this freedom- relish it, in fact, but I would gladly give some of it up if it meant spending my Friday night on the couch with someone I care about, can talk to about my book, huddle next to under my blanket, and raise my glass with in a toast to all of the wonderful things we have planned for the weekend.
Thank you for reading!