Things I learned this week (July 25 – 29)

It’s Friday! You know what that means.  Time to find out what I learned this week.

I learned this week…

…that Alaska has now been promoted to my list of no-can-dos.

…that while I am saddened at the loss of a musical talent who had yet to reach her full potential, I can’t say that I am particularly surprised.  Addiction kills and some people, unfortunately, are past the point of no return.

…that my love for politics has waned.  For years I’ve been a liberal leaning Dem, but recently I have grown increasingly disgusted with both parties and their self-serving agendas.  When I was researching Ronald Reagan this past spring, I stumbled upon this gem:  “Governments tend not to solve problems, only rearrange them”.  Absolutely true, and while they are rearranging our monumental problems, they are running our country straight into the ground.  Our founding fathers would hang their heads in shame at the behavior of our so-called leaders – on both sides of the aisle.  So much for American exceptionalism.

Another pissing contest

…that “A vision without a plan is just a dream. A plan without a vision is just drudgery. But a vision with a plan can change the world.”  Proverb.

…that no matter how much I try or how much I am looking forward to a vacation, I still dread it.

…that fields of blooming sunflowers make me smile.  No easy feat.

…that the icy tentacles of winter would be a welcome sight, even if for just one day.

…the Orlando International Airport was designed by a bunch of crazy monkeys.

Journey of Self-discovery: Conquering Math

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.  What you’ll discover will be wonderful.  What you’ll discover is yourself.  ~Alan Alda

If you don’t get lost, there’s a chance you may never be found.  ~Author Unknown

In recent years, I’ve gone through a lot of personal changes.  Some good, some bad – all of them learning experiences.  I guess you could say I’ve been on a quest to find myself.  Sounds a bit cliché but, I suspect, not uncommon for people like me – staring at the business end of forty.

I think my journey really began with the passing of my dad.  Unexpected death of a loved one has a way of putting things into perspective.  It makes you reevaluate your life, take stock in what you’re doing and what you want to be doing.  The harsh reality that this sort of thing could happen in my family with such cruel swiftness was eye-opening  – like someone doused me in ice water.  I began to take stock of my life.

What I found was that while I was happy, I wasn’t fulfilled.  Something was missing in my life.  I also quickly realized that the fault was entirely my own.  I’d created this bubble around myself – my comfort zone.  I didn’t wander out of this zone for any reason, for anyone.   But in creating this buffer between me and the outside world, I stunted my ability to grow.

Herein lies my problem.  I needed a challenge in my life – something outside my comfort zone.  I thought about changing jobs, maybe going to work for a bigger firm but I decided wouldn’t solve anything.  Bigger isn’t always better and it wouldn’t really be that much of a change to go somewhere else, doing the exact same work.  That would sort of defeat the purpose.  I struggled with this dilemma for a while, got good and pissy about it, made everyone’s life hell until out of the blue, I was struck by an odd notion.  I wanted to go back to school.  Alrighty then.

The prospect of entering a classroom after all these years was a bit overwhelming but I was convinced that it was exactly what I wanted to do.  Not because I wanted a new job – I liked my job – but because I wanted to expand my horizons, take on a new challenge that was more than just a one time deal, and learn.  I set about this with the same ardency that I do anything I am truly determined to accomplish.  The first thing I learned – I was going to have to take a placement test.  That little bit of news sent chills of fear down my back.  Well, only one part of the exam really scared the shit out of me.  The math portion.   I hate math and math hates me.  Years ago we mutually agreed to steer clear of one another.  It was better that way – for both our sakes.

I almost walked away from the idea at that point but once I accepted that I was going to have to conquer my fear and loathing of math, the rest was pretty much smooth sailing. Of course, determination to achieve something doesn’t mean you will get there on the first try.  Failure helps you succeed, right?  I bombed the math portion of that test and was relegated down to remedial math – not the lowest level, but pretty darn close.  It was humbling but I sucked it up and soon found that math, at least lower level math, wasn’t all that scary.  I had to study, do my homework and faithfully go to class but passing was within my reach.  And I did pass. Every single one of those remedial math classes – with an A.

Then came the true test.  College Algebra.  Pshaw, you say?  Piece of cake?  For some, yes.  For me, it was probably the scariest, most intimidating thing I’ve done in a very long time.  But after three semesters of back to back math classes, I knew I was as ready as I’d ever be for this challenge.  It was no easy task.  I spent hours and hours doing homework, pestering the tutors in the Math Lab, and studying.  Repetition, I discovered, is the key to mastering math at any level.  I didn’t get an A in College Algebra.  I knew after the first exam that it was going to be an uphill battle but I did manage to pull out a B.  Which in any other class would have sent me into a complete meltdown because I get A’s.  The higher the A the better.  I am a firm believer in the idea that every point counts.  I would never be satisfied with a 90 just because it’s all the same on a transcript.  I want every point possible.  But this was College Algebra and to finish with a B was absolutely the greatest feeling in the world.  Which is saying a lot because I was also awarded a Scholar Award in History for the same semester.  A great honor, one which I am extraordinarily proud, but I am even prouder that I made it through four successful semesters of math.

I am no longer afraid of math.  I know and understand what it takes to not just get by, but to do well in the subject.  That’s not to say that I’m going to change my major and suddenly embrace Mathematics.  If I have a say in it, I will never step foot in a math class again.  But the sense of accomplishment that I feel knowing that I swallowed my fear, looked straight into the eyes of the dragon and sliced it’s head right off is priceless to me.

Things I learned this week (July 18 – 22)

It’s Friday!  You know what that means, right?  It’s time to examine the things I learned this week.

This week I learned…

Head Baboon

…that I dont’ want to be the baboon in charge.  Playing second fiddle to the big cheese is better for your health.  All the benefits – none of the stress.

…that Jennifer Lopez should chalk this whole marriage thing up to experience and never, ever do it again.  It’s quite obviously not working for her.

…that I don’t have to go far if I wish to have a long life expectancy.  Of course, I’m pretty sure I’d much rather live somewhere else in my golden years.  A beach house in the Caribbean, a villa in Rome, or Börsborn, Germany.

…that New York is making good on a promise – never forget.

500 year old tree - Borsborn, Germany

…that pissing contests like these benefit no one – least of all the children who, I might remind these two governmental entities, are the future of our country.

…that I prefer my daughter’s summer gymnastics schedule.  I don’t know where all the obnoxious, nitwit stage moms have gone for the summer but I hope they stay there.  I can actually write in peace. 

…that sometimes I should keep things to myself.

…that having short, stubby legs might not be such a bad thing after all.

…that I still don’t understand what “ranch casual” is really supposed to entail.  Now they’ve thrown “summer ranch casual” at me.  I am equally perplexed by this concept.  Guess I’m going shopping.  Again.  This time, however, I draw the line at cowboy boots.  Not happening.

…that the pre-dawn landing of the space shuttle Atlantis was a beautiful and emotional thing.  The end of a wonderous era.  I’m glad I watched.

Pierre Duchame/Reuters

Guilty Pleasures

We all have them.  My husband is a lover of bubble gum pop.  I will tell you, there is nothing funnier than listening to him sing all the words to a Lady Gaga tune at the top of his lungs, while driving his very manly truck down the freeway.  It’s one of the reasons I love him. 

I have one too – guilty pleasure, that is.  The Real Housewives of (insert random city here).

Snicker away.  I’m not ashamed.  I’ll tell you why.

I’ve been a vocal opponent of “reality” television’s hostile take over of primetime scheduling for a very long time – since it’s onset in the early part of the last decade.  I would much rather go skinny dipping in a tank of hungry sharks than lower myself to the level of watching grown people eat bugs, sing bad karaoke or strategically sabotage each other all in the name of prize money.  Give me a well written drama or situation comedy or even a news magazine show highlighting a gruesome murder and I’m a happy girl.  Of course, every fall they give me exactly what I want only to yank it away ten episodes in and replace it with some mind-numbingly stupid game show or yet another version of the Bachelor/Bachelorette – because one’s true love can always be found by putting twenty men (or women) in a house together and making them compete for your affection – oh and a rose.  Absolutely, a sure-fire way to find your soul mate. 

The fact that I am now a full-fledged Real Housewives junkie is a testament to the power of a flu-like illness.  About two years ago, I was lying in bed in a fever induced fog, flipping channels.  I blame the fact that I’m not an accomplished napper for the ease in which I was sucked into this franchise.  If I’d been asleep, like any normal person should have been, I would not have stumbled upon a Housewives marathon.  But I wasn’t and I did.  I don’t remember which city it was and it really doesn’t matter.  What I do remember is being completely mesmerized by the train wreck playing out before me on the screen.  It was absolutely breathtaking.  These women’s antics – all unscripted, of course (wink-wink) – were the funniest thing I’d ever witnessed on television.  I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard in my life.  I watched for two days straight and from that moment on I was hooked.

Now, two years later, there seems to been an endless stream of Housewives to choose from, for your viewing pleasure.  Just as one ends, another begins.  Right now, New York and New Jersey – my favorites by far. Why, you ask?  Could it be Ramona S’s crazy eyes and demands for cases of Pinot Grigio?  Teresa G.’s table flipping temper or her flair for um…fashion? Caroline M.’s voice of reason and sage advise?  Jill Z’s proclamations that “that’s just not who I am” (but she really is)? The Countess’ belief that using the word “darling” and dropping the names of European “royalty” we’ve never heard of makes you classy?  Or maybe it’s Dina M’s adorable Grandma Wrinkles?

I can’t decide.  It’s all so fabulous.

These women are like caricatures to me.  I equate them to characters I might find in saucy novel.  Not real housewives by any stretch of the imagination.  But, really, would a television show about real, honest to goodness housewives be any fun?  I think not.  I was a housewife once.  Nothing remotely interesting about it.  Unless you want to chronicle the number of times I was poo’ed on, puked on, or walked around in a sleep deprived trance.  I once put a carton of milk in the cupboard instead of the fridge and didn’t notice for several hours.  Funny?  Perhaps.  Television worthy? No.

Judge me how you will.  I care not of your opinion of my viewing choices.  I’m unashamed at my obsession with the manufactured adventures of these synthetic women.  They make me laugh.  Out loud.  Until I wanna pee myself.  It’s great.  Now, I ask you – can Big Brother do that for you?

My summer reading

There is a temperate zone in the mind, between luxurious indolence and exacting work; and it is to this region, just between laziness and labor, that summer reading belongs.  ~Henry Ward Beecher

I don’t get to read as much as I’d like.  Most of my days are filled to the brim with work, school, and family.  What little time is left over for me, I tend to devote more to the task of writing than to the enjoyment of simply reading a book.  A prioritizing failure on my part for everyone knows that to be a good writer, you must first be an accomplished reader.  I am lacking in this department of late.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have lots of books that I intend to read.  They are piled on my nightstand, the floor next to my nightstand, all over my desk and even in a box in my closet.  I am a compulsive book buyer.  I just can’t muster up the time to read them and even if I do crack the spine on one, fifty pages in I find myself wondering how this work of complete shit ever made it to an editor’s desk.  

This summer I vowed to break my reading dry spell.  Classes are over until the fall.  I have a couple of day off during the work week from now until then.  What better time?  I also have a trip coming up – the perfect opportunity to make a dent in my pile.  So last weekend I started thumbing through the stacks and I found that my book clutter was all in vain.  There was nothing worth reading in any of the piles.  How could this be?  Perhaps it is because a lot of the books lean toward the heavy side – definitely not fun summer reading material.  So, off to my favorite local bookseller I go, member discount card in hand. 

I went with the intention of buying a good old-fashioned, trashy romance or two.  I perused the shelves endlessly and could find nothing that was even remotely appealing.  I did discover, though, that when I wasn’t looking paranormal romances seem to have overtaken the genre.  I’d rather put an ice pick through my brain than read anything about vampires or werewolves or whatever else constitutes paranormal these days (to this category I must exclude Frolay because that story is just good fun – love you tons, Helen).  Feeling slightly depressed, I meandered over to a table of high school English required reading selections.  I shuffled through them, considered for a minute rereading a few of my favorite classics – Of Mice and Men, Animal Farm, Alas Babylon.  None of which are light, easy summer reading.  I considered an Agatha Christie mystery.  I’ve always loved the antics of super sleuth Hercule Poirot, but even that didn’t tickle my fancy.  I’d all but given up hope when a lone display caught my eye.  On a whim, I picked up the first book that my fingers touched.  That is when I discovered the brilliant intrigue of Daniel Silva.

Not exactly a bodice-ripping romance.  But then, who was I kidding?  I was never going to be satisfied with such fluff, especially in light of what I’m currently writing.  There wasn’t a lot of description of the content given, just a brief snippet beneath the author’s picture on the back cover but something about it felt right.  I bought it and the next in the series.  Like I said – compulsive book buyer.

What I found within the pages of The Kill Artist was absolutely spine tingling.  Silva is a brilliant writer.  He sucked me into the depths of a story as exciting and thrilling as it was heartbreaking and tender.  For the first time in a very long time, I read a story with unbridled anticipation, page after page, word after word, craving to know what would become of Israeli assassin, Gabriel Allon.  The nature in which Silva crafted this story, brought this quietly powerful, yet shockingly fragile character to life, left me breathless and wanting more. 

Up next The English Assassin.  I can’t wait.

Things I learned this week (July 11-15)

In keeping with the theme of last Friday’s blog entry…

__________________________________________________________________________

This week I learned…

…that fashionable (not functional) suspenders are back.  Apparently, we didn’t get enough of this trend in the 80s.  To this I say:  Gag me with a spoon.

that no matter how safe you think your neighborhood is, there is still someone out there sick enough to harm your child

…that I am not alone in my love affair with the trash that is The Real Housewives franchise.

Table flipping fun
 
 
eek!
 
 
 …that it takes exactly five days for the stench of something dead in the wall at the office to stop stinking up the place to high heaven.  This is indeed a good thing to know because next time, I will know exactly how many days of vacation to take.
 
…that stabbing yourself in the eye with a mascara wand will cause two days of incessant eye watering.  This of course, will lead to excessive eye wiping – which in turn, will lead to a redness, puffiness and soreness.  Joy.

And to think I saw it all on Mulberry Street

Well…not really, but I always did like that particular Dr. Suess offering. 

So, today was cardio day.   I’ll be honest, I wasn’t feeling it.  I waged a war within myself on the drive in from the office.  Go.  Don’t go.  Go.  Don’t go.  It would be so easy to drive right on past the exit.  Of course, just as I made my mind up not to go, a nagging little voice inside my head said:

“Hey, stupid.  Key West.  Swimsuit. Gym. Go. Now.”

I took the exit, changed and went in search of my favorite spinner.

Ocupado. 

Sigh.

This is one of the drawbacks to exercising in a public gym.  People.  They don’t seem to grasp the unwritten rules I have decreed upon them.  Bike number three is mine. 

Mine. 

Not the dude with the swirly tattoos and flat billed hat. 

Mine.  

Unfortunately, at this stage in my life, society demands that I conduct myself with at least the illusion of decorum.  That means it would be unacceptable for me to pull him off of bike number three and scream “MINE!!!” in his face while kicking him in the stomach.  I will have to make do with shooting him my best stink eye – to which he is oblivious, of course.  

Being a grown-up sucks. 

In spite of the foregoing, people are what get me through days like this when I have absolutely no desire to be sweating like a pig, riding a long imaginary road to nowhere.  Of course, I don’t want to interact with them, just watch them and then only as long as they stay off of my cloud and keep their distance.  Under the right circumstances, it can be a lot like watching lions in their natural habitat from the safety of the covered jeep. Utterly fascinating with a hint of danger.

Now set their movements to music only you can hear and you have workout motivation gold.  It’s better than watching Richard Simmons’ Sweatin’ to the Oldies.  What?  Never heard of Richard Simmons?  Google him.  You’ll never be the same.  My music choices vary from day-to-day, mood to mood.  Some days I’m in the mood for some 80s hair band rock or The Police, other days a little Elvis mixed with a dash of the Beatles and a side of the Stones do the trick.  Today, it’s random shuffle day and up first is Gnarls Barkley’s Smiley Faces.  This song indeed makes me smile – and want to bust out with the Carlton right here in the middle of the gym.  I will refrain for the sake of the children and the elderly.

As I listen to the infectious beat, I settle into the rhythm of the bike (after grudgingly getting on bike number one) and take my first good look around.  It’s like gazing out into the Serengeti, a vast array of specimens lie before me.  All of them going about the business of getting their fitness on in their own special way.  Over in the back corner, you have the predator species better known as the hard-core body builder types.  They prance around their marked territory, grunting and groaning as they pump iron.  No one daring to venture any nearer than necessary.  Until…oh wait…what is this?  My music changes to Britney’s Oops! I Did it Again just as a female wanders into their midst.  Not just any female, either.  It’s my favorite buxom blonde, who I’ve not see in quite some time.  A rare treat, indeed.  It takes them a minute to notice, but slowly, one by one, they become aware of her.  Perhaps because she is now lying supine, legs up and spread wide as she proceeds to do several repetitions on the reclining leg press machine.  Men are such simple and predictable creatures.

In the center of the room, amongst the more user-friendly machines, you will find an eclectic group of grazers.  They are a lot like me – dedicated but not enthusiasts.  Just trying to either lose the bulge or keep the bulge at bay.  For the most part, they aren’t all that interesting to me.  Just drones flitting from machine to machine.  But as Florence & the Machine’s haunting vocals of Howl fill my head, something odd catches my eye.  I do a double take.  Surely my eyes have deceived me.  They haven’t.  Coming towards me, through a space in the crowd is a man – a man who the 1970s have surely thrown up on and he’s failed to notice.  Or maybe he just doesn’t care.  Why else would he consider going out in public with that ridiculous terry cloth sweat band wrapped around his head and those white tube socks pulled up halfway to his crotch?  And, as if that weren’t bad enough – and that alone was pretty frightening – his shorts were on the wrong side of too short, leaving little to the imagination.  Horrified beyond words by this sight, I take a big swig from my water bottle and pray the bitter bile that is tickling the back of my throat will recede.

Forty-five minutes in, I am treated to another Florence & the Machine tune, Drumming Song, and I pick up the pace.  As the sweat streams down my back in earnest now, I catch sight of a class beginning just beyond the glass windows that enclose the room with the dance floor.  An aerobic class with dance overtones, it seems.  They remind me of those little furry rodent things – Meerkats, I think they’re called – all lined up in nice neat rows.  I watch as they begin to move in unison – well almost in unison.  Some are quite coordinated, their movements flowing and graceful.  Others not so much.  They are awkward, stunted even, and struggle to keep up as the intensity of the class builds.  This seems to me to be a classic game of survival of the fittest.  The stronger ones will dominate while the weaker ones are destined to be trampled upon and left for dead in piles of panting goo on the shiny wooden floor.  I shudder at the potential carnage.  I vow to never step foot in that room.  I would surely be picked off by the stronger members of the pack.  A coordinated dancer, I am not.

So, finally the bike’s screen tells me that I’ve accomplished what I didn’t think I could do today.  I’ve made it through the entire hour of spinning.  I wouldn’t say it passed quickly.  An hour is an hour, after all.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider getting off at the thirty minute mark.  But I didn’t and now it’s over.  I head to the locker room to collect my things on legs that feel a little like numb Jell-O – not that I know what numb Jell-O feels like, but I can imagine – feeling quite pleased with myself.  I round the corner and BAM!  I am accosted by a sight that I should be used to, but sadly, I am not.

Naked lady.

Things I’ve learned this week…

My favorite political morning show ends every broadcast with a brief segment called “What We Learned Today”.  I love it.  I thought it would be fun to have a similar thing here on the blog every Friday.  Perhaps nothing of importance to anyone else, but things that have given me pause throughout the week.

_________________________

I learned this week….

Megan at 2 years

…that my sweet-natured ten-year old is quickly blossoming into a mouthy, teenaged nightmare.  They told me it would happen – I knew they were right, but to be smacked full on in the face by it was a little startling. 

…that telling folks that I will be a grandmother around the New Year didn’t cause me to spontaneously combust, though as the words left my lips, I did feel slightly itchy. 

…that watching a certain monumental legal event play out only reaffirmed that our justice system is far from perfect.  Flawed, even.  However, I’d rather live in a country where the burden of proof is on the prosecution – even if that means a murderer might walk free because their defense was able to plant the seeds of reasonable doubt.  Our system of justice, even with its flaws, is much better than the alternative.  I think folks need to take a step back and reflect on that.

that black-crested macaques have a sense of humor and a keen eye for photography.

…that no matter how much I want to, I still can’t watch the Space Shuttle blast off.  Every time I see it perched on the launch pad, I am taken back to that horrible day on January 28, 1986.

that hiking in Yellowstone is still on my list of no-can-dos.

(Getty Images)

What did you learn this week?

Wednesday’s woes.

“Wednesday’s child is full of woe.” – Monday’s Child (nursery rhyme)

“Some days are born bad.” Sweet Thursday, John Steinbeck – Chapter 14, Lousy Wednesday.

Wednesday – that day of the week that falls just before Thursday and right after Tuesday.  I know, you’ve heard that before but now it just makes me smile and think of my friends over at Wikipedia. 

Hump Day.  That’s what they call it around my office.  I suppose it’s because that as of 5 o’clock Wednesday afternoon you’ll have successfully made it up the arduous climb that is the beginning of the week and will be rewarded with an easy descent to fabulous Friday and a weekend of freedom from your labors.  Of course, if you have read my previous blogs you will know that Friday is just a sad, drunk who has been recently murdered by crazy Tuesday.  I guess there’s always Saturday to look forward to, but I think she ran off with Monday and hasn’t come back yet.  I’ll get back to you on that.

As I often do, I wonder what Wednesday is really like beneath all the hype.  There’s a lot of pressure that goes into being the beacon of hope for so many – that point at which the drones finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Has he embraced this role?  Or is he more like Friday, rebelling against expectations by running headlong down a path of self-destruction? 

I like to think of him as the voice of reason in a sea of dysfunction.  A sort of cheerleader/self-help guru, talking the other days down from the ledge, imploring them to make good choices with their lives.  Perhaps he is regarded as a killjoy by the more willful days of the week.  Friday certainly would think of him as a stick in the mud but his girlfriend, Sunday, might be secretly turned on by Wednesday’s unflappable persona. 

But what if Wednesday is indeed a child full of woe?  What if hidden beneath his quick smiles and logical words, lies a deeply wounded soul.  No one would ever suspect. He is the master of the facade having had years to practice it to perfection.  Though, to be fair, it wasn’t all that hard.  The others are enveloped within their own train wreck lives, blind to the pain that lurks behind his eyes.  They take his presence and support for granted, piling their trials and tribulations upon his back, never once thinking that it might all be too much for him.  That he might break beneath the pressure.  

Until that day he does. 

Break.   

Standing on a ledge looking down at the traffic below, Wednesday searches for the strength to go on – one good reason why he shouldn’t take that last step forward right off the edge.  The pain would surely end then, right?  Who would notice if I’m gone?  Who would care?  They certainly wouldn’t, they never had before.  He takes a deep breath and just as he is about to end it all, he hears a noise behind him.  A whisper of words.

“I care.”

He turns to find Sunday, standing there with a gentle smile playing on her lips, her hair blowing in the wind.  She repeats herself and extends a hand.  Wednesday looks at it and then at her face.  He sees the friendship etched there, maybe even something more.  For the first time, he doesn’t feel so alone.  His eyes stray to the ledge beneath his feet, to the street far below – then back to her.  Life is all about choices and he is at a crossroads, unsure of where to go from here.  Then, something blossoms deep within his chest, something he thought long dead.  

He takes her hand. 

And allows her to be the voice of reason in his sea of dysfunction.  

“Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.” Anonymous

 

***During my half-assed research, I found this interesting article which referenced a recent (2009) study that found 25% of suicides occur on Wednesdays.

Now that I’ve thoroughly depressed us all…

Forsaken Friday

“It is bad luck to fall out of a thirteenth story window on Friday”  American Proverb

Indeed.

After much badgering from my devoted followers – all five of them – I’ve decided to continue on with my personality analyses of the days of the week.  Today’s victim – Friday.   

Friday, that day sandwiched between Thursday and Saturday (as always, thank you Wikipedia).  He’s arguably the most beloved day of the week with ardent worshipers numbering in the millions.  They come together to sing his praises with Facebook statuses, cute tweets declaring TGIF, and, of course, with songs.  The Cure fell in love on Friday, Nancy Sinatra proclaimed herself “Friday’s Child” in this bluesy offering, and who can forget tween internet pop “sensation” Rebecca Black’s Friday masterpiece?  You know you know what I’m talking about.  You were just like me – fixated on the YouTube video like a rubbernecker ogling a car wreck on the freeway.

But all this unabashed adoration is misguided.  Friday is perhaps the saddest, most pathetic day of the week, maybe even more so than slutty Tuesday.  Unless you’re Scottish, that is.  It seems Friday is a very good day to plant potatoes in Scotland.  Who knew?  All in all, though, Friday, is bad news.  Just ask any of those camp counselors who thought it was a good idea to go out to Camp Crystal Lake on a Friday.  Didn’t end well for them now, did it?  No, it didn’t – not even after twelve tries.

Friday wasn’t always like this – a pathetic shell of his former self, wreaking havoc throughout the masses.  In fact, he started out life with such hope and promise.  Friday was popular, the star of the Varsity football team with rugged good looks that drove the ladies wild.  At his side, the best wingman a guy could ask for – Thursday.  But as it happens sometimes with these promising young stars that society elevates to God-like heights, it all went to his head.  He became egotistical and cavalier, believing himself invincible and above the rules that governed the common man.  Everyone loved him, after all.  He could do no wrong; and even if he did, Thursday was there to clean up the fallout.

But Karma is a fickle bitch and soon it would all come crashing down around his ears.  First to go was the scholarship to that big ten conference college – a blown knee suffered not on the football field but during a midnight cow tipping prank on Old Mr. October’s farm.  Next to fall by the wayside – his girl, Sunday.  She was a religious girl, holy in her upbringing.  Her father was a reverend at local Episcopalian church.  Friday’s erratic and irresponsible behavior simply could be tolerated no more – it went against everything she believed in.  She broke up with him via text message as she boarded a plane to India to begin a six month pilgrimage to find inner peace.  Emotionally stunted, Friday was ill-equipped to deal with such harsh rejection and thus, turned to drinking to drown his sorrows.  As these things often do, drinking progressed to drunkenness and before you know it, Friday was whoring around with women from Sassy June’s Gentlemen Club every night, leaving a trail of self-destruction in his wake.  It was more than Thursday could handle and so he walked away from his friend, as well.

Now, Friday can be found every night of the week down at the local pub.  His good looks gone, replaced with a body worn and weary from years of hard living and overindulgence.  He sits at the end of the bar, empty beer glasses all around, and waits.  He knows that soon the end of the week will arrive and all of his worshipers will pile into this smoke-filled dive to once again pay homage to the man he used to be – the man they still believe exists.  He will bask in the glow of their adoration, and feel a temporary resurgence of what it had been like all those year ago.  He will walk down memory lane with them and tell exaggerated stories of his wild escapades, relishing in their undivided attention.  He will feel whole once again.

Inevitably, though, the night must end.  His admirers will leave as they are wont to do, and Friday will have to drag his drunk ass home.  As the sun dawns bright and early Saturday morning, he will be awaken by a slamming hangover and the seductive caress of slutty Tuesday wearing a hockey mask and brandishing a bloody machete.

“Revenge is sweet and non fattening.”  Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980).