It’s Friday evening, there’s a delicious cool in the air, and at 8.30, we’re all, yes, in bed, in various stages of
a) reading books–Samira turning the pages in Daniel Pinkwater’s The Artsy Smartsy Club;
b) peacefully rejuvenating (at 6.30, the baby gave in after a relatively napless day and after a few whimpers closed her eyes);
c) taking a rest, fully clothed, managing to get out the phrase, “Wake me so we can watch a video…” before drifting into sleep (that’d be my husband; he’ll wake up in a few hours); and
d) me, typing away, at this entry, yes, and typing up some notes for a new book. Next up as I type: the week’s to-do list, crafted with best intentions last Sunday evening, though we’d all agree that being just one week behind on email and to-do’s is actually pretty good. And after that, I’ll be entering changes to last Sunday’s finding-organization-in-life innovation: the grocery list. Basic, yes, but I’ve rarely used one. After a rejuvenating walk in the woods with my friend Mary, she left me with yet another of her working-mom household tips: keep an actual shopping list. The tip was two-part: list in hand, use online grocery delivery, in our case, Genuardi’s.com, which for a mere $9.95 will show up at your home, truck your groceries up seven steps, long haul it from the front door all the way down the hall to your kitchen table, smile, apologize for unintentionally waking the baby by ringing the door bell, make small talk, and refuse all attempts to tip. There’s a learning curve, definitely, and I still needed to step in to the local coop for fruits and vegetables, but I do say, Internet food delivery is once again saving my life. As a British friend once wryly replied when I congratulated him on a spinach lasagna he prepared and served us for dinner at his home in Brighton, “Good cooking is all about shopping.” And for shopping, apparently, I’m learning at age 42, a list can be indispensable.
It’s as cozy as pie. We used to wonder about this early-to-bed on Friday habit. Until two weeks ago. I had picked Samira up at school. The day was warm, and I got to talking with one of the dads at the playground. He was there with his two daughters. I looked at Samira, who was at that moment on the rainbow climber with her friend Jackie, not climbing, not hanging by one knee. No, the two friends were lounging on the top, with body languages that spoke of nothing but languid exhaustion.
Friday tired, I explained to the new dad, who, it turned out, had quit a corporate job to become a writer. My daughter’s Friday tired, the sort of tired you get just because it’s week’s end and you can finally let yourself feel it. He liked the phrase, as did I.
Now when we all crash before 9 pm, when eyelids slip despite our best intentions to watch DVD’s or be cultural, read a book or even settle in to a nice marital conversation, I understand it. We’re not losers. We’re not nerdy (well, perhaps a tad). We’re just Friday tired, and taking good care of ourselves.