It’s Friday morning, and the house is full of the feeling that something good is just around the corner. Nothing is, of course: I have no plans for tonight, tomorrow brings no particular respite from the daily round, the weekend provides no special bookmark in the text of my life, these days. Well, there is the adults-only session of Stake Conference on Saturday night, I guess. Still, though, Friday tastes good, like movies and loud music and books and beds and restaurants and release. Yeah, you could say I’m in love.
When I was in elementary school, my mother would take us to the public library after school every Friday. I’d ransack the Nancy Drew shelf, then install myself in bed at home to binge on my plucky, perspicacious heroine. I’d usually finish off one book by bedtime. I think the particular Friday flavor I still love steeped in those long, nutritious afternoons. In high school, though, Fridays became treacherous: suddenly one had to acquire “plans” for the evening, or risk the indignity of a Friday night at home. Blessedly, I arranged a regular babysitting gig many Friday nights, thereby delivering me from domestic indignity. But on those Fridays when I did manage to secure a spot in a roaming covey of teenagers, my pride and pleasure was delicious indeed.
In college the regular cadence of the week loosened a bit, as the square bloc of 8:00-3:00 classes broke up into floating bits and pieces. But Friday still tasted like Friday—with the added delicacy of the Friday night date. To wake up on Friday morning, aware that one has the entire day to contemplate one’s outfit and drop casual references to “my date tonight,” is to know one of life’s sweeter satisfactions—particularly if one happens to have a dateless roommate with a well-stocked closet. By our junior year, my friends and I had developed a sacred weekend ritual—one night in the library until the midnight music sounded, one night out until the club closed–that only a date could disrupt. Or a mission, of course. In the mission field, a stern weekly rhythm reasserted itself—but now Wednesday (the day before p-day) became the new Friday. No matter which route we chose, the Wednesday night walk home took us through Elysium: fatigue, disappointment, ill-feeling all dissipated into the open space of tomorrow’s freedom.
My first daughter was born, five days overdue, on a Friday; “Friday’s child is loving and giving,” they say. That was, without question, the most desired and awaited Friday of my life–five days doesn’t sound like much, unless you’re having contractions every five minutes—and it was also, abruptly, the last. Infants are unacquainted with the flavors of the week, and, in truth, are pretty uninterested in any of the temporal rhythms that structure the universe. (Four years later, my daughter still wakes up four nights out of seven.) Friday is no different from Tuesday or Saturday for us, particularly now that my husband works on a ten-day cycle. I do make fish for dinner on Fridays, but I’m not sure my kids have picked up on this yet. And somehow the after-smell of salmon in the kitchen isn’t quite how I remember that Friday flavor.
But Friday mornings always smell sweet, and every Friday morning dawns a summer day. Friday, I’m still in love.