The Evolution of *my* Friday Nights

I have a friend (M) who makes me laugh.

She also makes me feel the biggest goober alive.

She picks on my choice of radio station (National Public Radio all day long), she can throw down three glasses of wine to my one and still hold a serious conversation (wait a minute, she's never holding a serious conversation), and she successfully sports heels that rival those of the exotic dancers I used to live with (another story for another time) while I slump around in my very flat flats.

Last Friday she wrote this post describing the morphing of her Friday nights throughout her life. It made me laugh (as usual) but not just because of her sense of humor, but because it made me realize how extremely different we are. If we hadn't worked together for almost a year we would never have met; we run in different circles. She is eight years younger, 4 sizes slimmer, and 87% funner than me.

Here is a run down of our Friday nights over the years:

When she was eight she and a bunch of other little girls were having slumber parties and watching scary movies. When I was eight once in a long while one friend would sleep over. We didn't even have a TV in the early 80s, let alone a device that allowed for watching movies, and as I wasn't even permitted to watch Star Wars as a child, our entertainment was more likely a re-reading of Anne of Green Gables.

At 16, while my dear friend was secretly getting drunk in some sand pit I was driving to Friendly's with my three best friends and getting "drunk" on silly jokes and piles of Mocha Chip Ice Cream. This was only after I had satisfied the family requirement of the after-dinner Bible readings (I'm not kidding).

21 found M drinking legally and figuring out her love life. I was home in the office off my bedroom researching and writing about the French Revolution, Renaissance costumes, Rousseau, and African agricultural progression. I had yet to get drunk, or even close to it, smoke a cigarette, or have sex. I was, however, also figuring out my love life.

M is now 28, mother to a little boy, a homeowner, and almost wife. She has already lived a very full, exciting life and is consequentially full of life. I'm certain the Hannah Montana party she attended this past Friday night was made even more entertaining due to her presence.

By the time I was 28, the brief episode of going out on a Friday night, drinking (but never to oblivion, just to singing very loudly) and surrounded by "friends" was already over. I was home alone watching TV while my fiance worked the 2nd shift. How pathetic!

I am now two months away from 37. Most Friday nights involve attempting to get the kids to bed before I dissolve into a pile of fried nerves and frazzled patience. If I'm lucky, Friday night sometimes includes a walk downtown to the summer street festival to argue over whether the Dora popsicle or hot dog is the best choice for an evening snack. Sometimes Friday night means a "walk" after work with M - we walk all the way to the back deck to share a much-needed bottle of wine while the kids splash in the pool. Once in a while it means an evening with another couple with whom we share conversation and good food. Other times it is a very rare night out alone to the theatre or a restaurant with Hubby. And other times it is a trip my parent's oasis in the country to join with family to talk, eat, play with the chickens and frogs, and just be.

While I don't regret not ever drinking in a sand pit and running from the cops, I do wish I had had more confidence in my former years to get out and have fun. I would like to be more playful, especially with my children. But thanks to M, I am getting to enjoy life in a less serious way once in a while. My life pales in comparison with her "crazy" life but we balance each other out. While I have got her blogging and considering her true dreams, she has taught me to tolerate more than one glass of wine in one sitting. And most importantly she has given me the best gift - laughter!

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Morgan said...

I am soo touched, and so glad that I help bring out your fun side!
See you for our walk on Friday!

Riella said...
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Anonymous said...

I'm only 26, but my Friday nights sound a whole lot more like yours than your friend's! On a good Friday night I get the kiddos off to bed by 8 PM and I get to unwind by playing the Sims as a special treat after a long week. ;) Seriously though, I'm happy with my life (mostly!) and don't miss going out at all. What I find makes my day is to pamper myself as much as possible. Baths, reading for fun, trashy TV shows (streamed online, of course, we don't have actual TV...) and the like. Oh, and I totally listen to NPR! How's that for 26? =P The only downside is that it's a bit hard to make friends being a "boring" mother at my age instead of being a typical carefree twentysomething... Everyone like me is older and everyone my age is not my cup of tea for company. Go figure...