I love the weekend. It took me about twenty-five years to love Sundays, but at some point, about the point when I realized that Sunday did not necessarily mean an angry drunk bullying and bellowing and generally making my stomach hurt, I lightened up and began to enjoy it, too. Now Sunday has earned its rightful place cushioned up next to Saturday as 'the weekend', not as a day to test that my survival instincts are operating at peak performance, and so I have two full days of pleasantness, generally. And Friday nights will always feel full of promise to me, I think, like the way they did in college, as my friends and I planned our exploits (shop! parties! bars! shop! parties! bars!) and were seldom disappointed.
These days, I loathe shopping, I can't remember the last time I was in a bar, and parties are rare. My weekends are usually comprised, in the warm months, of running around like the proverbial kid at the candy store, sampling madly, dipping my hands into the bins. I have a quaintly low-tech (actually it's more like no-tech) date book that I carry in my bag and have filled with notes. Garfield Park Conservatory Country Fair, 10:00 - 4:00. Free Day at Field Museum. Renegade Craft Fair. I do not discriminate or use common sense judgment when I'm jotting these down as many conflict and are not convenient to one another: I simply want to record them as possibilities and prioritize them when the time is right. Sorting out our weekend days often goes something like this,
Me: So there's an art fair in Lakeview Saturday.
John: I also want to see Mucca Pazza. Remember?
Me: They're playing for free next weekend at the Wabash thingy.
John: Don't we have the vegan family pic-
Me: They play early, like 2:00. I don't know - I wrote it down. Anyway, it's early. We can do both.
John: Cool. So we can do that then.
Me: Yeah. But I'm not sure about the Lakeview thing. Might be lame. I also want to take [our son] to Wicker Park because he's been talking about the playground there.
John: Well, we can do that and just hop on the Blue Line and transfer downtown.
Me: I know, but there's also this free festival on Chicago so that's close to Wicker Park and I wanted to stop at Quimby's anyway.
John: So why don't we just do that?
Me: We should. What if the Lakeview thing isn't lame, though?
Weekends in Chicago in the warm months try their darnedest to make up for the harsh reality that awaits us in January. They're so damn cheerful, these bright yellow smiley faces of warm days, and I take as much in as possible, basking in the radiance like I can store it for that brutal, gray Saturday when the sooty snow is up to my knee and we can't get out of the garage without a half-hour of shoveling. On those days, you may as well stay home and try to organize your basement, make a book with your son, dream about palm trees. When autumn folds into winter and then spring, I am generally more productive and I embrace that productivity fully when the time is right. I have piles of writing projects to dive into and that feels right when the snow is pressing in on me.
For now, though, it is warm so I am on the move. It's closing in on us, though.