Ahh … Friday

9 Sep

Is there anyone on the planet that doesn’t love Fridays?  Seriously … I can’t imagine that there is.

It is fun to think about what Friday means to different folks, but at the same time, the common theme is “ahh … end of the week.”

…  In elementary school, it’s no more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks.

… In high school, especially this time of year, it’s that plus, it’s GAME DAY!  I loved Fridays in high school – the football players roaming the halls wearing their game day jerseys, the cheerleaders in their cheerleading outfits.  Being in band, we’d start the day at 6:15 AM for marching band practice, which we’d end with marching into the school and down the hallways as people were arriving, playing the school loyalty song and other pump up music.  Usually a pep rally assembly during the day, and of course game night!  And perhaps a late date with the girlfriend afterwards for pizza and fun.

… In college, Friday night was date night usually – when I had a girlfriend, which was my wife Robin during Jr. and Sr. year.  Otherwise, it was the night you went out with friends to the bars – several of the bars had live music or club-style DJ dancing.  During football season, we often laid low on Friday nights as we knew we’d be up early for game day fun and tailgating.  My parents would often come in overnight for games (they came to every Iowa home game and tailgated), and we’d go out to dinner and then hit the Iowa City bars together.

… After college, in our early marriage years before kids, it was the night we’d go out with friends to bars or clubs either in the suburbs or downtown.

… with kids, Friday night was always the “chill from the week” night – hang at home, catch up on TV or conversation, rent a movie, etc.  “Sitter nights” were usually Saturday nights.

… As a working stiff, though Fridays are always either really slow, or really frenetic.  There’s rarely anything in between.  If it is slow, it is because it’s been a pretty big week, client deliverables have been met, and it’s a day to get caught up – clear the inbox, do the expense report, set appointments for next week, plan next week’s work, etc. etc.  OR, it’s the opposite – it’s the day the clients call with 20 requests, a big project you’ve been working on for weeks is due by EOD (end of day), etc. etc.  Hopefully, in either case, you can knock off a bit early, and join friends for a beer or cocktail at the end of the day.  Or just hustle home and start the weekend a few moments early.

At my current workplace, iCrossing, it fits that pattern, though as an office, the Friday pace of the Chicago office of iC is usually quite slow.  Thankfully, our company has a great policy for working from home and supports a culture of that, at least for my department, client services.  There are a lot of folks that “WFH” on Fridays, so the office is pretty quiet and empty.    I happen to be going into the office today as I have meetings, but I know I’ll catch an earlier train than normal home today because I can.

For me now, Fridays are a combination of religious observance and relaxation.  In religious observance, it is Shabbat in my worship of choice, Judaism.  Most Friday nights, we will have a family Shabbat dinner – candles, prayers over the wine and bread, great cooking, food and conversation.  Occasionally, we will share that with friends – our good friends “Beavis” and his wife “The Other Robin” are coming for an adult Shabbat dinner.  When we were active in a synagogue, we’d go to services a couple of Friday nights a month, usually after having Shabbat dinner with friends.  Our current worship group meets occasionally on Friday nights for Shabbat dinner and prayer.

We have a great group of friends that we often get together with on Fridays for what we call “MOC” – that stands for “Martini O’ Clock” – as in ‘what time is it?”  The MOC group’s origin is interesting – back when our kids were little, I’d get together with my buddies after 9:00 PM at night on Friday nights or other nights for a late beer and cigar – often by the firepit.  My late pal, DP, was my most-often guest, as well as other friends like Greg, and in the last 8 years or so, “GASHM”.   DP passed away the week before we moved to our current place, and all our friends pitched in to help us pack that last week – coming by a 9:00 for Martini’s and packing and grieving.  That gave birth to the MOC group – as we didn’t want to let go of that gathering.

Now the MOC group consists of a decent sized group of friends that gather once a month or more at one house or another, after 9:00 PM for martinins, wine, beer, brown stuff, noshes and spirited conversations.  It is part religious (as we are all Jewish) – the “proscribed” celebration for Shabbat is to gather with friends.  I’m

sure when whoever was writing that portion of the Torah described Shabbat, they weren’t imagining what we do, at the same time, my Rabbi pal next door thinks what we do is a blessing – it is a chance to gather with friends, converse and relax.  Most of us do observe Shabbat – often folks are joining MOC straight from Friday night services, and so the gathering just helps carry the observance forward.

Whatever Friday means to you, I wish you an enjoyable one.  May your Friday Night Lights – whether they be stadium lights or Shabbat candles, burn brightly for you this evening.  Shabbat Shalom.

As you were,

Stew

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One Response to “Ahh … Friday”

  1. Lois Cox September 14, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    Very good, Stewart.

    Charlie (our dog) is always glad to have us just stay home with him. He’s a very social dog.

    We just returned from Pittsburgh so I’m a little slow at responding.

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