Saturdays Of Thunder
The title isn't original (its actually the episode title of one of my favorite Simpsons episodes) but it seemed fitting to the content.
Yesterday, I spent the bulk of the day working like a fucking mule to finish painting my home, fixing the random little things I said I would have fixed months ago, and trying my gosh-darndest to not fall asleep. Welcome to my average, run-of-the-mill Saturday.
Not every Saturday is this mind-numbingly boring, mind you. Sometimes we go to the Farmer's Market and get some fresh vegetables and stuff....or I'm working a 12 hour shift either in the morning or the evening, so that tends to take up a lot of my time. Sound like fun?? It isn't. It never is.
Saturday used to be my favorite day of the week. As a kid, it was the one day where getting up early had a ton of benefits to it. An early awake time on Saturday morning for me used to involve hours upon hours of good cartoons (Spider-Man, The Tick, X-Men, Life With Louie), late-morning-to-mid-afternoon trash sitcoms for the teen generation (Saved By The Bell, City Guys, Hang Time....god they sucked!!) and all the Sugar Crisp my little belly could handle. During the winter months (January to approximately August here in Canada) I'd play hockey, then return home to watch previously mentioned TV shows (taped for my return) or hit-up a decent breakfast at Tim Hortons. Afternoons were filled with fun outside with friends, endless marathons of Nintendo playing, or simply reading a decent comic book and taking a three hour nap. The evenings were awesome because Saturday was normally pizza night, or hamburger night, or some other fun and wonderful food you weren't allowed to have mid-week. The evenings were filled with the watching of rented movies or a trip out to the local ballfield to catch a game or two. It didn't matter what you did; Saturday was always the best day of the week.
As I got older and got a part-time job, Saturday's still held a special spot for me. Yeah, you'd have to work most Saturday mornings (Tim Hortons baby!!!!), but you could still make it home in time for a few episodes of Saved By THe Bell: The New Class (how long did Dustin Diamond stick with that trainwreck, anyway?!?) and watch some semi-decent fishing shows before the afternoon replay of a Liverpool game started. The nights were amazing. A night out on the town with your pals, catching a movie or raising hell in the downtown core---it didn't matter. Underage drinking, the smoking of illegal substances and the general throwing of caution to the wind with your own personal safety and well-being made for an evening. As I aged a bit, parties and girls and cars and large quantities of booze and bar hopping played a big role.....all on a Saturday.
Eventually, time caught up with me. I graduated high school, got a "real job" and started going out less and less. The mass dating scene morphed into the relationship scene without my really noticing it, the nights out at the bars became less frequent and the nice quiet evenings in became the norm. I'd still get together with friends, but by this point in our lives, we were all more-or-less in the same situation. Life had caught up to us and slapped a giant, heavy pair of grown-up shackles on our wrists. God knows what that fucker did with the key, because I still feel the weight of them on me.
I enjoy my life now. Don't misunderstand that. I've got a fantastic kid, another on on the way, a great (dare I say it???) wife, a fantastic home I've earned myself, a career, and a future. But, every now and then, and not coincidentally on a Saturday, I find myself looking back on all the things I used to do and I feel a sense of longing. Maybe its the whole getting older bit, maybe its the fact that most Saturday evenings I'm either working or sitting on the sofa by myself by 10:00 wathcing movies, but I feel like something once important to me has been lost forever.
So, last night I made a decision. The wife and kid were off this morning to go visit some family, and after an Oscar worth performance of how terrible my stomach felt and how they should go on without me, I decided to recapture some of my Saturday's lost. Sunday is better than no day, right? This morning after they left I went to the grocery store and got a giant box of Sugar Crisp, some shitty canned pasta for lunch, and a pile of sugar-y treats for the day. I ate almost the entire box of cereal, watched a pile of TV, threw on a few nestalgic movies (Ninja Turtles, Drop Dead Fred, The Wizard) and cranked my guitar amp to eleven and played to my heart's content. Ironically, the only song I could remember to play 100% start to finish was "Story Of My Life" by Social Distortion. (Download it NOW if you don't know this song!!) I sat, I ate, I went into a vegetative state staring at a screen, and I played my guitar kick-ass loud. The end result: I felt fantastic....except for a mid-afternoon stabbing of pain in my stomach from all the cereal and candy.
I had a good day today. It's been a long time coming.
For any of you who fall into this little category of living, I strongly suggest taking one day (maybe a Saturday!) to yourself and re-claiming some of the fun you used to have. I'd forgotten what a weekend was like without the nagging responsibilities growing old hands us.
...now I have to run my ass around the house and clean up; the little lady will kill me if she sees the mess I've made.
Cheers, and thanks for reading,
-The Big Bad