I have a friend who faithfully posts on Facebook: “It’s da weekend, baby!” When I see it, I “like” it, but it goes beyond that—it’s seeped into my subconscious. Often I wake up Friday morning, and, in the bleary-eyed process of trying to figure out what day it is, suddenly think to myself: “It’s da weekend, baby!”
For as long as I’ve known the days of the week, I’ve loved Friday the best. When I was a kid, Friday night often meant eating at Dandy’s Deli or Pizza Hut, maybe getting a quarter to play Ms. Pacman with my sister. Then, when I got old enough to be dropped off, Friday night meant roller skating the night away to “Mony Mony” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
In junior high I had a pair of Guess jeans, which I wore to school every Friday—special occasion attire in my book. My sister and I shared a Guess logo sweatshirt, which I wore pretty much every other Friday. If my special jeans were in the dirty laundry, I would not know which way to turn. Because Friday was a weekly holiday.
My mom had different feelings toward Friday. No need to dress up, no need to do emergency laundry—Friday is for getting by, eking out the last day of the school week with minimal effort. Bad hair day? Wear a ponytail—it’s Friday. Can’t find your homework? Ask the teacher for an extension—it’s Friday. It’s like she misunderstood everything that was sacred about Friday.
Imagine my excitement as a kid when I learned there was a restaurant called TGI Fridays! My friend brought me a pair of giveaway sunglasses, red and white striped, with the TGI Fridays logo on each side. I wish I still had them.
Back then my family never ate at Fridays, despite its awesome name. Friday nights were all about Casa Gallardo, where I’d pretend we were eating al fresco on a quaint plaza in a Mexican resort town. To this day, I feel a pang of sadness when I hear mariachi music, knowing I will never again enjoy Casa Gallardo chips and salsa on a Friday night, or any night.
I feel a special kinship to my “It’s da weekend, baby!” friend because I, too, think Friday is a day for celebration. I used to feed our dog Sparky a special Friday evening meal of Cesar Savory Delights Filet Mignon dog food. He grew fat. And he grew to love Friday.
My daughter continues the Friday night festivities tradition. She calls it “Rookie Night,” which is fine, although I’m not sure what it means. A few Fridays ago as I picked her up from school, her teacher waved and said, “Have a great Rookie Night!” I wondered if I should tell her Rookie Night is just our name for dinner at Five Guys or Chick-Fil-A, then watching a movie together, usually Barbie-related. (I read Entertainment Weekly during the movie. Can’t tolerate Barbie animation.) Never mind—“Rookie Night” has more than enough charm.
Like the name “Rookie Night,” my attachment to Friday is not rational. It’s entirely emotional. Friday, to me, suggests a world of possibility.
Don’t get me wrong: Saturday’s great, and Sunday always comes too late. But Friday never hesitates . . . to holler, “It’s da weekend, baby!”