I wonder about people. I always have. And there are layers to my wonderment. For instance, I don’t just wonder stuff like “Hmm, I wonder if Weird Bob is weird.” I already know that Weird Bob is weird. I already imagine some of the weird things he does when he’s alone, especially seeing the weird things he does when people are around.
So I wonder about more general things like what am I doing with my time off from work?!
For years I worked jobs I
loathed disliked. I’m talking jobs where you couldn’t wait for Friday to show up, to have two consecutive days off. Gosh, Fridays prior to three-day weekends were cause for whistles and balloons and uncontrollable giggling. Well, I’d get home on a Friday after work and sink into the couch and watch television while reading. Two of my favorite things to do simultaneously. Oh, sure, I’d eat, too. Of course I ate. Fridays usually meant something sinful like a slice of red velvet cake from Safeway. (I could spend six minutes eyeballing each individually packaged slice to determine which one had the most cream cheese frosting before purchasing.) Throw in some other miscellaneous carbohydrates and the weekend would be set.
I was a barren spinster for many years so don’t wonder about a boyfriend. CAKE was my boyfriend.
So I’d settle in to the couch with the remote control and a book or stack of magazines and by Sunday had nearly become one with the couch fabric. Oh, it was restful and lazy and lethargic and…boring? Not the act of it all, but I was boring, it seemed.
All those weekends, for years and years, especially as my friends got married and there was less and less hanging out and fewer date nights I had this pervasive thought…
WHAT ARE OTHER PEOPLE DOING ALL WEEKEND?
I would look out of the window and watch cars speeding up Route 50 in Arlington, Va and wonder where in the world were all these people headed to, especially in such a frenzy? (Yep, this is the same street I once saw President Clinton’s motorcade ride through on.) I would hear my neighbors through the walls and wonder what they were up to. I would see people coming and going in the apartment buildings I lived in with bags from the mall and from the grocery store, perhaps with their own cream cheese frosting
All I cared about was relaxing and abolishing thoughts of work from my brain the very moment they appeared. As much as I wondered what others were doing, feeling as if I was missing out on some huge weekend movement, I finally gave up envying them and whatever they were doing. I told myself that surely they weren’t doing anything that special. I mean, there’s only but so much pleasure to fit into a weekend.
Turns out I was right…
FROM NPR (National Public Radio):