As is my wont these days, I tend to analyze the question a bit before answering. One of the things living in Europe, especially Eastern Europe, has taught me is how America-centric things are. Now granted, I do spend a fair bit of my time looking at and reading things in English, but still, there’s this huge bias about things which would be incredibly easy to do/see/acquire/accomplish were I in the States, but that become incredibly difficult on this side of the Atlantic.
Not that this has much to do with the question this week, but I have become increasingly sensitive to the subject and thus, when I look at a question like “What are some of your favorite ways to spend a Saturday?”, my first thought is Why Saturday? Obviously, the answer is because it’s the first day of the weekend, your first day free from the scheduled workdays. Now, growing up in Vegas, I already know about this myth, since a very common phrase you’ll hear in town is “my weekend is Tuesday and Wednesday” or some such. You begin to take it for granted that not everyone has the same days off and you just deal with it.
Like when I was in Jr. High School (Kenny Guinn), I was honored as a student of the month one December, and the students of the month all got to attend a luncheon with the principal and various other members of the administration. At this lunch, we all had to go around the table and introduce ourselves and explain why we were there, what we had done to receive the honor. We also had to answer a question about what we would do for the school (we were the good kids after all). Anyway, being this was December, the question we had was “If you were Santa Claus, what you give the students and teachers here at Guinn for Christmas.” See, now I knew the spirit of the question, but being a smart-ass early teen, I also understood that there was a certain bias implied and so my answer (and I went second, right after the principal) incorporated all of those things.
“What would I give the students and teachers at Guinn for Christmas?” I repeated the question. Then thought about it for a long second before answering: “A Jewish awareness program.”
So, back to the question at hand – which I assume means “what are some of your favorite ways to spend your free time?” – and the answer is legion – it contains multitudes.
When I was younger, about the same time I was answering poorly worded and religiously biased questions in school, one of my favorite things to do was spend Saturdays with my Grandpa Al, who would take me for lunch and to visit the comic book store. Honestly, there is nothing an early teenager likes more than explaining their obsession to a grown-up willing to listen. These were certainly salad days!
Later on though, when jobs and other things began to creep in, spending time on a “Saturday” was a treat when it would happen. Even these days, Monki knows that weekends are “not work days” but that doesn’t mean we don’t work. Not having a typical 9-5/M-F job, and having more than one gig anyway, means that there are no specific days off, no Saturdays as it were. So instead, I have to be very specific with myself and plan for days off, to say “today I am not working.”
When those days come around, then, is what we’re actually talking about, right*? So, what do I do on a Saturday? Well, that’s changed over the last few years. When I first moved overseas, and it was just me and Laika, I was able to spend long afternoons laying on the couch, reading or binge watching some TV show or movie? Winter holiday breaks were great for getting through a book or three, often one a day. Been a while since that’s happened, though.
These days, with Rasa and Monki, free time is usually spent with them, taking trips to walk through the woods or down to the water (wherever the water may be – lake, river, ocean – all depending on how far we want to drive). We have our favorites, which have all been nicknamed by Monki.** Or, on the last Sunday of the month, indicated by a child’s drawing of a happy face on the calendar, we have “movie day,” where we make popcorn and watch some sort of film, usually Disney/Pixar and usually Frozen, although yesterday, which was a movie day, we watched Finding Dory to great laughter.
But for me, still, I would love to spend my “Saturday” just watching movies or reading all day. The thought of just sitting on a beach somewhere, watching the water go by, while engrossed in a good book keeps sounding better and better. Not sure I could actually pull it off, though, but I’d certainly love to try! Maybe in a few years, Monki will want to do that, too, or will be willing to experiment a bit with the selections of her films. But until then, I don’t really get all that many Saturdays.
But I’d say the trade-off is worth it.
*you thought I’d forgotten, didn’t you?
** there’s “north mountain,” named for the Frozen site of Elsa’s castle, where we have to climb lots of stairs to get to a mound where a former stronghold stood. Then there’s “cah-künkt” which is a sort of reclaimed swampland where a lot of trees have fallen down, hence the onomatopoeia name.