Last Saturday, I experienced something I’d been looking forward to since March 2020 – I had the house to myself for 14 hours! If you read my blog, It could always be worse (the modern day version), you’ll remember I described the suffocating feeling of being under one roof constantly for months on end and finally grew to appreciate the small moments alone. While I still do appreciate those small moments, I hadn’t had any extended time to myself in nearly 21 months. So, when Dan decided to visit his parents with Ryan overnight on December 4 – coincidentally, the same Saturday Jordan would be away for a theatre conference until 11pm, I could hardly contain my excitement. (Confession: I may have had a little [i.e. a lot] to do with encouraging that date alignment!)
I daydreamed for weeks how I’d spend the time – catching up on weekly shows while drinking coffee on the reclining sofa in the morning; binging Squid Games on Netflix in the afternoon; reading a book with a glass of wine in hand in the early evening; ordering whatever food I wanted for dinner; and going to sleep on the early side to finally catch up some Zzzs. In other words, a completely lazy day. I planned to meet my sister, Marni, for brunch early and had to quickly return a few sweaters at a store not far from the restaurant, but otherwise, the goal was to enjoy my quiet house.
Saturday morning, we were up bright and early to drop Jordan off at school for his 7:15 am bus to the conference. Dan and Ryan were ready to go by 9:15, and I enthusiastically wished them a safe trip and ushered them out the door. After locking the door behind them, I looked around the room with a big smile. Here we go!
I watched A Million Little Things for 30 minutes, while drinking delicious cinnamon vanilla coffee (the day was off to a great start) and then left to meet Marni at the diner. We had fun updating each other on our lives, and toward the end of our breakfast, I asked for a refill of the pumpkin coffee I’d been drinking. Marni was telling me how expensive Moulin Rouge tickets are in New York ($250!), and I threw my hands up in surprise and said, “That’s insane! It’s what we paid for Hamilton tickets!” At that moment, my hand connected with my coffee cup, and the coffee spilled everywhere – the seat, my jeans, and my grandmother’s pretty purple jacket, which I had inherited and just started wearing. I was soaked, and even after a server brought me a bunch of napkins, my jeans were still wet, and I wanted to get the jacket to the dry cleaner so it would be wearable again. I also now reeked of pumpkin coffee. This began my downfall to the perfect lazy day.
What should have happened: We paid the bill, I went to the dry cleaners, and I then went home to enjoy the rest of the day. The sweater return could wait for the following weekend.
What actually happened: In wet jeans, I drove the seven minutes to White House Black Market. I didn’t want to find the time to make that trip another day, because the store was much closer to the diner than my house. Walking in, I immediately relaxed, looking at all of the pretty clothes. I hadn’t been in a White House store since before the pandemic. I returned the sweaters and looked around, thinking it would be nice to just try on a few things and get out of the jeans for a short time. I could also use some new shirts.
Forty minutes later, I had tried on half the store and was walking away with a pair of black jeans. Cute black jeans – but just jeans and no shirts. Maybe Loft, which was right next door, would have a few shirts. Thirty minutes after that, I exited Loft empty handed.
Now, I was determined to find a shirt to wear with the black jeans. The store next to Loft had to have something. I tried on a few of their shirts with a pair of beige-ish jeans. Guess what I left that store with? The jeans and only the jeans. (In my defense, I didn’t have any in that color.) I guess new shirts were not meant to be. On the positive side, my original jeans had dried, and the pumpkin smell was less intense.
Time to go to the dry cleaner’s, get home, and start my day.
What should have happened: I stopped at the dry cleaner’s, which I passed by on the way home.
What actually happened: As I was approaching the dry cleaners, I remembered I had a dress at home that also needed cleaning for an upcoming Bat Mitzvah. It probably made more sense to go home, get the dress, and bring the dress and jacket over together.
While digging around in my closet for the dress, I became very bothered at how cluttered the closet was. There were shoes, scarves, and bags everywhere. It would be nice to have a clean closet floor.
What should have happened: I ignored the mess (it’s not like it hadn’t been messy for weeks – it could wait until another time), went to the dry cleaner’s and then came home to start my day.
What actually happened: I cleaned out the closet (of course! I’m sure you could see that one coming). In the process, I decided to organize all of my winter clothes by color, so I could more easily find things. After finishing that and complimenting myself on how nice the closet looked, I took out the new jeans from the store bags to put them away, still annoyed with not finding any shirts earlier.
What should have happened: I put the jeans away, went to the dry cleaner’s and started my relaxing day.
What actually happened: I decided to try on about 10 shirts with each pair of jeans. During the cleaning process, I’d found some shirts I hadn’t worn for awhile, so putting them on with the jeans felt kind of like wearing new outfits.
Thirty minutes later, I was finally at the dry cleaners. I dropped off the jacket and dress and came home, ready to sit on the couch for a few hours. The first thing I saw in the living room, however, was Ryan’s Oculus, which he got for Hanukkah with his gift money. I had played with it briefly when setting it up for him, but hadn’t had a chance to try it since. Ryan was on it whenever I had a free minute to play.
What should have happened: I ignored the Oculus and camped out on the couch for the remainder of the afternoon that was quickly disappearing.
What actually happened: I decided to try the Oculus for a quick 15 minutes. After all, Ryan only had a few free apps at that point, so how long would it take to get the VR experience? (What’s wrong with me? There is no quick Oculus experience!) Two hours later, including 30 minutes of creating an avatar, which I still don’t really like and have to fix at some point, I had gone fishing, sat around a campfire, and taken trips to France, the Arctic, and space, among other things. And, I’d hung out with dinosaurs in Jurassic World. It was pretty cool, although the headset kept moving and making things blurry, so I had to constantly adjust it.
At this point, I was a little hungry (shopping, cleaning closets and VR travel will do that to you) and wanted a snack. I had a craving for Jordan’s spicy chips and after eating too many of those, I knew I needed to exercise. The sun would be setting soon, so I changed into sweats to take a brisk walk before it got dark.
What should have happened: The exercise. Always the exercise.
What actually happened: The exercise – I walked for an hour and have no regrets on this deviation from the day!
After I got home and showered, it was time to (finally) watch Squid Games. I opened a bottle of wine and quickly got hooked on the show. It’s very violent – but addicting – and it reminded me a little of The Hunger Games. I ate a delicious Poke bowl and continued to watch episodes until Jordan came home at 11:15.
What should have happened: I went to bed and saved the remaining episodes for another day, remembering my plans to catch up on sleep.
What actually happened: I finished the season. Possible spoiler alert, but I really don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying 1) the marbles episode was a tear jerker; 2) I had actual nightmares about walking on regular vs tempered glass; and 3) the twist at the end was definitely a surprise. Bring on season 2!
Sunday I woke up a little tired and talked about Squid Games with Jordan, who had binged it weeks ago. I got through some house stuff, and Dan and Ryan came home around lunchtime.
“I’m really glad you had a weekend to yourself,” Dan said, after he had unpacked. “I hope you enjoyed it.”
I realized I had. Despite the constant distractions all day, it was nice to have that time for me, and I was now even more appreciative of family time.
The weekend began with a spill and ended that way. We went to dinner Sunday night with my parents, and I excitedly began to share something (I can’t remember the topic) with them.
What should have happened: I told them the story without hand gestures, remembering the coffee incident.
What actually happened: I threw my hands in the air, knocked my glass over, and spilled red wine all over my dad’s Eagles sweatshirt.
Sorry, Dad! I hope it came out. If not, I owe you a new shirt. Maybe the boys will go away again soon, and I can plan another ‘me’ day. And when that happens, I’ll be sure to make shopping for you a part of it!