It’s 5:01 p.m. on Hump Day and your car is already pulling out of the company lot. You’re almost done with the workweek, and yet it feels like Friday is a Twinkie being dangled in front of a fat kid on a treadmill. Your after-work agenda is probably focused around one of these activities:
1. Grocery shopping.
You’ve had an empty fridge for three days. You gave serious thought to just unplugging the refrigerator, selling it and using the profit to justify why you eat out four nights a week. But a pretty easy workweek has got you to the store today and you feel like a champ. Adding an extra 30 minutes before you get home? No sweat. Shelling out $64 for groceries? Tough to swallow. Just as you’re loading the bags you over-packed in the self-checkout line into your car, it hits you. Was that a half marathon or a Costco? You suddenly are so exhausted. Way too exhausted to cook any of that food you just bought. Chipotle is on the way home. What’s an extra $7 on top of that tab? Heck, drop the $1.90 for guacamole. You’ve earned it.
2. Cook a meal.
You, sir or ma’am, are on a roll. An already stocked fridge and ambition to boot. Maybe you finally got sick of Easy Mac. Maybe that chicken is about to go bad. Perhaps you actually knew the answer to a question your boss asked you. Regardless of the motivation, you’re about to Google a recipe way out of your league and take a hack at it. Heck, you might even have Top Chef on in the background. 25 minutes later, you’ve cooked a meal so dry and tasteless that you have to make a note to swing by Chic-fil-A tomorrow to restock on ketchup. All that effort—25 minutes to cook, 25 seconds to devour. Keep your head up, though. Take a few nights off, and get back to jamming in the kitchen. At some point you’ll make something good enough to serve in an elementary school cafeteria. Grade D is still edible, after all.
3. Happy Hour.
You don’t even swing home to shower. You’re at the local Chili’s by 5:10 with a drink in your hand and a triple dipper on the way. It’s been a long week already, and you need to release some stress in the least dangerous way possible—slugging back alcohol at a marginally reduced price. You meet up with some friends you’re not forced to work with all day, and take a few shots. Next thing you know, you wake up in the suit you wore to work yesterday, ten minutes past your alarm. You really should’ve swung home and taken that shower last night, because right now it’s looks like you had a domestic dispute with Chris Brown. Your long week just got a whole lot longer.
4. Get drunk and watch Netflix.
It’s five o’clock somewhere. And that somewhere is your coach with a meat lover’s pizza and the first two seasons of Parks and Rec. For the last eight hours of sitting around and doing nothing at work, you’ve been looking forward to coming home to sit around and do nothing. And get drunk. You’ve had a pretty typical week at the office. Which totally justifies the 1.5L wine bottle that you’re going to polish off. The financial manager in you budgeted out a medium sized pizza to last three meals, but a bottle of wine in the tank convinces you all of that must be in you right now. All in all, it’s a pretty romantic, even if you are by yourself.