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Five days in a row you’ve woken up at the crack of dawn and dragged your sorry ass into work. Five days in a row you’ve mainlined subpar coffee (because your office refuses to buy the good shit) and completed mundane tasks assigned to you in exchange for money – which goes towards rent, miscellaneous bills, groceries, bar tabs, and illegal drugs.
But now the clock is winding down. It’s a Friday, and a familiar feeling hits your stomach. It’s one part excitement and one part indecision.
It’s nearing 5:00 p.m. and your body, depleted from sitting in a cube for 40 straight hours, is begging you for rest and relaxation. You tap your foot against the ground dreaming of making it home and getting those khakis off that you’ve worn into the office three days in a row. Your knee moves up and down, up and down, up and down to the beat of something pulsing through your headphones. Maybe it’s Prince, maybe it’s Carly Rae Jepsen. I don’t know what you’re into. Your eyes, hawk-like, watch the hands of the clock on the wall move as if stuck in molasses.
A pizza or maybe some takeout from that Tex-Mex place you like around the corner and somewhere between one and three ice cold beers sounds amazing, but so too does that invitation from your buddy to go out on the town and paint it a dark shade of red.
It’s a difficult thing to cope with, this Friday evening malaise. I used to go out Thursday, Friday, Saturday no problem, but I also used to think that I loved my ex-girlfriend and that “putting on airs” was buying a case of Bud Light, so take that information as you will.
Nowadays, I can do two nights in a row if I’m really feeling myself, but there is a barrier for entry on Friday nights that does not exist on a Saturday.
You can sleep in on Saturday and let the day come to you. On a Friday, you have to wake up and go to work and then somehow coax your mind and body into thinking that they aren’t exhausted.
It all starts with the invitation to go to bar with a few coworkers. “C’mon, it’s Friday,” they’ll say to you on gchat or Slack. You know that if you go out immediately following work there’s no way you make it home before midnight. For me, this Friday night hump comes right in between the last few minutes of work and deciding whether to go home or just head to the bar and see how things play out. It is the most dangerous game.
Going out in your work clothes is awful, but catching a buzz instead of going home sounds delightful, so you take them your friend up on that offer of a few laughs and a happy hour, foregoing the Friday night takeout and movie in favor of debauchery.
Something happens to your psyche when you throw your inhibitions to the wind after work on Friday. At first, you’ve got this nagging feeling in the back of your head that hitting the bar straight from the cubicle is a bad idea. And it is a bad idea.
No nap? No post-work shower? No homemade meal to save money? This is lunacy. But after two domestics, those worrisome feelings fall by the wayside. You order some shitty (albeit delicious) bar food.
You convince yourself after breaking the seal (also known as the first piss of the evening) that you look fine in your work clothes. Those khakis will and VV button down will play. And then before you know it, the lock screen on your iPhone reads 11:30 pm, and you’re asking your table what the next move is. It’s Friday night, and you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. .
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