I dreaded Mondays when I was in high school. Not for the typical reasons that most kids (and, well, adults) dread Mondays (the whole having to start a whole week over again), but because of the question.
The "what did you do this weekend?" inquisition that was par the course for Monday mornings in homeroom.
I hated admitting that I hadn't actually done anything social that weekend -- that the only thing I'd done other than studying and running a track meet was renting a movie with my parents.
"Yeah.... we made it a Blockbuster night," I'd say, my cheeks burning with shame as I pretended (unsuccessfully) to act like it was no big deal that I was whittling away my teenage years parked on the couch at home.
I was always impossibly jealous of my classmates who were doing the kind of things that normal high schoolers did -- going to the mall in mass groups, watching American Pie at an actual theatre and chugging beers at the house parties I was never invited to. I couldn't wait to graduate, go to college and finally be part of a social scene that did not revolve around my parents.
This might explain why I elected to go to school 2,000 miles away from them.
Some where along the line of playing "flip cup" at house parties and going to the Century 12 Evanston Theatre for study breaks, however, I started to miss those "lame" nights spent at home with my family. I distinctly remember one evening in particular when I called my mom while my brothers and future sister-in-law were over for dinner. She was making salmon -- my favorite -- and I could hear all of them chatting and laughing in the background. My heart stung with longing. Suddenly I was desperately jealous of my brothers that got to be home with parents while I was stuck in Chicago going to yet another football party.
Suddenly spending time with my family didn't seem so lame. When I graduated college a couple years later, it was one of the reasons that I immediately moved back to Southern California. I wanted to be able to see my parents and brothers on the weekends. I wanted to be able to tell people I'd had a "Blockbuster night" with my mom and dad when they'd asked me what I'd done on my Saturday night.
Tomorrow when I go to work, I won't feel any shame when I reveal what I did on my Memorial Day weekend. I'll be excited to tell my co-workers that I drove down to my brother and sister-in-law's house down in Rancho Santa Margarita. I'll gush about the artichoke heart and caramelized onion bruschetta my brother made. I'll rave about the grilled steak he served over corn puree, and the braised chard that some how rivaled creamed spinach in decadence. And my cheeks won't burn with embarrassment when I tell them how much fun my family and I had drinking wine, inhaling the platter of brownies I'd baked, and chasing my two-year-old niece around the house while she shrieked with joy.
In my mind, there's no better way to spend a Sunday night. Good food and good wine with the best company -- the people who loved me even when I was a painfully awkward track dork that nobody wanted to invite to their parties.