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Suburban Island

Friday is not Fun Day
Friday, Apr. 02, 2004, 5:08 p.m.

QUESTION: Who couldn't use a little extra sleep?

WHAT I LEARNED: Friday's not all it's cracked up to be.

There’s something about Friday mornings…

As the smoke begins to settle from the week, I talk a morning walk around the house and silently assess the damage. Every room tells a story about life in our modern times and how the clock is ticking faster than it used too, how the task stack up faster than they can be done, and how choice sometimes overwhelms us as we flit from one project to the next with lightening speed and not getting done what we were supposed to be attending to at all.

In my son’s room, I see a floor covered in boxes of baseball cards. Loose cards are piled everywhere – even on top of piles of clothes that may never see the comfort of a hanger or a dresser drawer. The bed is unmade – a testament to the final line between sleeping an extra 5 minutes and oversleeping. The overhead fan is swirling away at top speed.

In the living room, I see assorted facets of my son’s life spilling down the stairs to come to rest in the most visible places possible - stacks of homework beside the sideboard, watches and other personal effects tossed on the floor, a book he is supposed to be reading for school (and in which he is rather behind) artfully arranged on the coffee table,

In the kitchen I discover many dishes, cups, glasses, and silverware. When I open the dishwasher to add them, I see that nobody in the house (except me of course) knows how to properly load it. No plates can be added because someone has decided to line mug up throughout the bottom rack. It must be art. I hated to disturb this abstract piece – Dishes in a Machine – but I had a job to do.

Also in the kitchen is a huge plastic mega-bag filled with trash from the rest of the house. No matter what time of day or night, my husband feels a real security knowing that our trash is centralized and easily visible from anyway on the first floor. Some days he just hangs a plastic bag from one of the kitchen cabinet handles. It doesn’t matter that we have a trash can under the sink for trash-throwing requirements, and it doesn’t matter that I remove the offending bag of trash from the cabinet handle every day and pitch it away. Just like a stubborn garden weed that’s been pulled from the ground, it is a certainty that another plastic bag will soon appear in the same spot as the one I tossed earlier.

In the dining room is my contribution to the accumulation of this week’s clutter. Some knitting I am doing – a soon to-be-formidable chenille yarn throw that I have gotten the sudden urge to knit for my son, 2 pairs of shoes, 1 pair of boots, and one winter coat thrown over a chair. In all fairness, I’d have put this stuff in the closet but my kids have broken the no book bags and shoes in front of the closet rule so often that getting things in and out of the closet has become a dicey proposition at best.

In my room is the requisite unmade bed, clothes gathering like storm clouds on the horizon – ready for the laundry or the closet or for folding and placing on top of a stack of clean laundry that I can not find room for in closet or dresser at this point in time. One black shoe without a mate sits destitute on the floor. The other is a captive of the closet-of-no-return in the living room.

Returning upstairs to my daughter’s room, I find the tidiest room in the house. Yes, there are a few clothes on the floor, and signs of teenage life abounding. The main thing that alarms me though is the unmade bed. What’s the big deal? My daughter is still in it. Pleading exhaustion, she asks to go to school late and I agree. Still, I wish this unmade bed did not contain a kid on a school day.

Cutting my loses, I steal a pillow and close my eyes for an extra few minutes of sleep myself.

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