Plans for the weekend? Only if I want to survive it
- Friday night, a drink after work or maybe dinner out.
- Saturday night, a dance club capped off with a trip to an all-night pancake house where I'd be just buzzed enough to mutter "diet be hanged" and order the big stack of pancakes. Bacon, too - this also was the days Before Pork Allergy.
- Sunday, lazing around and dreading the next day's return to work. In general, it was a plan to do nothing.
Granted it was "plans" only in the loose sense, mainly because I tended to do the same thing every weekend. And if I happened to go clubbing on Friday and eat out on Saturday, it was no big deal.
Today, not eating out on Friday would be a huge deal. If you do something once and it was fun, kids want to do it again. Do something twice and it becomes an entitlement.
A plan to do nothing would land me in trouble even faster. That's why my library books are chronically overdue and the Netflix disc rated beyond PG-13 becomes a coaster that I eventually return unviewed.
I try not to overplan, particularly since we're in one of the sweet spots between sports seasons right now and I'm enjoying a break from being a slave to two teams' schedules. Plus I like putting some of the monkey on the guys' backs. "Go see if your friends want to play," I'll say, and they usually do.
Still, for the sake of my sanity there has to be at least one "fun" activity a day. One that involves getting in the car and/or spending money. You have to be proactive, or you'll wind up driving farther and spending more money than you'd intended.
Chuck E Cheese? No. The bowling alley on post? Maybe. That's a strategic fine point. Leave something as a "maybe" even if you fully intend to do it. It'll give the kids an extra thrill when they're able to "convince you."
"Greenhornet" in 3D? No. That's a 70-mile drive one way and three expensive tickets. "Tangled" on post? Sure! We'll even be able to afford popcorn and drinks.
Go kart racing? Out of concern for the Defense Department budget, that one's going to be a "no" as well. Why make the Army pay to medevac your dad to Germany after a heart attack when a coronary's easily avoidable. Swimming? Sure. But we have to clean our rooms first. Stand back and watch the cleaning commence with little griping. Some would call that a bribe. I prefer to think of it as reinforcing my "work before play" mantra.
Somewhere in the midst of all of that, you hope you wear them out enough that they conk out close to the weekday schedule rather than spending hours bouncing off the bed and the walls. Then maybe, just maybe, you can pick up one of the Netflix coasters, wipe off six months' worth of dust and settle in with a grown-up movie.
Copyright 2011 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.