Only one day of the week is worthy of being the best day of the week.
Friday! And for all the right reasons.
I was born on a Friday and for some unknown desire, when I was younger, I genuinely wanted my birthday to be the day before it actually is.
There’s nothing exciting about being born on the 5th of July. But being born on the 4th of July? Well, we all know the significance of that date.
But I’m an Australian, not an American, and I’m embarrassed beyond words to admit how old I was before I realised that the 5th of July in Australia, and particularly at 3:20 am when I made my entrance into this world, is still the 4th of July in The United States of America. Silly me.
Being born on Friday though isn’t the only thing that makes Friday the best day of the week.
It’s the last day of the working week and even though most of my friends will argue and nominate Saturday, simply because you don’t have to go to work, Friday still beats Saturday in my books.
Not only is Friday a great day to get out of bed and go to work, if you’re lucky enough, and I was in my last job, Friday in the office can hold so many surprises in store.
A relaxed dress code negating the need to start the day with iron in hand, morning tea where conversations keep you a little longer from you desk, and finally, after working hard all week, sometimes an opportunity to cash in your “Get out of Jail, Free” card, heralding an early start to the weekend.
All terrific and valid reasons to love Friday.
– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –
But my love of Friday has nothing to do with the last day of the working week, nor for that matter does it have anything to do with me being born on Friday. My love of Friday began when I was only three. Way back when I thought everyone was born on Sunday.
Friday morning would always start with a trip to the hospital and all these years later, I still don’t know why. I am old enough to belong to the ‘be seen and not heard’ generation, a time when children asking questions was frowned upon, even if those questions were about yourself.
At three-years-old, I was not considered old enough to know why I was sick, or why that involved weekly hospital visits, or why those visits always involved needles and tears and crying.
I suppose right about now you’re thinking this would be reason enough to hate Friday completely, and I guess for the most part, I didn’t like Friday morning very much at all when I was three.
Watching my brothers head off to school, knowing my mother would soon take me to the hospital. Arriving at the hospital and waiting to be taken into a cold room where the doctor would take his time checking me, sticking things in my ears, looking in my mouth, touching me with a cold metal disc and listening to my heart and my breathing.
The fun part would start when he called the nurse into the room. She’d hold me down, with my mother’s help, while the doctor gave me a needle or two and I would start crying. If I was lucky I’d get a lollipop for my tears, but that didn’t happen every Friday.
No. I agree with you. All of this is more likely the best reason in the world for hating Fridays, but those memories are all but completely overshadowed by what would happen next.
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After leaving the hospital, my mother would then take me to see her mother and arriving at my Nana’s house made everything better. I’d forget all about what had happened earlier.
Her house had a red roof, no-one else’s house had a red roof, and you could see her house at the bottom of the hill long before you got there. Out the front, perched on the picket fence just beside the gate, sat a miniature version of her house, red roof and all. I was always allowed to check to see if the mail man had left any letters inside and I remember the thrill of opening the little back door and peaking inside.
Between the letterbox and the front door was a narrow path with raised flower beds on each side where Nana grew roses. She had several that were various shades of red and yellow. There was also a huge white one and one that was the prettiest shade of pink.
I brushed past the roses too quickly one day and had a thorn lodge deep in my arm. It hurt so much while the doctor removed it, but that happened when I was much older. When I was three, the roses where considerably taller than I was and I could run up the path without them touching me.
Arriving at the front door, I’d reach up onto my tippy-toes to grip the brass knocker and hit it back and forth a couple of times. Nana would call out, asking who was knocking on her door.
“It’s me Nana!” I’d call back and she ask, “Me who?”
I’d giggle and reply “It’s me, Clare.”
Suddenly she’d open the door and wrap me in a hug, lifting me off the step and spinning me around. She smelt like her roses and I’d snuggle into her neck, still giggling away.
I can’t remember what my mother was doing right about now. I think she was leaving me with her mother because she had other things to do but I don’t know what they could have been. I can’t remember my mother having a job when I was three, but I do remember being much older when my mother went back to work as she put it.
Regardless of what she had to do, it was ok with me. I remember that she didn’t stay and that’s ok too. She’d drop me off just before lunch time and arrive to pick me up later in the afternoon after she had collected my brothers from school. They’d all come in for a cool glass of cordial and a biscuit before we’d all go home. But before that happened, I had Nana all to myself.
– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –
Nana would take me through the dark living room, past the formal dining table, and into the bright and airy kitchen at the back of the house. My belly would growl at the smell of the food reminding me how hungry I was.
Lunch on Friday was always the same. Fish fingers, chips and eggs.
Nana would have three or four fish fingers, I would have two. We’d have one egg each and a little pile of potato chips. They were hand cut, thick and chunky, so a little pile of chips was more than enough. The egg was always gooey and we’d dip our chips into the yolk and suck it off the end of the chip before pushing the whole thing into our mouth. It was always an exciting game to see who could fit in the biggest chip.
After lunch, Nana would wash the dishes. She’d place the wet china plates onto the table and I would push the tea towel around on their surface, helping as much as I could, but Nana would have to finish what I started.
Once the dishes were safely stored away in the cupboard, we’d go out to sit at the formal dining table. By now the sun would be shining through the windows and the room wouldn’t be as dark as it had been earlier.
Nana would prop me up on cushion and protect the polished wood of the table with a cloth before getting out the game of Chinese Checkers. Nana would patiently wait while I sorted the coloured marbles. She’d make me count each group to make sure all ten were there before I could place them on the board.
Six groups of ten, and each was placed on the corresponding coloured starting position of the six pointed star. Then the games would start. We’d take turns racing to see who could get their three groups across the board first and laugh and giggle.
I never won, though I came close a couple of times, and over the years, I have often wondered why she never let me win. I only hope I learnt the lesson my Nana was teaching me as I sat there wrapped up in her intoxicating spell.
There was an element of enchantment to that time I had with my Nana and although the magic broke with my brothers taking turns knocking on the front door, announcing my mother was there to take me home, I knew I would have this special time with her again, next week, on Friday. The best day of the week.