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©January 2002

Carol Jane Remsburg



Wednesday Afternoon Hooky





Wednesday came as it always does but this day held a surprise.  Even though I'd checked my little calendar I don't always look at it.  Today was Judi's birthday.  Judi is a wonderful friend and co-worker who just happened to hit the big 45 today and she wasn't happy about it.


When I realized, after thinking about it all day yesterday, that today WAS the day, I looked over at Judi between calls and asked her what she wanted for her birthday.  Judi being Judi, rolled her eyes and mentioned the word 'escape.'  Sounded like a helluva good idea to me so I told her we'd do just that. 


Now a workday is a workday is a workday.  It's not something that we can just up and leave.  Paperwork and files and approvals and all that stuff have to be dealt with—we did.  Only it wasn't just one or two of us.  Actually, five of Judi's friends opted out and we took the afternoon to play hooky and take her to lunch.


It was a snoozy little Italian place with a wonderful house salad and plentiful breadsticks and appetizers and their desserts are wonderful.  Oh, and we had drinks too.  The restaurant's normal Wednesday clientele was sparse and what there were of them were fast closing in on their seventh decade.  We sort of livened the place up a bit.  They might just get their bearings back by next week sometime. 


We spent hours talking about our lives and not our work lives for a change.  There was bald talk about divorces, husbands, children, sex lives, struggles with pregnancies and miscarriages.  Further we gleefully expounded upon our own warts and funny lives.  The table was a circle of caring and laughter.  Some moments we laughed and in others we nearly cried.  All of it was fun.


Spontaneity is a glad thing, a wonderful thing, and something I don't do all that often.  I'm glad when it comes.  Judi is normally the friend who brings it out.  Usually a sudden 'day off' or partial day is a gift that I feel guilty over.  Today was probably the first time ever that I didn't feel the guilt. 


I looked around the table and got to see people and talk to people that I care about for the first time in a long time.  These are important people to me. 


There are times when we really need to take the time to spend with others rather than working the drudge and staying entrenched in our routines.  That daily grind of habit can wear you down.  This wasn't just a gift to Judi on her birthday; she gave back for each of us had a surprise of happiness that was guilt-free.


I hope you have a day like this one soon for yourself.  It will help carry you when the days are long and the darkness reigns.  Good times come so enjoy them when they do.


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