April 4, 2014

Friday night's all right

Friday is my favorite day of the week.

It's the beginning of the weekend. It's a day of completion and accomplishment and freedom. 

Friday has been a great day for as long as I can remember, but the definition of why has changed throughout my life.

When I was younger, Friday meant the end of the school week, staying up late, watching TV with my parents. It was, after all, TGIF night.

Was I disappointed to spend my Friday nights with Steve Urkel? Probably, but it was a good excuse to make popcorn, and I think that on some level I knew that my social life was going to get better.

It totally did.

When I was in high school, I didn't drink or get invited to parties, but I still enjoyed weekend nights with my friends. Friday was a good night for watching MTV at Jennie's house, driving around town to buy an air freshener for my car (trust me, it was fun), going to the New Age store to buy some power stones, or just sitting at Perkins and sharing a bottomless pot of coffee: 2 creams, 2 sugars per cup.

In college, I discovered alcohol and made questionable choices in the safe environment of Carleton. If you have to make questionable choices in your life (and I think it may be an important rite of passage), I can hardly think of a better place than a small, friendly Midwestern liberal arts college where practically everyone lives on campus and nobody has a car. On Friday nights, I drank concoctions in plastic cups, rolled down hills, made friends, and even formed my life-long alliance with Sam.

Friday nights in our 20s were always fun. Sometimes, they were laid-back evenings at home with a movie. Sometimes, we started with happy hour after work and concluded with breakfast at 4 a.m. in a casino. It was one of the little perks of Nevada's 24-hour lifestyle: someplace was always open and ready to sell you inexpensive steak and eggs.

After the kids arrived on the scene, Fridays calmed down considerably. It became a good night to advance the Netflix queue, catch up on the shows we recorded during the week, or go to the gym and squeeze in a workout we were too busy to do during the week. It was also a good night to pay off sleep debt.

Recently, we have been revisiting Friday as a social night. Inviting friends over for board games may not sound as exciting as rolling down a hill or staying up all night at a bar, but it is exactly what we enjoy right now. 

Cards Against Humanity has been a staple in the repertoire for the past year or so. It's like Apples to Apples, but evil.

If you laughed at "white privilege," then you might enjoy this game.

Recently, we discovered Super Fight, another Kickstarter-funded game with black and white cards. You pit unlikely enemies against each other in a hypothetical fight.

Making a case for your hero requires creativity and the art of persuasion. It also leads to amusing clarifying questions, such as "Is the peanut butter ambulatory?" and "Why would you choose a potato gun when being 3 stories tall was an option?"

If that doesn't sound fun, we also have Settlers of Catan.

I recently found out that Ben (the character on Parks & Rec) went to Carleton. It only seems fitting.


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