Well, we’re at the midpoint of our three-day Labor Day weekend. And with a beautiful sunrise this morning to spur us on, we are at the moment of decision. What should we do today, knowing that tomorrow is also a day off? Hiking? A long walk? Yard work? Grilling out? Reading? Watching football and savoring a cold beer?
That sounds a lot like exactly what we did yesterday—and it also sound like exactly what we should do today, too. That’s the beauty of the Labor Day weekend.
Today the French Wrestling Fan and I went to lunch at Milestone 229, a restaurant on the Scioto Mile. We ate outside on a beautiful day, with a prime view of the cool outdoor fountains located next to the restaurant.
While we sat there a young girl took her shoes off and ran out to the fountain area. She had a ball walking barefoot through the water, scuffling her feet and sending sprays of water into the air. Her innocent fun captured the kind of giddy, fabulous feeling we all get on the cusp of a three-day summer weekend.
It was all I could do to resist taking off my shoes and walking through the water, too. We might need to do some barefooting this weekend, however.
It’s the Friday before the Memorial Day weekend, the first big three-day weekend of 2016.
The Martin Luther King Day and President’s Day three-day weekends don’t really count, do they? They come during the winter when the weather stinks and it’s not much fun to go outside. The Memorial Day weekend is different. Now, people want to get outside and get going. The traveling types want to hit the road, even though they know the traffic will be a pain, and get to their destination at the beach or the mountains or the national park as quickly as possible. The stay-at-homers are looking forward to partying with friends and family, grilling out, playing catch, and swimming at the public pool on its opening weekend. And everyone, whether they are staying or going, is looking forward to donning sunglasses and putting on shorts and drinking a cold beverage in warm sunshine.
We’re on the verge of the unofficial beginning of summer. You can feel it in your bones, and today you’ll feel it in your workplace, too, as you walk past lots of empty offices and darkened cubicles and overhear co-workers talking about their fun weekend plans and see them anxiously looking at clocks and watches and cell phones .
I’ve always thought the Fridays before the Memorial Day weekend and the Labor Day weekend are two of the toughest working days of the year. If you’re smart and have the seniority, you take a vacation day and enjoy that magical four-day weekend. If you’re a marginal employee, or worse, you wake up this morning and somehow convince yourself that you can plausibly call in sick on one of the days when workplace absenteeism undoubtedly is at its peak. But if you’re a solid, responsible adult like the rest of us, you show up for work today, accept that it’s part of the job, and feel like a kid on the last day of school, just waiting for the bell to ring telling you that you can run out the school doors without coming back for three months.
I look at it this way: working on the Friday before Memorial Day just makes the three-day weekend all the sweeter.