Monday, April 28, 2014

What to do on a gloomy weekend

Several months ago, one of my coworkers unintentionally annoyed another coworker by commenting on the beautiful sunshine outside. (Apparently, even the weather can be a testy subject for some people.) The guy then launched into a five-minute rant on why he hated sunny days because they made him feel like he was supposed to be happy and productive.

I had never heard anyone complain about sunshine unless it came with scorching temperatures before, but the guy had a point. I don't like being told to be happy and productive, either. Sure, most of the time I am willing to adopt a cheery disposition and productive demeanor when the sun isn't blocked by rainclouds or an inversion. But sometimes I want to exercise my right to be moody and lazy, regardless of what's happening outside. That's when the yellow ball in the sky becomes that annoying babysitter who talks to you in a high-pitched voice and says that you can have an extra chocolate chip if you put your dishes in the sink, smiling serenely at you as if it never occurred to her that she couldn't sweeten you out of a sour mood.

That ploy didn't work on me as a five-year-old, and it doesn't work now, either. I will find a way to get away from that sunny sweetness, whether it means locking myself in my room or shutting the blinds.

The only problem is, I usually feel guilty doing so. Which, of course, makes me even more mad.

Last Friday, when the subject of weekends came up, I delivered my line "I don't really have any plans this weekend" with as much enthusiasm as the person who said she was planning a family barbecue. Then someone else said the magic words: "It's supposed to rain this weekend."

Since I was in the clutches of a Mad Friday, this was the first piece of news I had received all day that made the corners of my mouth twitch upward. A gloomy weekend was just hours away. This meant that it wouldn't be a fireplace-and-balcony-sweeping type weekend, accompanied by four hours of sneezing. It meant it would be a stay-home-and-watch-TV type weekend, free from guilt and expectations.

Would you like to know what I did this weekend? 

I had a Lord of the Rings marathon. Because that's what you do when it's raining outside and you have to keep the heater on. I watched all three extended versions without any distractions—no cross-stitch, no people complaining about the seven endings to The Return of the King—just 11 hours of pure bliss in the beautiful world Peter Jackson brought to life. 

I highly recommend this immersive experience. You might be a little heartbroken when it's all over, but I assure you it's well worth it.

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