Why do people say, "Thank God it's Friday," as if whatever miseries we've suffered the other days of the week will somehow come to a blessed halt?
Sure, there are variants. We're advised to "hang in there," because "Friday's coming." As if the coach in question has studied up on our horoscopes and is convinced that once Friday arrives, life will take a turn for the better.
Got news. (I always do, don't I?) Unless you're one of those lucky dogs with a 9-to-5 desk job Monday through Friday, that last day is no better than the others, and in some cases, it might be worse.
My husband commutes to Tulsa five days a week, and he says Fridays there are truly awful - at least, in terms of traffic patterns. It is his belief that most people in Tulsa work Monday through Thursday, perhaps 10-hour days, and then use Fridays for creating congestion on the streets, angrily jostling crowds in the stores, and general, all-around mayhem in their quest to do anything not involved with bringing home a paycheck.
In Chris' estimation, people in Tulsa turn crazier than a Donald Trump fan at Hunter Biden birthday party. Lots of cutting off people on the streets, middle fingers jabbing into the air, yelling across parking lots and the occasional flash of a gun. A friend of hours who lives in Tulsa assures us that Fridays there constitute a free-for-all, and what she calls the "paper taggers" are out in full force. Those are people who just bought a car and have no intention of paying for a license plate - and probably not insurance, either.
Fridays are always busy at the Tahlequah Daily Press, because we're putting together the weekend edition, and it's always our biggest of the week. Fridays are also the days when district attorneys drop bombshells about major charges they're filing; Cherokee chiefs make announcement about pivotal projects; and at least during the summer, texting tourists take detours off the highways and into the ditches in their haste to, as we put it: "Git to the river and git to drankin'."
Friday, Dec. 18, was a particularly loathsome close to the "business week." Between the time I started out at the newspaper office around 5:45 a.m. and waited for the NSU pool to open at 7 a.m., these things had already happened:
• I saw two cats boxing in the TDP parking lot. The hissing first drew my attention, but then I heard the distinct "spat-spat-spat-spat!" of a front paw rapidly slapping the face of an opponent. It was still dark, and so was one of the cats, but I heard a distinct, "Wowww!" Whether it was uttered in awe of the other moggie's fighting prowess, or issued as a threat, I have no clue.
• I was accosted by an older lady (meaning older than I am, and as I've repeatedly said in a ploy for sympathy, I'm 60) who blamed the newspaper ￼for what she referred to as "those three hoods trying to overturn our democracy... why did you let them in?" She was speaking of our three Cherokee County state representatives, who had signed a paper lauding Attorney General Mike Hunter's jointing the Texas lawsuit aiming to question election results in battleground states. Of course, these gentlemen had a right to do what they did, and the Supreme Court later gave the Texas AG and others the equivalent of the middle-finger salute often employed by Tulsa drivers. But the woman who backed me into a corner was under the impression TDP had endorsed somebody for political office (we hadn't) or had the power to "let" someone into an office (we clearly don't). At least she was wearing a face mask.
• I got "mansplained" when I told a fellow he was wasting his vote by casting a ballot for someone whose sole plank was to "strengthen Oklahoma's gun rights." Oklahoma has some of the most generous gun rights in the country. I wasn't positive what was meant by the pejorative word "mansplaining" - employed regularly by women friends - until this guy said, "You girls don't understand about gun laws." I quickly got it, and I said, "I understand perfectly well about gun laws and am probably a better shot than you are. He was surprised; he had assumed I was a leftist and therefore must eschew guns. He didn't say so, but I suspect he thought I wore tie-dyed shirts, flowers in my hair, and refused to shave my legs.
I got into the natatorium shortly thereafter, but that wasn't the end of frenetic Friday. In the locker room, I noticed what I thought was a child's doll in the trash. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was one of those "Elf on a Shelf" things. Apparently, someone else appreciates those torture devices for children about as much as I do.
When I finished my swim and returned to the locker room, I saw that some soft-hearted person had saved the elf, and placed it on one of the shelves, next to the lost-and-found swim caps, goggles, swimsuit and a brush wrapped in snarled hair. The elf probably had a better Friday than I did.