Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturdays Used to Be Saturdays

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Saturday mornings. They used to have special meaning for me throughout my life. These days? I live such an abnormal existence that work weeks and singular days loose all types of meaning being self-employed freelancer and someone who is constantly on the move. I've lost all sense of linear time.

When I was a child, Saturdays meant cartoons and cereal. Those are the memories floating around my head. A darkened apartment with only the glow of the TV illuminating the living room as my parents slept off their hangovers.

The younger version of myself (twenty and thirty years ago) was up before the dawn in the days pre-intertubes and cable TV. I almost had more fingers on one hand than available channels in New York City (2,4,7,9,11,13). That was CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS and two local independent stations. Fox was still a decade or more away.

Only one or two dedicated programming to children, yet I was glued to those channels. Sometimes I woke up too early and the only show of interest was the religiously-themed Davey and Goliath. When normal programming came on around 8am, Superfriends and Scooby Doo were my escapes.

Let's think about that for a second... I was infatuated with crime fighting self-righteous superheros in flamboyant clothing... in addition to worshiping a bunch of hungry hippies driving around in a van with a talking dog, while runnign away from ghosts and other spooky things. Man, I love the subversiveness of the late 1970s and early 1980s Saturday morning programming.

And in the mid 1980s, knee deep in Reagan America, the War on Drugs heated up so we were bombarded by all these anti-crack and anti-marijuana slogans. "Crack is whack," was the parlance of the times along with "This is your brain on drugs."

Shit, when I was a kid, those messages were not a deterrent, rather an enticing commercial. I couldn't wait to grow up and get my hands on the exact things that the mass media was trying to dissuade me from partaking in.

During my 20s, I worked on Saturdays. During the Wall Street days, it was absurd to think about taking Saturday off when that was the best time to get stuff done in the office since 75% of the rest of my co-workers were not there to distract me and more importantly, potential clients were at home on Saturdays. Sadly, there were times I worked on Sundays.

I also lost Saturdays as an off day when I embraced the bohemian lifestyle (and yes there were times wen all I had was a mattress on a hard wood floor - e.g. Park Slope and Seattle) worked fringe jobs in the service industry (also including stints as a museum security guard, bar back, telemarketing scams). At that point, I found more pleasure in having a week day off. I got more errands done since more stuff was open and less crowded than the weekends.

In our post-modern world, Saturdays crop up on me. When I'm in Vegas, I know it's a weekend by the influx of dressed up tourists and whiskey tango chicks pushing the edge with walking the fine line between dressing up like a Hooker or Ho.

When I'm in Los Angeles, I know it's Saturday by the lack of cars on the road and the smoother flow of traffic. And since I live in a predominately Jewish neighborhood, I just have to take a few steps outside of my apartment before someone smiles at me and wishes me a good Shabbas, even though I'm a non-entity in their eyes being born and raised as a Catholic.

This morning? I woke up and wanted to stay in bed, but that was useless. I shuffled out to the laptop, fired up iTunes, and wrote. I had no idea it was Saturday. To me, it was just another day in the life.

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