Friday, January 20, 2012

The Eighteen Minutes

It's been a week, the kind of week that makes you want to shout "THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY" if only you could find enough strength to speak above a hoarse whisper.

Or, if you are of the observant Jewish persuasion -- "THANK GOD FOR SHABBAT!!!"

That's where I'm at right now, sleep-deprived, working at home in my goth nightie (a faded black Converse sundress that I got at Target and should have discarded centuries ago), red woolen lumberjack shirt, thermal socks and Zabar's baseball cap, thinking of the weekend that looms before me.

Passing the front hall mirror as I just returned from locking the door after HOBB, I note that I look homeless yet happy. Cold air from the building hallway whooshes into the apartment with the opening of the door and I feel reluctant to combat the elements, consider staying inside for the day, watching a few episodes of Law and Order on Netflix, cooking for Shabbat in a leisurely manner, perhaps taking a long hot bath with lavender oil.

But as quickly as this joyfully slothful vision appears to me, it is stamped out vigorously because the entire point of Shabbat is to have it serve as a counterpoint to the crazy stressful kinetic nature of the workweek.

And this Shabbat holds special relaxation potential as it is our second pre-empty-nest Shabbat in as many weeks. With Middle Babe spending the weekend at the Long Island home of her Gentleman Caller and Little Babe attending the Junior Shabbaton at SAR High School (and Big Babe residing in Berlin) HOBB and I will be alone. Again. Last week saw us lingering over a delicious dinner, reading like old married people (which I guess we are) and then having a killer Scrabble tournament that lasted for hours.

HOBB fell sleep before we played out but in case you are wondering, I was winning by nearly 100 points.

To unleash the full power of Shabbat, a frenetic Friday is an invaluable asset. Therefore, I'll be springing into Yiddishe hausfrau mode in minutes to cook (fresh tuna, sauteed green beans, spinach souffle, baked apples). Afterwards (we're talking 30 minutes, max. I am the original speedchef. I have domesticity A.D.D.) I'll be dragging myself out of my gothic nightie and into workout clothes for a turbo workout. Following a midday conference call, I plan to head to the ICP to catch the Weegee exhibition -- Murder is My Business. At 3:15, HOBB and I are planning to meet at the Met to see the new American Wing and hear The Asphalt Orchestra. 

We plan to grab a cab home at 4:40 (the start of the 18 minutes*) so we can be home for Shabbat.

More than anything, it's the fresh tuna and Scrabble that I cannot wait for. And the reading. And the coziness. And the empty-nest feeling.

Thank God it's almost Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom!
*After the start of candlelighting, there is an 18 minute "emergency" extension in which to perform necessary tasks that are not otherwise appropriate for the Sabbath, aka, riding in a taxi crosstown. Yes, I'm taking liberties with the concept of "emergency." I'm not Orthodox but I am observant and doing the best I can to uphold the law of Moses and still lead a life that makes sense to me.

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