My Friday Nights
This column first appeared October 13, 2006
I found this rather amusing, because I do sit at home and knit on Friday nights. It’s peaceful, and it gives an incredible sense of accomplishment when you finish something new. Best of all, it’s creating something. Perhaps she should give it a try, rather than wrecking marriages.
I think Belinda suffers from a common malady: too many people think that the height of social enjoyment comes from living that fast life—bars, parties, expensive dinners out—rather than a more stable life. Marriage means you’re settling for something less. I feel sorry for people like that, because they don’t know what true bliss is. Sure, I enjoy going out to dinner occasionally, or having an intimate gathering with friends. But quiet nights spent in my husband’s company, as he works on his hobby and I work on mine, are wonderfully fulfilling.
Some Friday nights, though, I do put the knitting needles down so my husband and I can get adventurous. We head over to my brother and sister-in-law’s house to play cards with Keith’s parents. My mother-in-law is the best player, but she spends the whole game complaining about how we’re all out to get her. My brother-in-law, who actually is out to get her, usually loses because he’s skillfully bringing at least two others down with him. Dad thinks he’s a good player, but he tries too hard at the revenge business. And with all these natural Gregoires trying to kill each other with cards, more often than not either my sister-in-law or I sneak up the middle. It doesn’t get much better than that—having fun and laughing and insulting people you love.
I think we forget that the best things in life actually seem the most mundane. Money will never buy you the satisfaction I get when I look into my hand to discover the four highest trump, all while Dad sits at the other end of the table muttering to himself. And the best part is that we wrap up the evening in time to partake of that other activity Belinda seemed to insinuate that she enjoyed doing on Friday nights. You see, we’re all married, and we’re all going home with our spouses. And I would bet we know more about having fun in that department than Belinda does, because we’ve had years with the same person to become true experts.
It’s a big misnomer in our society that those who have the most fun are those who are the loudest at it. When you read surveys about satisfaction in almost any area, those who lead the life that Belinda seems to disdain come out on top. Who has the best sex life? Conservative Christians, if studies are to be believed. Who lives the longest? Those with hobbies, like gardening and that knitting she so disdains. I can’t picture her in gardening gloves weeding a bed of tomatoes and cabbages, but those who do are likely happier and healthier than she is. And who has the most well-adjusted children? Those whose parents are married. Maybe Ms. Stronach should have given some thought to her own children, and to those of Leanne Domi, before inserting herself in that relationship.
This Friday night, as I am finishing up a pair of handknit socks, I shall think of Belinda. And if I could speak to her, this is the advice I would give: Stop partying. Give up men for a while and concentrate on your kids. And join Ottawa’s Knit Collective. You just might find that your kind of fun isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.