time for another week......
Sunday nights seem to be the hardest in Judiland. After all the dishes are cleared from the table and the only sound in the house is that of the dishwasher running--a new brand of loneliness sets in. It's different than the loneliness I feel each night walking into an empty house and it's different than the loneliness of waking up in an empty house each morning. There's a certain depth, a deeper ache, to the loneliness of Sunday nights.
When I was growing up, we played cards every Sunday night with my Papa Dip. All of my aunts and uncles and cousins would gather around the dining room table with their three nickels for a spirited game of Scat. Then, once Papa either won the whole pot or got pissed that he didn't, it would be time for some kind of dessert. It was a comforting time in my life--one that I remember with great fondness. At the time, Sunday nights were meant for family and fun. Perhaps because of my youth--I didn't see it as a prelude to Monday. But, as the years went by and those Sunday nights became a thing of the past, Sunday night took on an entirely different meaning--it meant that the next day was Monday. And nobody liked Mondays. Were Mondays always so bad? It never seemed that way on those Sunday nights playing Scat.
Last night, after the kids left to go back to PhDland and Collegeland, I busied myself by cleaning off the dining room table. As I was folding the special birthday table cloth to put away, I thought of those Scat games all those years ago--around another dining room table...filled with smiling faces and laughter. Papa sitting at the head of the table smoking his cigar, wearing a grey vest over a plaid shirt. My mother--to his right--smoking her Kent cigarette, drinking her Tab, her red hair in a beehive--pretending to look at his cards. My Aunt Congie nervously tapping her finger while yelling at my cousin Bobby who was once again doing something mischievious. My Aunt Marg lecturing my Uncle Lou about how he was playing cards and Uncle Danny making duck noises with a Lucky Strike hanging out of the corner of his mouth. Could I have ever known that 40 some years later---I'd find the pain of missing those days so much that I could barely stand? As I slid into a chair to take in the memories, I couldn't help but wonder-- was it a much simpler time then or did the ritual itself make it simple?
That's when it hit me---I need a Sunday night ritual. Something to look forward to. It can be as simple as playing Scrabble with a friend, arranging to meet a friend for tea or as involved as starting a Sunday night supper club.
A ritual to comfort me.
I've got all week to think about it.....