It was a nice house, our first. We bought it from the couple who had it built just two years earlier. They were now going through a divorce, but had put a lot of work into the place, and it was a beauty. It had three bedrooms and three baths, and we couldn’t believe we actually lived there.
I don’t know if it was the fancy new home, or what, but we were going through a strange (in retrospect) yuppie phase. We weren’t making enough money to be real yuppies, but we tried. We went to trendy restaurants, took ridiculous trips we couldn’t afford, and hung around with like-minded friends: everyone trying to act all sophisticated ‘n’ shit.
Just a regular weekend would be something like this:
After a pot of hazelnut coffee, and blueberry muffins (or somesuch), we’d straighten up the house. It was never messy, so “straightening” consisted of lining up the magazines on the coffee table, and washing our pint glasses from the night before.
Then we’d go into Atlanta and meet up with friends, or wander around Virginia Highland, or Buckhead. We’d have lunch somewhere exceedingly cool, and maybe sit outside and act like hotshots.
Around 6:30 we’d go to Moe’s and Joe’s, our favorite dumpy bar, and they’d bring us a pitcher of Pabst Blue Ribbon without us asking for it. We were regulars, and the (ironic?) pitcher of PBR was automatic. Occasionally we’d have food there, but it was mostly just beer.
Sometimes we’d go see a band play during the evening (for free, of course… I never paid for shows during those days), or we’d go hang out with our friends Matt and Sue. But we usually returned home, and cooked out.
We did a lot of late night, semi-drunk, grilling in 1994 and 1995. We’d buy big ol’ steaks from a fancy-pants designer grocery store, and make a big deal out of it. Occasionally friends would join us, but most of them didn’t like to drive so far. They claimed we were practically living in South Carolina.
On Sundays I worked at a bookstore, to help support our fake yuppie lifestyle, and Toney went grocery shopping.
It was a fun time. We were only starting down the road of Massive Responsibility, and were still able to maintain our carefree early-dating-days lifestyle. Of course it was all a house of cards (credit cards, to be exact), but we had a good time.
Fifteen years later, in 2010, just a regular weekend is a little different…
We now have one teenage boy, and another almost-teenage boy. Their friends are in and out of our house, and the noise level is amazing. They all play instruments, and it sometimes sounds like we’re living inside a Guitar Center.
The house is sometimes messy, instead of just “messy.” Toney runs wide-open all the time, shuttling the boys around and tending to her many duties. She works full-time, is the president of a high-maintenance organization, and the director of another.
I’ve always got some kind of creative “project” I’m agonizing about, or yard work hanging over my head, and it’s generally low-grade chaos around our house.
But we gather on Saturday evenings for dinner. In the summer we cook steaks or burgers on the grill, and actually pay attention to each other for a while. The rest of the time it feels like we’re just passing in the hall, on our way to other stuff.
One thing hasn’t changed in fifteen years, though. On Sundays I go to work, and Toney does the grocery shopping. Nothing much has changed about Sunday.
It’s a different way of living, for sure. But the current weekend is much more grounded in reality, than the old one. Which is more fun? Well, it’s always a blast to live beyond your means. Right? Especially when you don’t yet have experience with the consequences.
Sometimes we get nostalgic for the 1995 weekend, but I remind Toney of 1997 and 1998, after the chickens had come home to roost. And that SUCKED. We have a tendency to remember the good times, and forget the bad ones. That’s human nature, I think.
On Saturday afternoons Toney and I occasionally go to the so-called yuppie bar in our neighborhood, for a couple of pints. And I watch the people there, the way they act, and can’t believe how obnoxious they are. And I wonder if some old codger thought the same thing about us, fifteen years ago.
After the boys have left the nest, we talk about returning to Atlanta (or some other big city) and buying a condo in a high-rise building. It might or might not happen, but I like the idea of giving it another shot, and doing it the right way. You know, twenty-five years later. We’ll see what happens.
And now, predictably enough, I’d like to know how regular weekends differ for you, comparing 1995 and 2010. A few of you were probably kids in 1995, so I assume they’d be much different. Use the comments link below to tell us all about it.
And I’ll see you guys again tomorrow.
Have a fantastic day!