Chevron has a number of helpful billboards set up around Los Angeles that feature a running countdown until Friday at 5:00 PM, at which point ‘Weekend Warriors Go To Work’, or something like that. I should point out that in this case they’re not talking about the National Guard or the Army Reserve, who are actual weekend warriors who literally do go to work on the weekends, but instead to people who spend their weekends kayaking or hiking or fixing their cars or doing any other activity listed in the ‘Things Truman Doesn’t Do’ handbook.
For somebody who lives in a world city – albeit the crappiest one in America, far outshined by Chicago and New York – I’ve really done very little to take advantage of it in the 8 months I’ve been living here. Something I always complained about, first in Salem and then in Eugene, was that there was never a huge amount of stuff going on. In Salem there was hard drugs and various youth group meetings, in Eugene there was soft collegey drugs and a whole bunch of indie music events I gave exactly zero fucks about.
Even Portland, which I’ve stated time and again is The Greatest City In The World™, wasn’t necessarily a hotbed of fascinating activities for me. Again, I’m not really into indie music and I don’t drink coffee or beer, so most of the city’s cultural lynchpins didn’t apply to me. And while I had a lot of great times in Portland, it’s very much a small city – there are only so many events going on at any given time, and things usually close up before they should. If New York is The City That Never Sleeps, Portland is The City That Stays Up Late Enough To Watch Letterman And Then Passes Out On The Couch. (Salem is Terri Schiavo.)
Los Angeles, though, is huge. Look it up on Google Earth – it’s just a big, gray, self-centered tumor spreading from the Pacific Ocean to the Imperial Valley, casually talking about what famous people it’s met and whining about how it hasn’t been to the gym in ‘like forever.’ It’s The City That Never Misses A Chance To Take Its Shirt Off.
This city is home to approximately 18 million people, the tallest building on the West Coast, lord knows how many miles of beaches, multiple mountain ranges, an observatory, a few canyons full of severed heads, dozens of museums, hidden oil derricks, a huge sign that says the name of the neighborhood beneath it, and, somewhere out there, both Christina Hendricks and Alison Brie, which qualifies it for CILF status.
I have seen precious few of those sights. I realized this the other night while hanging out with my friends Dylan and Holly.
You see, it rained this past weekend, which in LA is usually bigger news than our serial killer du jour, and the three of us were chatting about the experience of waking up on Saturday to the sound of rain pattering against our windows.
“It was great. As soon as I heard it raining, I downloaded Fallout 2 and spent the entire day in bed playing video games.” I said, including, as usual, too much information about precisely how pathetic my life is.
“Yeah,” Holly smiled, nodding. “When I woke up and heard the rain, it was like a relief. I just thought to myself, ‘I don’t have to go out and do anything today. I can just sleep in.’”
“Uh huh.” I said. “Yeah, I… No, I totally get you. Every weekend I’m just so busy doing things. It was good to feel like I didn’t have to go out and do… Things. That I am always doing.”
Most of my weekends are basically extended weekday evenings, with the only difference being that I stay up later reading Reddit and there’s usually a particularly hostile game of Risk somewhere in there. I haven’t been to the beach in well over a month. I haven’t been to Griffith Park since I moved here. If I’m in Hollywood it’s either for business or because I’m meeting someone for an overpriced drink in a bar so loud I can barely hear them namedrop.
I think Dylan and Holly’s strength lies in that they’re a Power Couple who’ve been dating since like the fourth season of The Office and currently live together. Couples automatically do stuff more often than single people for a variety of reasons:
1) Sightseeing Alone Is Weird
I’m not going to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art alone, damn it. Everyone would think I was weird, or Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, even though I am without a doubt Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
2) Doing Nothing Together Is Difficult
Frittering a day away alone is way easier because you don’t have to worry that somebody else is bored.
3) External Motivation Does Wonders
I would wager that at least 65% of the people at a Farmer’s Market or a mall or a sporting event on a Saturday would, in their heart of hearts, much rather be in bed asleep or stoned and watching TV to recuperate after a long week of work. When you’re single, you can make all kinds of great plans to go for a bike ride along the beach, but when it’s 7:00 AM and all you want to do is sleep, you don’t have to answer to anybody but yourself. Couples, on the other hand, always have somebody else there to keep them honest.
I know it sounds a lot like I’m doing the classic 2005 LiveJournal ‘why am I single’ blog post, but I’m genuinely not – I’ve been in a relationship before. I’ve stared into that black, desolate abyss. I’ve had arguments about whether the hypothetical food at our hypothetical wedding will be vegan or not, I’ve pretended to be interested in the beads at the Eugene Saturday Market, I’ve watched Titanic because I knew it was going to get me laid. I know what a relationship is, and it’s not worth all that just so I can have an excuse to go to The Museum of Jurassic Technology with somebody.*
*Google it. It’s two miles from my apartment and it looks awesome.
But sadly, the Weekend World discriminates against us single people. There’s nothing sadder than a table for one at brunch, save for maybe two heterosexual guys going to brunch together and spending the entire time desperately trying to convince themselves that nobody thinks they’re gay. I don’t think I have any male friends down here who would be super interested in a trip to Echo Park, with its cute little two seater paddle boats, or the Getty, with its romantic views of the coast.
Part of me wants to take this as a hint that fate, Science, the universe, or whatever is trying to tell me that it’s okay to be a lazy slob on the weekends because circumstances are such that I’ve got no other choice. Thing is, this is the same part of me that told me it was acceptable to eat several fistfuls of shredded cheese for dinner tonight, so I can’t be sure that part of me has my best interests at heart.
That’s why I’ve decided to give Weekend Warriordom a try. Next weekend, I’m going to go out into the alley, perhaps with a can of Strongbow, and work on my car. Yes, that’s right – I’m going to perform maintenance on an automobile, and yes, my name is still Truman Capps. I’ll cover the specifics of what I’m going to do in Wednesday’s update, and the horrible results on Sunday, if I’m still alive at that point.
Truman Capps is actually not a huge brunch fan, because hollandaise is overrated.