There is nothing so sacred to the millennial as the weekend: the time of sleeping in, of boozy brunch, and of Netflix bingeing. To the average 20-something, Saturday and Sunday are holy days of relaxation as one recharges, regroups, and prepares for the week ahead. To some of us, however, Saturday and Sunday are nothing of the sort. See someone’s got to keep your favorite brunch spot serving up those bottomless mimosas, someone’s got to tell you where to find that Basquiat painting on your post-brunch trip to the museum, and someone’s got to make sure Sunday’s NYT weather forecast is typo-free (the news never stops, people!).
And because Zelda and I both work in industries that don’t adhere to the traditional Monday-Friday, 9-5 schedule, we’re as likely to work Saturday night as Monday morning. This in turn means that our weekends tend to fall not on Saturday and Sunday, but somewhere between Monday and Thursday (usually Monday/Tuesday for me and Tuesday/Wednesday for her, but our jobs also don’t subscribe to that whole “consistent scheduling” deal, so really it’s a crap shoot).
Sometimes, it sucks. We both have friends who work the traditional M-F grind, and we end up missing out on all manner of excursions and events with our night and weekend shifts. Because when everybody else is meeting up for drinks after work, you’re just starting your shift. Then there are the times when you make plans to meet a friend for dinner in the city when they get off work, but you go to get on the L to find that it is indeed f***ed. Sometimes the cold drains you of all desire to leave the apartment in the few overlapping off-hours you and your friends have. I’ve gone weeks without seeing certain friends purely because of scheduling conflicts
But despite missing out on many of the things that make Saturday and Sunday so wonderful (finding a brunch with bottomless mimosas on a Tuesday is…a challenge), there is much to love about the Midweek Weekend. The Midweekend, as it were. Especially as a twenty-something living in New York City, sometimes having a Tuesday off is just about the best damn thing that could happen to you. Allow me to explain.
All those fun, sometimes slightly touristy things people do on the weekend? They’re half as crowded on a Monday morning. Everyone else went to see that show at the MoMA on Saturday — the tourists, the Wall Street brokers, the college students — and they have the timed tickets to prove it. But arrive at the MoMA on a weekday at 11 a.m. and the wait that plagued the weekenders has practically vanished. You avoid being crushed by the masses trying to catch a glimpse of Starry Night on your way to the Bjork Retrospective, and your day is instantly improved. Getting your culture on never felt so efficient.
Want to see a Broadway show on the cheap? Behold the Wednesday matinee! Maybe you’re dying to finally see that show everyone’s been raving about. Maybe you just can’t stomach paying upwards of 60 dollars for partial view, rear balcony tickets. Or maybe you’re like me and seeing Les Miz or Beautiful for the third time seems like an excellent use of your time. Wednesday matinees are often the easiest shows of the week to get rush or lottery tickets for. With fewer people trying to go to a show in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of the week, the odds are in your favor. (It should be noted that not all shows have a weekday matinee, and not all shows do lottery and rush. Also, understudies abound. Get the lowdown on all discount ticket policies for all Broadway shows at the simple yet informative broadwayforbrokepeople.com)
Even the not-so-fun things in life are improved by a Midweekend. Errands take half the time, and far fewer years off your life. I’ve already complained at length about my hatred for grocery shopping in this city, but I would much prefer to tackle the Union Square Trader Joe’s on a Monday at 1 p.m. than a Friday evening or a Sunday morning. And laundry? The only other people at my local laundromat on my normal Tuesday Laundry Day are the women that work there. And even now that I am blessed with in-building laundry, I still try to take advantage of the fact that the other 15 people in my building, with whom I share one washer and one dryer, don’t generally wash their clothes on Tuesdays between 11 and 2.
Now the Midweekend isn’t all open subway seats and roses. You may miss out on brunch, and Smorgasburg isn’t an option (one day we will be together again, Ramen Burger!). Don’t get me wrong — there are a good number of places that have brunch specials seven days a week (this is New York, after all) — but it’s not quite the same, even with the added advantage of not requiring a two hour wait for a table. But on the Midweekend, Happy Hour is your friend. What for most people is a fleeting, magical hour that gets crunched or squeezed out of existence altogether by late hours in the office or post-shift fatigue falls smack dab in the middle of the Midweekend. Zelda and I love taking advantage of that fact with a little day drinking on the cheap, showing up when our favorite bar opens and staying until the post-work hordes descend, and the prices go back up. Do people openly judge us for drinking at 3 p.m. on a Tuesday? Sometimes. Do we care? Not in the slightest.
So traditional weekends may continue to elude me, and my social life may suffer as a result. But I for one am (mostly) glad that my work week stretches from Wednesday to Sunday. Sometimes the Midweekend is the best. I couldn’t have written this post without it.