Farewell, Summer Fridays! And Farewell, Summer! A Chat

oysters beach Alice in WonderlandEster: Happy Last Summer Friday of the Season / Beginning of Labor Day Weekend, Nicole!

Nicole: Happy Last Summer Friday and Beginning of Labor Day Weekend to you! I am not sure how I’ll be spending my Labor Day weekend yet. I was pretty sure that I was going to go hiking on Whidbey Island with friends, but now I am almost pretty sure that I will be spending the weekend in bed with a cold.

How about you?

Ester: Oh no! Did you panic yourself into sickness? I will hold out hope that you will arise tomorrow with undiminished strength and verve.

Ben and I have a wedding this weekend outside of Boston that will serve as the 10/11-year-reunions I skipped, since it’s going to be all college friends.

Nicole: Very cool! I like the idea of getting married on Labor Day weekend, since it means you’ll be more likely to get a long anniversary weekend every year. Is it better as a guest to have a wedding on a long weekend, or would you prefer your long weekends to yourself?

Ester: I don’t mind at all. It’s kind of nice to get to be co-located with lots of friends whom it would otherwise be a huge pain to gather in one place, and we get to be together in a celebratory mood, enjoying drinking and dancing together! But I also don’t have established traditions for long weekends, which I know some other people do. A friend of mine was thinking of getting married over the 4th of July weekend and one of his relatives was aghast: “You can’t do that! People have standing 4th of July PLANS.”

We are not those people. Please, invite me to your 4th of July weddings! Hell, invite me to your Christmas wedding. I’ll be there.

Nicole: Especially if there are fireworks! Or Christmas crackers! Or anything that adds to the fun.

So this is the last weekend we’ll be keeping summer hours here at The Billfold. What have you been doing with your time off?

Ester: I’ve been seeing friends, mostly! Having long lunches, going to the Botanic Gardens or to museums. I always meant to sneak off and go see a movie in a theater, which is a real luxury for any parent, but somehow I never worked it out and now I have no more chances. Should have planned better, I guess. I’ve used them to travel some. And, of course, I’ve burrowed down and gotten more work done, because as a freelancer type, that’s hard to avoid. How about you?

Nicole: Ester, I’ve used them all for work. I opened up that afternoon writing slot and sold it to the highest bidder. Figuratively, of course. But yeah, I pretty much picked up extra pieces all summer long.

Ester: We are the Most Boring. I should have shot off to Atlantic City at least once. And you! YOU! You should have gone to, I don’t know, Canada. Over the border, to freedom!

Nicole: Well, I did go to Los Angeles and San Diego and Portland and Silver Spring and Washington, DC this summer, plus a family reunion. I am not lacking for travel.

Ester: No, that’s true. But you didn’t take advantage of Summer Fridays to leave earlier on any of those trips?

Nicole: I’m not sure I took any Friday afternoon flights. I’d have to check. It’s more like “save money by flying during the workday, and take advantage of Gogo In-Flight Internet.”

Ester: Totally. OK, so, if not Summer Friday highlights, then, what were some of your plain old Summer highlights?

Nicole: Really, it was getting to hang out in San Diego in an Airbnb with a bunch of friends. Or getting to go to WhiskeyFest and hang out and drink whiskey with a bunch of friends. Anything that involves sitting on a couch with friends and doing nothing. I mean, chatting. That’s like doing everything.

What about you?

Ester: WhiskeyFest sounds great! Maine was lovely, even if getting up there and back was not (except for getting to stay over at Josh’s amazing apartment in Hartford). We had a few really fun beach / pool swimming experiences, too. And watching toddlers “play soccer” in Prospect Park over several Sundays has been a trip. Basically I just love summer and will spend the next few months mourning the loss of it.

Nicole: Awww, I’m totally a Fall/Winter person. I don’t dislike summer, but I really love sweaters and snow.


Ester: I find winter hard to stand and fall is scarcely better because it’s a slow decline into clouds and muck, but I respect your position. I’ve always wondered if people who look better in sweaters are more partial to winter. They make me look lumpy.

Nicole: I don’t know whether I look better in sweaters or not. I just find the briskness of the whole thing very appealing. Plus, you get more soups and hot ciders! I think the food is better in fall/winter.

Ester: WHAT. Fruit! What’s better than fruit? Also I like to go barefoot and I hate the feeling of anything around my neck, so the colder it gets the more claustrophobic clothing makes me.

Nicole: Apples are a fall fruit! Oranges and grapefruits are winter fruits! And you get butternut squash and acorn squash and spaghetti squash and those lumpy green squash!

Ester: I get it! You like squash! :) Squash is fine but strawberries and watermelon are better. And apples are a 2nd class fruit. Except Honeycrisp apples, which are on loan to us from the gods until such time as they decide we are unworthy of them and take them back.

Nicole: Ester, I think I made it through the entire summer without eating a single slice of watermelon. I just forgot. Or maybe did not care.

Ester: I weep for you. On the other hand, I may have made it through the entire summer without having any top-notch whiskey? So you have me beat there. I did have some free Prosecco at a book party I went to that unexpectedly provided guests with free unlimited drinks and oysters.

Nicole: That sounds like a recipe for free unlimited barfing. Unless there were some carbs in there.

sorry shoulda trigger warning that

Ester: Nope, it was straight up shellfish & wine. I didn’t notice anyone throwing up. Perhaps they did it discreetly. Anyway, it was fun! There were these dudes just hanging out, shucking oysters and laying them out on ice for us. … I take it you’re not a mollusk person?

Nicole: I enjoy oysters, but after two glasses of wine I will definitely need about four slices of bread.

Ester: Well, I had half a glass (read: plastic cup) and one oyster and then some fruit tart and it was kinda perfect. It felt like I was on Cape Cod. Indeed, it was the closest I got to Cape Cod.

Well, enjoy the onslaught of autumn. I’ll be sulking in this corner over here, dreaming of getting to wear my way-too-expensive bathing suit one last time.

Nicole: And I am wearing a sweater and eating chicken-noodle soup right now.



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