‘So, how was your summer?’

Since I moved to the US, I have gradually become one of those who dread Mondays. I don’t dread Mondays for the obvious reasons:  The start of a new hectic week, the end of a weekend, etc. I dread it because it’s the day that I have to submit my social life report first thing in the morning. It’s the day that I’m expected to find a very good answer to the most dreadful question: “How was your weekend?”

When people ask me this question (and they always do), I usually stutter, trying to find the most exciting response. It’s really nerve-racking as I have to come up with an answer along the lines of “It was great. I hiked the Appalachian Trail, and swam in the Atlantic, then had a BQQ on a boat with exciting cosmopolitan, friends who discussed the merits of eating beef from grass-fed cows.”

The sad reality is that I always fail in this instance by giving the wrong answer to this inevitable question. My answer is usually something like: “It was nice, relaxing”. Really, why impose that pressure on me? What if I spent my weekend drinking coffee, and watching reruns of Sex and the City in my Victoria’s Secret Pajamas? What if the highlight of my weekend was using Weed and Feed for the first time? Can I still submit this in the weekend report on Monday morning without eyebrows being raised and quick smiles being exchanged?

Living in a town where motivation and moving up the ladder is the name of the game, having a lame weekend would not bode well for my career. I feel tremendous pressure to fit it, to be able to concur the weekend like the rest of the Washingtonians so that I can submit a stellar report first thing on the very fist day of the working week.

The sad news is that this pressure doubles when it’s summer time, when people not only ask you about your weekend but also ask you about your summer. Now that’s when I start sweating (and not only because of the record-breaking heat). It’s usually the time of the year when people expect me to come up with answers that include words such as “Hawaii”, “Disney Land” “Beach”  “cruise” and “Europe”. See, I failed miserably this summer since I can’t provide any of the correct answers. What I did this summer was absolutely nothing. I went to work, watched reruns of Sex and the City and did projects around the house. In normal circumstances I shouldn’t feel bad about it, should I? But not here, not in this town where the brightest and the most competitive dwell. Not in this cut-throat city where high scores need to be achieved, all-year around especially during summer time. Do you see my debacle nowadays? Not only do I have to give a report about my weekend, but I also need to constantly update everyone on my progress for the whole duration of the summer (three months or more). I have to keep them updated on how exciting (or unexciting) my life is. It is a double whammy really, and I’m one of those with feeble hearts who will eventually succumb to this scary pressure and collapse.

The good news is that it’s September and summer is almost over. This means I will go to submitting only one weekly report that I usually fail. Ah, well, what can I do? You can’t have it all. And on that note, hope everyone is having a good summer!

9 thoughts on “‘So, how was your summer?’”

  1. Interesting! I never think about it. I always respond “It was relaxing” and then ask them back what they did because I’m curious to hear about different things that may amuse me or help me find something different to do.

    Besides, it’s always fun to hear different cultural kind of things, you know? Like the pig story, the hair cuttery thing etc LOL

    I always like to talk about weekends, especially if I spent them in Philly! LOL

  2. Hasn’t the pressure tripled with the digital media? Not only do you have to update people you meet in real life, you also have to keep your online followers impressed! Add to that friends and family on different time zones (mostly waiting updates over the phone) and you become a full time … hhhmmmm …can’t find the right word in my vocabulary. Just don’t stress out and keep impressing. Shouldn’t be hard for you 😉

  3. Oh Natasha. You have a very interesting life. I think you just don’t realize it! I love following your updates. I love finding out what new recipe you’re trying. I loved hearing about the shed you all built in the back of your house. Never think these things are mundane and boring. If our lives are boring to some people, then the problem is with those people and not with our lives. What’s important is that we’re satisfied and happy with what we do with our time. Who cares what anyone else thinks? I’ve never minded telling people that I had a nice, relaxing weekend. That’s how most of my weekends are. I’m assuming that’s how most of other peoples’ weekends are as well.

  4. I should have left a name with that last response! Didn’t realize it didn’t do that automatically. I’m Nadia 🙂

  5. When I read your intro to your Website on Twitter: “So how was your summer? Nearly the same words you wrote came to mind; the only difference — I watched re-runs of Stargate Atlantis.
    Kenneth S. Samac

    @KenSamac – Twitter

  6. Well. Surprised to hear about this reaction. When I used to teach, I was doing work where I seldom saw colleagues, just students. Never really occurred to me to think how was my weekend, how was my month, how was my life.

    Guess that’s why it seems hard to figure out what day of the week it is now. When I worked, I knew. In retirement it occasionally isn’t easy to figure.

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