Make it a Me-kend!
By: Abby Crosby
It will happen to most at one point during the summer. Friday will roll around and all of your friends (the real ones…not the Facebook kind) will have flown the coop, leaving you alone in the city, twiddling your thumbs wondering what to do next. Well, times like these call for some serious carpe diem-ing.
Times like these call for a me-kend. What’s a me-kend, you ask? Devoting the weekend to you, yourself and you. It might sound selfish, but it’s not. In fact, Oprah would probably endorse it. (Although that might be a bad example considering she still puts herself on every cover of O magazine and seems to have no problem moving from we to me. No judgement.)
If you’re hesitant to make yourself the centre of the universe for a whole day or two, then let this be your guide. Feel free to substitute activities you’d prefer if it tickles your fancy, after all it is your me-kend.
Food for thought
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so when you begin your me-kend on Saturday morning, fuel up. Canada’s Food Guide would tell you to have a healthy balance of fruits and grains, but letting a nutritional regime dictate your choice would be getting off on the wrong foot. Listen to your inner voice—the one that’s screaming, “Pastry! Latte!” Me-kends are about indulging. Of course, if you really would prefer an egg-white omelette and a soy non-fat no-fun coffee drink, then please, by all means…
All week we rush around, from the time the alarm goes off until we’re out the door running for the bus (or your own personal mode of transportation if you happen to be so lucky). What’s the hurry? It’s the me-kend. Lie around in your jammies for an hour watching bad television or reading a trashy magazine. Take an hour to pick out an outfit for when you do decide to leave the house. You don’t have to be anywhere. That’s the beauty.
Accessorizing your me-kend
Make sure you stick a few things in your bag for the day. You never know what’s going to come up or where the road will lead you. Your camera is a must. Who cares if you’re not a professional shutterbug. Let your inner photojournalist out no matter what your skill level. You’ll be happy when to have your me-kend well documented.
Pack a snack. Take two seconds and throw a granola bar or some trail mix and a bottle of water in your purse. We’ve all been in that position where you realize it’s been three or four hours since you last ate and the ground beneath your feet starts to feel like it’s teetering back and forth. Stay hydrated. No one likes me-kend burnout.
Put some sort of mobile music device in your pocket. Fill it with fun, summery songs. Give your me-kend a soundtrack. Whatever you do, leave the sad-bastard music at home. This includes, but is not limited to: Death Cab for Cutie, Ingrid Michaelson and the soundtrack to any romantic comedy.
Important warning: At some point during your me-kend, there is a chance you may find yourself fighting the urge to have a “woe is me, I’m all alone” moment and as much as you may enjoy the sweet, dulcet tones of your favourite mellow songstress, resist the temptation of sitting on a park bench with said music blaring in your ears, staring off into the distance pontificating your very existence. Keep it upbeat! Find a song that makes you want to skip.
New view, new perspective
You’ve eaten breakfast and you’ve packed a few things. Now what? Well, how well do you know your city? Have you explored every possible inch? Use some of your me-kend to venture off to a new neighbourhood. Your habitat can look really different when you’ve got the luxury of time to stop and take it all in. Don’t know where to go? Close your eyes, point to somewhere on a map and go! If your city is coastal and your finger landed on a body of water, please pick again, unless you have some sort of canoe or kayak and are well versed in water safety.
If you’re inner compass still isn’t working and your finger pointing still isn’t yielding any suitable results, try one of the following locales:
A public park: You know how you sit inside at your cubicle all week, searching for the will to live and wishing you were in the great outdoors romping through an open field? Well, this is your chance. Be one with nature. Find a park and park yourself. But remember what Baz Luhrmann said—wear sunscreen.
Summer = free: One of the joys of the season is that most cities are abuzz with free festivals. You never know when you might turn a corner and find yourself smack dab in the middle of some bhangara music or a Greek parade. Go with it.
Check out the stacks: The library is a great place to go by yourself. Browse around for something to take along with you for the day and keep your eyes open for fellow me-kenders. They’re probably easy to spot. Grab that classic novel you’ve always wanted to read, or something light and fluffy.
Travel back in time: How much do you know about the history of your own town? The number of years Starbucks has been in your neighbourhood doesn’t count. Visit an historic site and learn a little bit about your city’s back story. Think outside the box though. It doesn’t have to be a walking tour of the local legislature (yawn) or a museum. Go to a brewery and immerse yourself in the history of one of your local beers. It’s a great opportunity for a daytime buzz as well, which leads nicely into to the next suggestion for your me-kend…
When 4 p.m., or some close proximity hits, head to a patio or pub and have a cocktail to celebrate your me-kend. Raise a glass to yourself (maybe not literally lest people think you’ve lost your marbles) and reflect on your day. Branch out and try a new drink. Splurge and get that pricey glass of wine you’d normally shy away from. You should probably have a bite to eat as well. No one likes a stumbling, drunken me-kender loose on the streets. That could get ugly.
So there you have it. You’ve filled a whole day, and if you’re feeling really hardcore it doesn’t have to end there. Who says you can’t have a good time alone? Madness!
It’s all about the me-kend. Spread the word. Tell your friends. Next time when you’re out of town, they’ll want to take a cue from you.