Saturday Night Ain’t What It Used to Be

I recently took a breather from Netflix and caught a rerun of Saturday Night Live. The sight of John Travolta strutting his stuff on the dance floor brought back memories. As an old (or, shall I say, mature) married lady, Saturday is just another night for me. But it wasn’t always that way.

Saturday night used to be “date” night, an evening during which no respectable single woman ever stayed home alone. If your plans didn’t include dinner with an Adonis (or otherwise available male), you were obligated to hang out with your pals at The Marriott, which had loud music, single men, and expensive daiquiris with as much rum in them as there was in a glass of Yoo-hoo.

This ritual gave you something to do and could possibly land you a date for the following Saturday, and then — if things clicked — every Saturday night after that… until you got married, at which point you could both stay home.

I spent a lot of weekends socializing like this. The truth is, though, I never really enjoyed it. I wasn’t a fancy dancer. And, try as I might, I never saw anyone who remotely resembled the hunks my friends all swore were always there.

So, one weekend, I decided to stay home.

Sure, not everyone would have given my evening four stars: There was zip on TV, and the video store’s stock ranged from Kung-Fu movies to “How To Repair Your Toilet Tank.” I settled for a Cosmo quiz on Sex and the Office, ate a ham sandwich, then busied myself dialing Rigolini’s for some take-out.

I did have a fraction of constructive fun. I gave myself, my three cats, and the toes on the bathtub a pedicure. I took off all the address labels on my stack of magazines. And I sifted a bunch of lumps out of four tins of flour.

When my pizza arrived, the delivery guy tried to make a pass. He asked why a “looker” like me was home Saturday night, and I told him I had rabies. Then, because I was feeling a tad sorry for myself, I downed the whole pie, a liter of Coke, and a box of Oreos. I was so bloated when I got in my bubble bath, the water overflowed.

The next morning, a friend called to say what a great time she’d had — and, of course, to tell me about all the fabulous guys I missed.

There was the Latin actor with the Mercedes, who presented her with a rose. He would have danced every dance with her, she said, had his estranged, fourth wife not gotten drunk and jabbed him in the eye with a Pina Colada stirrer.

Another beau I missed was the “to-die-for” muscleman student, who was working his way through an “Applied Mechanic’s Helper” correspondence course. This gentleman offered my friend buffalo wings from the free buffet. He took her number, as well as the five Absoluts she bought him because he left his wallet in his other pants.

And then there was the suave, sandy-haired, blue-eyed mortician. His family owned a string of funeral parlors — and he offered to give a tour of one to demonstrate the latest in embalming methods and provide some makeup tips.

Looking back, I still say it was a toss-up as to who had the most fun.

These days, I sit with my hubby, binge-watching “Mad Men,” drinking diet soda, and munching low-sodium, low-fat popcorn. I can genuinely say Saturday night sure ain’t what it used to be.

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