My boyfriend has a saying. It starts when I make a proposal like, “Hey Joshy, you want to get some ice cream?” His answer is, “Why not? It’s Wednesday.” Sometimes I’ll suggest we go for a run. The answer is usually, “Why not? It’s Monday.” One time, we were sitting in his basement talking about riding bikes. Only it was 2 :00 a.m. and cold outside, so riding bikes wasn’t really an option. Our eyes both landed on the treadmill nearby… My jaw fell to the floor. “You want us to ride bikes on the treadmill?” I think you can guess the answer. “Why not? it’s Friday.” My boyfriend is a free spirit. (Note: riding bikes on a treadmill in the middle of the night was not a particularly intelligent, safe, or successful endeavor, though it did lead to copious amounts of laughter.)
I envy, but do not generally share his free spirit. I tend to stick to the book. It’s familiar, and besides, it’s usually easier. When I was in North Carolina last summer, I met Anna, a twenty-something victim of trafficking who lives even more by the book than me. She’s suffered enough in her life to put the unfamiliar out of the question. She likes a few things, and she sticks to her habits religiously. I liked her simplicity, even though it was born of destruction. Then one day out of the blue she announced that it was Wednesday and she was going to try something new. I glanced incredulously at the residence director of the Hope House. “Is she for real?” The residence director shrugged. “She does that.”
I never asked for the details, but Wednesdays are a part of Anna’s ugly past. Apparently something terrible would habitually happen to her on that day. Whatever it was, it was sour enough to put her in a sullen mood every Wednesday, even now. In an act of unforeseen courage, she vowed to dedicate Wednesdays to change. It was always something small, but healing. Once she wore her hair down and put in some earrings. It was entirely out of character. There was hope hidden in that spontaneous decision. Here was a soul coming alive! How could I not rejoice with her rejoicing? It was a minuscule act of defiance, but I loved her tenacity. So a few weeks ago, when a friend invited me to a kickboxing class on a Wednesday, I thought of Anna and said yes. And last Wednesday when I woke up and reached for my usual jeans and t-shirt attire, I paused–then grabbed a dress instead. Maybe today I’ll do something scandalously outrageous, like eat salmon for dinner, even though I hate fish. Why not? It’s Wednesday.