Each Friday night, I get dressed in a white polo shirt and dress pants. I set the table, usually for four -me, my parents, and my youngest sister Dena. I skim the entertainment part of the newspaper. And then I sit and wait for a little bit and just relax.
My father comes home from shul, we sit at the table, we sing the songs which we've sung so many times that my harmonies never change anymore. There's something comforting about that familiarity. We start eating with soup, and I prefer my mother's tomato soup but her chicken soup isn't bad. It's always one or the other. For the actual meal my mother always makes something I'll eat. Usually chicken, which I don't mind.
We sing more songs, we bentsch, I leave. I have three places to go on a Friday night, so I try to spend as many of the hours before my 3:00 bedtime as I can on socializing. I don't get to socialize much during the week- just forums.
Avri lives next door, and I think by this point I can call him a friend. I give him comics, he runs the games nights, we're both extremely geeky, there's always what to talk about. Being a family man, he normally goes to sleep too early for me, so if I talk to him it's only in the day. A few doors away is the Feldmans, where there are three people who often are willing to talk to me (one of which doesn't seem to mind staying up until 3). If all else fails, I can always stand around outside the Feldmans' house for a few hours and wait for him to come home. (I guess I'm a little bit of a stalker, yes.) The Feldmans aren't really my friends, but they're convenient to have as a backup plan. A few blocks away are the Amitais, who I've discovered stay up pretty late some nights. I thought Nati was my friend, but he refuses to do anything at all that I ask him to. For instance, this past Shabbat his mother didn't want noise downstairs, and he wouldn't walk outside with me to talk. That's no friend. Still, there are three Amitais willing to talk to me, so they're convenient to know. Moshe is my best friend, and he lives the farthest away. After some searching I'm convinced that I've found the absolute fastest route to his apartment (17 minutes ordinary walking speed). He's not always there and he likes to go to sleep early but he'll make an exception when I'm there.
Between the four of them, it's quite easy to fill 25 hours.
There's really not more to the day than that. But it's usually pleasant. So much of the week is spent isolated and lonely. It's nice to have a day set aside for me where I know some people will have nothing better to be doing than talking to me.
My life would get kind of unbearable without Shabbat.