Well..no one guessed, and I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, I deliberately made it a little hard. But I was in Chicago for the weekend. Forgive me if I ramble a bit, but a lot to cram in and not a lotta time to do it!
The “GUESS” photo was the lobby of the Drake Hotel…the sort of place I could probably never afford to stay were it not for the advent of Priceline.
Of course, we had the Priceline room. On a low floor. Next to the fire escape. With a view of the roof. But, it was a gorgeous room with a big bathroom (sometimes in those fine old hotels, the terlit rooms are TEENY!) and a walk in closet. Easily worth twice what we were able to get it for. I digress…
The occasion was the christening of the new niece and nephew on Sunday and a huge to-do at Bonnie and Clyde’s (my outlaws) house on Saturday ,but we took Friday night to stay in the city. The thought was we would do some shopping, check out a museum, have a nice dinner, maybe a few drinks, and in general enjoy the town before getting on the big ole commuter train out to the suburbs where Bonnie and Clyde live, and one of the sister-out-laws and her hubby live. (The other sister out law and her hubby very wisely *sarcasm intentional* made the 16 hour drive from their home in upstate NY with their 2 month old, so they could both be christened together) According to reports, the baby was well behaved for all but the last hour or two…but honestly, who is so brave? Either the child or myself would have to be given a handful of my mama’s nerve pills before I would ever attempt such a drive.
But let me back up a little.
Thursday night, I was, admittedly, a little grumpy. I only own two ties. I HATE to wear a tie. They are uncomfortable, I can’t even tie one, and frankly, I feel like I look like a kid trying on his dad’s clothes when I wear one. Unless someone is being married or buried, you will not catch me in one. I was going to make an exception for a christening…but the shirt that goes with one of my two ties is really too big and if I wear it for more than two hours I end up looking like I’ve got a poof valance around my waist–and I really don’t own another button up shirt that would look good with that tie. And the other tie must have gotten something spilled on it the last time I wore it, because the silk was all puckered and water spotted.
So, I was down to ZERO ties. I went to three department stores. I went to two men’s speciality stores. I found nothing that I was willing to buy. So I was a little upset. Then, my luggage for the weekend would not fit into my carry-on and I was pissed that I was going to have to spend money to check a damned bag. (I mean, really, airlines, just charge more for the damned ticket and give us a bag of friggin peanuts, a can of Coke, and let us check a stinkin’ bag!!!)
My irritable mood led to a fight between me and the honey. To call it a fight is an overstatement. We do not fight. We passive aggressively ignore each other for a few hours until we are able to forget what it is that we should have been fighting about. So, we are “fighting” and I go to bed early…asking on my way up what time I should set my clock. I’m met with either silence, or some flippant comment about how the whole trip might just be cancelled anyway. So, I do not set a clock. Which is normally a fine thing to do, since an early flight generally means that TWO clocks and a cell phone are set.
So, on Friday morning, I woke up, stretched, marveled for a moment how refreshed I felt, and looked at the clock to realize that our plane had left an hour earlier. A couple of hours later, and who knows how much in change fees, we were on another flight.
So the trip to the city part was cut short…but we did get in some shopping (was still hoping to find a tie), dinner with an old friend, and some general site seeing. Actually, shopping is probably the wrong word, since it implies that purchases were made. I got a new pair of jeans, and that was it. Which means that either I’m too cheap to buy clothes or so out of fashion that I can’t find anything I like anymore. (Please tell me I’m not turning into that old guy who wears a double knit suit 30 years after they were popular!!)
But I digress again…
I’ve always thought that maybe the outlaws thought I was a bit odd for not liking public transit. This is not altogether true–I had one unpleasant experience in which I had to pry my bags off of a cola-soaked subway floor (I tell myself it was cola although I know full well, thank you, that it was more likely something oozed by a homeless tranny crack whore). It isn’t that I dislike public transist, I’m just never thrilled at the idea of taking anything other than the comfortable suburban express trains (which, Im told, have a bar car). So I was a bit surprised when Clyde picked us up at the train station and told us that he had NEVER been there before. I knew Bonnie’s answer to any transportation need was to call a limo, but I figured Clyde had surely used the train to commute at some point in his decades in the suburbs. So I guess I was wrong, and will now just have to come up with some other reason they think I’m odd…
Jeesh, I am babbling…let me try to wrap it up a little.
The Saturday night party was a success. It was an open house at Bonnie and Clyde’s to introduce the babies to everyone. I don’t know how many people came–maybe 100. Old neighbors, current neighbors, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends of all involved. Apparently I’m terrible at remembering people…everytime I’d introduce myself to someone, they’d remind me that we met at such-and-such wedding or so-and-so party. Maybe it’s just that I’m drunk at weddings and parties. Yeah, that’s probably it.
The christening the next day was a success as well. Our two little bundles of joy were among seven sprinkled with holy water (dispensed, as it were, from something that looked to me to be a damned marble bird bath) there in the church. I’ve never been much for religion myself, but the hammer trusses and coffered ceilings in that sanctuary made my heart do a cartwheel. Would it be wrong to join a church just to admire the joinery of it’s woodwork? Probably so…
I was more than a little amused and relieved (since I never did find a tie) at what some of the other congregants were wearing. (I should point out that none of these were there to see our bundles be blessed) One sported a pink mohawk, a few had eyes so darkly lined that one can only conclude these ladies passed up the Maybelline for a Sharpie, and one grandmama had on skin tight blue jeans, a leopard jacket, and EIGHT, count ’em (I had to), EIGHT damned necklaces. Overkill much? I may not know a Revelation from a Psalm, but I do know you don’t dress like you’re running into the Wal-mart for laundry soaps when you go to church.
Of course, a second party followed the christening–this one at the home of one of the sister and brothers-out-law. They had catered Italian beef sandwiches–which, like public transit, I have a reputation of hating. And it’s true. I know they are a Chicago classic, but they taste like wet napkins to me. If I’m going to eat something as bad for me as that greasy beef no doubt is, it better have some flavor to it. And be covered in chocolate.
On the way home, which, thankfully, involved no drama or delays, I started reading a new book–Ken Follett’s “World Without End”…the sequal to his “Pillars of the Earth” which was easily one of the best books I have ever read. “Pillars” has wide appeal–I know people of all sexes, ages, and backgrounds who have read and LOVED it. So far, “World” is just as good. Don’t let their length deter you from reading them–they are well worth it!
Of course, if you have made it this far, you are no stranger to a long read. So, I’ll make the story of how the gramma-in-law tried to eat the centerpiece a tale for another time…