If Chicago is so awful, then why move here?

Alright. I’ve grown up in our lovely city of Chicago my whole life. I can’t help but feel a deep emotional connection to the place. I feel sort of like Anthony Kiedis singing about LA in “Under the Bridge”. So, I get a little defensive when people insult Chicago. I feel like they are insulting a family member.

Most Chicagoans are pretty gung-ho about the city.  And, I’ve had many visitors (both domestic and international) say that they really enjoy it here. But, there are the certain people who move here and then complain constantly about certain things. This really pushes my buttons. The following are some things I get highly annoyed with when you talk smack about my city.

 “Oh my God, it’s like, 30 degrees. I can’t even handle this weather.”

Yes, it is 30 degrees. It’s December. It’s the Midwest. What did you expect, palm trees? This is not Florida. Get a coat that weighs more than an elephant and deal with it like I’ve been doing for 30 years. Put on those boots. You’re lucky its not 20 below and you can't even open your car door because it's frozen shut. 30 is tropical for Chicago in December. Be grateful you're not wading through (literally) 2 feet of snow right now.

“It’s way too crowded here. I can’t handle all of the people.”

Hi. Have you ever noticed that Chicago has consistently been in the top five largest cities in the U.S. and A. for, basically, forever? If you want smaller, go back to Sioux Falls or wherever you’re from. There are a lot of people here. You will become good friends with the person you are unintentionally cuddling on the Red Line. Again, deal with it.

“The traffic is horrible. I can’t stand it.”

Ok, never mind, I agree with you here. It sucks.

“Chicago is so dirty. It’s disgusting.”

Actually, for being as large as it is, Chicago is pretty darned spotless compared to, oh, let’s say, New York? That whole alley thing worked out for us very well. You don’t see piles of garbage stacked on the sidewalk here, do you? Don’t freak out because you see one empty beer can on the street.

 (This one I find personally insulting, and have had it said to me): “Girls in Chicago are really unattractive.”

Uh…ok. I don’t know where you’ve been frequenting when coming here, but this is false. Yeah, we may not be Los Angeles where everyone is botoxed up, made mostly of plastic and 85 pounds, but we are real girls. And there are plenty of pretty ones here. I mean, with the high quotient of Polskis, there has to be a lot of attractive women. (Shameless plug for my heritage.)

I can understand if you get transferred here for a job and it wasn't your optimal choice, therefore you're not happy. However, there are MANY worse places in the US that you could be sent to, so I would quit the bitching. Summer is only 6 months away. And we know that there are no summers like Chicago summers.

There is my crabby rant for the day. I think it's because I'm disappointed I didn’t wake up to a fireball crashing through my window as was promised, so I’m a little ornery. Now excuse me while I go take a walk through my crowded, disgusting, cold city and enjoy the hell out of it.

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    Amy Litterski DeSario

    Born and raised in Chicago, probably not leaving any time soon. 30-something. University of Illinois alum. You can reach me at scribblingofthoughts@gmail.com.

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