I’ve lived here forever. Yeah, I’ve put up with delightful winters that actually buried people in snow, tornadoes at Wrigley Field where we literally had to go to a bar named “The Dugout” which was luckily underground so we didn’t die, a monsoon at Lollapalooza where I looked as if I had had gotten doused on that Nickelodeon show "You Can't Do That On Television", whatever. It happens. It’s a city in the Midwest, right? So, as I would usually say, “deal with it”. But here are a few things I do not understand about Chicago.
1) Why, oh why, in the hell has 290 not been expanded? Especially now for people doing the winter commute (which I used to be one of)? Ok, I am waiting for the rash of “fundingpoliticsyou’reanassholeandknownothing” responses. That's great. I’m sure you can give me 8,503 reasons why it hasn’t. But, have you driven it in the sleet while cussing out your imaginary passenger next to you because you’ll be late to work, even though you left an hour early? Have you flicked off someone who cut you off to realize it was an old lady in a Buick and felt (a little) bad? If you have, come at me. However, it is one of the most widely used expressways in the city and is one of the most crowded, dreaded expressways to use. Seeing "123 minutes to Circle" on that handy traffic board is really good for the soul.. Hey, if you’re lucky, you might find a body bag sprawled in the middle lane on it during your commute like I did last year! (In all respect, that story is horrible, and I cannot believe that it happened. I was just shocked to see that in the middle of a major Chicago passage. Please don’t think I’m making light of that.)
2) Why don’t people shovel their sidewalks? I am, yes, as you would call it, Amy Huge Hypocrite as I live in a building where I do not need to shovel. If I did, my ass would be out there when I saw that first flake fall. You know why? Because people like Amy Huge Hypocrite and others who are really graceful fall on that stuff. Or maybe it’s just me falling on anything, even when I am upright and it’s July in River North…? Moving on.
3) On that note, and I am guilty also for the obligatory “It’s so cold oh my god I can’t feel my fingers and my left pinkie has frostbite and I can’t feel my lips and I want to die and I’m moving to San Diego or LA ("where I won’t be able to afford my the apartment I have here and will consequently move into a nice dorm room sized place" BECAUSE of said weather) quotes. Yes, I get frustrated too. Well, here’s a news flash, people, and a reminder to myself. I grew up here, you moved here, I SHOULD understand this one. It's going to be 15 degrees and I'm going to not feel the left half of my face when I walk home. I will need to wear a hat that makes me resemble the Unabomber if I want to stay warm. I will have to wear gloves that will make it impossible for me to even fetch a dollar out of my purse and make me look like Edward Scissorhands to pay for a CTA pass. If anyone has ever watched Tom Skilling, you will realize, Chicago is not Belize. We get this brutal cold weather here. Midwest. Not Southwest. Not Orange County. Not Ecuador. You must realize it’s necessary to walk around bunched up like a toddler in long underwear and down coats that make you sneeze. (Sorry, maybe that’s just me.) It happens almost every winter. I don’t think you’re going so see a gecko climbing up your windowsill in February (although, if you did, that’d be extraordinary. Probably a gecko sick of the Miami scene wanting some Midwest flair.).
4) Why do people give you a dirty look when you walk into a store and try to stomp off the lovely slush that has gathered on your boots on the welcome mat as opposed to dragging that lovely mess into your store? Would you like me to track street sleet through your store? I could probably salt it with all the shiz that is at the bottom of my boots. I'm a walking salt truck now. I’d be more than happy to. Just put up the “Oh shit you’re going to fall” sign and everything’s fine. I won’t sue you for the broken tailbone because dude over here told me to “WATCH OUT!” Although this sign looks like me dancing at McFadden’s in 2006. But, in my defense, the floor was probably wet there too, from $1 bomb shots and God knows what else.
5) Lastly, the chair “let’s save parking spots” thing. How is this effective? Ok, look. I’ve grown up here and seen MANY a chair, preferably the crap lawn chair that your drunk relative broke and now it is of no use but to save a parking space. But wait, let’s not exclude skateboards, tool benches, beach balls, Blessed Mother statues, shovels, brooms, and hey, I’ve actually seen humans too. Standing. In a space. Only in Chicago.
Happy winter in Chicago, everyone!