Last week we went to visit my son Alex in Chicago for Thanksgiving. Roland and I went, and took along Jack. Roland lived in Chicago years ago just after college. All he remembers about it is the absolute perfect pizza he used to get - but no idea of the restaurant or location. It's a quest every time. I've been there many times and love the feel of the big city. Jack has learned how to walk along the busy city streets and not get so distracted he can't go to the bathroom. (You do remember Jack is my dog, right?)
We started our new tradition of non-traditional Thanksgiving last year. We kick back for a couple days, see the city, eat Thanksgiving dinner in a Persian restaurant and shop. It's an escape, great visit with Alex and a chance to see and do things we don't normally do. I love going to Chicago.
But this visit was different. I could say it's because I've been more tired lately with trying to get Fangboner Farms launched in addition to my terrific full-time career. It could be because I've gone there quite a few times. We know it's NOT because I'm getting older. As much as I loved seeing Alex and doing things in the city, it wasn't quite as fun.
Traffic. Why does everyone have to be going where I'm going when I'm going there? And believe me, I'm a pretty assertive person. But not aggressive enough for traffic on the Dan Ryan Expressway (and who is Dan Ryan anyway?) And the sound of Roland biting his nails distracts me. He always makes me drive in the city and seriously chomps his nails to bloody stumps.
Rudeness. I know I'm generalizing and there are a lot of nice people in Chicago but I seem to keep meeting the rude ones. Things I take for granted - holding the door open for the person behind me, not jumping ahead in a long line at the store and letting a car go ahead of me in traffic - seem to be missing.
People. Why are there so many of them??? I like people and am pretty social, but man, you can't walk down the street without running into so many of them. I can't imagine what an introvert would feel like.
Privacy. Refer back to so many people. All the houses are on top of each other. Unless you keep all of your windows covered all the time, everyone can see in. Not sure people care enough to look in, but I certainly looked in windows when we went by. And no, it's not a habit I have and have ever been arrested for.
I think it dawned on me on the drive home. As much as I love the city, this whole country thing is growing on me. I like that I can walk out onto our deck in my jammies and bunny slippers (stop and visualize for a moment) and feed our barn kitty Buddy and not worry about anyone seeing me. That I can leave our back blinds open on the French doors in the dining room to see the sun rise. And that I can amble with Jack to the back of the farm and not even hear any cars or people. Occasional gunshots yes but different kind of gunshots than the city.
I still say Roland is doping the well water.