Love/Hate

The hardest thing about being married is that you can’t just walk away. At least you’re not supposed to. I’ll admit it. Sometimes, I wish I could. I have the moment all planned out. I’d wear my highest heels and stomp towards my exit with authority, whisk my body around causing my hair to land perfectly as I shoot my death-ray glare at my husband and then turn back around to slam the door. Man, I love a dramatic exit!

The thing is, when you are married, you can’t stay gone. You can’t wait for them to beg you to come back. You just have to go back. You’ve got homework to help with, dinner to make, lunches to prepare, clothes to iron for work, water bills to pay, etc. You don’t have time to actually do the whole “I love you. I hate you” thing. Its simply too much life to do.

To be fair, this is not a husband bashing post. In fact, I love my husband dearly. (Hi Honey!) This is about the other thing that I love/hate. I don’t love it more than my family or friends, but I would say its in my top five. I don’t hate it more than liars, but its inched up the list as of late. We’ve been together all my life.

This post is all about dear old Chicago.

Chicago’s nighttime skyline

The first time I realized that I sort of hated you was when I was 8 years old and you cracked my lips in the winter. As I rubbed mounds of vaseline on the splits, I realized that you were nothing to play with. Even when you were being “cool” you were cold as hell. The next time I hated you was when I was 18. Fresh fake ID, hot summer night and a car full of friends was the beginning of a great entrance into freedom. That was until I got out the club. My alcohol hazy stumble down the street, laughing with friends quickly turned to panic.

“Hey, where did you park?”

“Right over here.”

“What color is your car again?”

“Green.”

“ALL the cars over here are gone.”

“WHAT?!?!?!?!?!” As I begin to come to myself, I yelled, “SOMEBODY stole my car!”

“Nobody stole your car girl! Your joint got towed.” Pointing up, “You didn’t see that sign?”

Me and six other victims walk begrudgingly into the pound.

“That’ll be $250+tow fees. Total is $385 ma’am.”

It was then I realized that you would and could screw me with no vaseline.

I, being the hard head that I am, didn’t listen — and you never changed. Hitting me up every time I got paid. I thought that after the kids were born, we could make things work, but it only made it worse. You forced them to split their time between me and studying for random standardized tests. To make matters worse, you would sometimes make them sit out of school because you were too stubborn to agree. For many summers, you held back money to fund programs — money that actually belonged to the people — and it got so violent that you slayed everything in your path. At that point, I knew I was done.

I began looking at other cities; romanticizing what a life would be like with them. But you kept whispering in my ear and every time I heard your waves on the lake. You would tickle my eyes with your dazzling architecture and class. You would make me salivate for your hot, cheesy, tangy deep dish pizza. No one can resturant like you Baby. You would remind me of how my body tingled under the stars as I danced with you. Most of all, you reminded me that we had this deep soul connection. I understood you. You understood me. And we both knew that as jacked up as we were, we were also cool as the other side of the pillow.

Perhaps one day, I’ll have my glorious exit. I’ll have a big going away party at the Richard J. Daley Center and I’ll pass out Richard Daley church fans and have Harold Washington masks for everyone to wear. Or I’ll stop fooling myself and get back to living life in the Windy City. My home. A place that I can never leave; and if I do, I’ll always have to go back.

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