Monday, September 15, 2008

My Summer Vacation Part II-IV: Clubbing, Ex-Boyfriends, and Hookers, Oh My! (Family-Friendly Version)

DAY ONE began with me and Maverick on a plane….this is how it ended, 15 hours later:

Midnight. Panic-stricken, but wearing a fabulous dress and hot sandals, I step outside a bar in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood and into the rain to call my husband. Groggy voice on the other end lovingly says, “What’s going on?”

“I’m at a bar in Chicago with Michael (my little brother), Wheels (my best friend), and Ed (dear-friend-slash-old-high-school-boyfriend), and I think my wallet was stolen….I’M SO SORRY!”


“Ed’s with you?”



“Did you check with him?”

Remember, I’m standing in the rain.

“I shouldn’t be allowed out of the house alone, should I.”

“Probably not. I’ll check with Citibank. Don’t worry about it.”

I come back in to find another round of drinks on the table. Courtesy of Ed.

I get a text.

Dave: Did you get gas today?

Me: In our van?

Dave: In Chicago

Me: No

Dave: I’ll cancel our credit cards.

Me: Super. Thanks. Now go on back to bed and don’t worry about a thing. I’m in complete control up here and doing great. Love ya!

Knowing my husband could sleep soundly now, I resumed my position at the table. The bar owner narrowed down the night’s patrons to one suspect he described as “dressed like a hooker”. He offered me a shot for my troubles…I declined.

DAY TWO began without identity, cash, or sunshine. In fact, Cook County was under a tornado watch, and I was feeling rather vulnerable.

We made a quick stop by the Chicago Police Department to file a report so I could have proper paperwork in hand to board the plane home Sunday sans ID. Oh, and so the CPD could get right on that search for my wallet. I’m sure they’ll call any day now with good news.

“What can we do for you?” Officer Donohoe – a broad if ever there was one – asked.

“I need to file a report for a stolen wallet,” I replied.

“How do you know it was stolen?” she challenged.

Fair enough. “Someone started charging gas to my credit card about 30 minutes after I last saw it last night.”

She wasn’t easily convinced. “Where were you? Tell me the whole story.”

“Well, I’m here on vacation from Lawrence, Kansas. Last night we were at a bar, and my sister called at exactly 11:09 pm. She has a new a baby and never calls that late –“

“Speed it along, Dorothy.”

“Okay, I had a 15 minute window where my purse was open, and by the end, my wallet was missing and a Ukrainian Village hooker was buying gas with my credit card,” I said as fast as I could.

“Did she get your little dog, too?” she amused herself.

“Look, I just need paperwork to show airport security on Sunday so I can get on the plane to go home, since I forgot to pack my ruby slippers,” I amused myself too.

The Good Witch of the Southside granted me my wish, and Wheels and I motored to the W to get dolled up for a night of clubbing where I learned quickly not to make eye contact with any males. This is how every conversation I had with strangers that night went, and I am not kidding:

Him, with a cocktail: Hey, what’s your name?
Me, with club soda and a smile: Julie
Him, not remembering my name: Where are you from?
Me, not caring what his is: Kansas
Him, showing off his genius IQ: Are you on vacation?
Me, showing off my power to repel: Yes...I’m married and have four kids.
Him, standing there:
Me, leaving there: Nice to meet you!

DAY THREE I bought the most fabulous yellow giraffe-print purse thanks to my very patient brother who loaned me cash and drove me around.

Wheels, Michael, Ed, a few other friends, and I ended the night at a bar in Bucktown. I wanted to stop time and bask endlessly in the glow of the unadulterated bliss of reliving the happiest of my teenage years, but my plane was leaving in just a few hours. So Wheels and I hopped back to Wrigleyville for a quick nap at Michael’s where I weighed the possibility of moving to Chicago so I could buy a boatslip on Lake Michigan for happy hour and rock the street festivals every weekend.

Too soon, though, the Wizard showed up with his balloon to take me to Midway (okay, it was a cabbie). And after an uncomfortably thorough screening at security, during which I pleaded with the officials to let me on board in spite of the fact that the only ID I had was a very expired passport, a Facebook page, and a tattoo, I was sound asleep on my plane back to Munchkinland, where the Acting Mayor was waiting with open arms and four citizens in tow. Glinda was right, there really is no place like home.


la_vie_en_shoes said...

In a bar "Hi, I'm married and have four kids" is a slightly worse pickup line than "Hi, I have Hep C and don't wax."