Back in college, as many of us were from the driving distance area, there was a well-known landmark. It was a simple house, tucked between a common looking neighborhood. A little run down, it was distinguished by a cliché blinking neon sign in front of it that simply said “Vacancy.” I’m never quite sure where certain things get reputations. Take for example white vans. They will never live down that they give away free candy and every child has been taught to avoid them at all costs. Similar to the white van, when anyone passed by this house they felt the need to call it out: ST. CLAIRES! St. Claires was believed to be a brothel. And while everyone had a friend of a friend of a cousin that said that she heard her boyfriend’s brother say he KNEW it was true, FOR A FACT….was it ever really? I say all this because I fear the door men of my apartment complex whisper, call out and are sure it’s confirmed that my roommate and I run a, er, similar business. And not for the reasons you think. You see in the past two months, we’ve had about 10 different visitors stay with us. It’s the hotel, motel, holidayyyy innnnnn. And while I have friends question if I get annoyed, if it messes up my schedule, if I can afford it, all I can think is I’m so blessed to have a house continually filled with love & visitors who make my heart happy.
It’s been a whirlwind of travel, a sales conference in DC, back to my alma mater for recruiting and then home where my sister, my freshman roommate, my 2 housemates, my best friend from home, my roommates best friend, my gay best friend, my friend whose a senior still at school, my friend who now lives in Cleveland while I live in her hometown of Chicago….you get the idea….all rotated swinging by and checking in. They never overlapped, which tells me subconsciously there was a Vacancy/No Vacancy sign above my head as we discussed their visits. Annnnndd right about here is where I’m gonna end the brothel comparison because we’re treading in treacherous waters, people.
Either way, I had a fantastic time with the many young’ns who stopped on by and the episodes of my future sitcom are numerous. I think a recurring theme in my show will be my entire lack of knowledge of directions. When one of my better halves was in town we decided to go downtown and grab some breakfast. Bfast is my weakness and I’m sure I’m not alone here. Can honestly one person reading say they don’t enjoy a small town’s pancake breakfast or eggs for dinner? As I slowly become a connoisseur of the hotspots for a 12 pm “breakfast” when I finally muster the energy to get out of bed, I decided my visitor needed to be along for one of the journeys. We went to a place real close off of Michigan Avenue, ya know, only the most recognizable street and easy to access (brothel joke here) location in Chi. We made one turn off of it and were at our restaurant. Well, after we had finished we were fully immersed in discussing the details of the night before and must have missed our turn somewhere because about 20 minutes later we looked up and saw a dead-end and very few humans. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 100 times, the only reason why I want a smartphone is for the GPS/Google Map directions. Other than that, I like my 1999 A.C. Slater throw back that I know will probably be lost in two months anyways. At least in Chicago the people spoke english and could direct us back to the H&M. Unlike Italy where, when traveling there with my housemates as a graduation gift to ourselves, I boarded the wrong train and traveled an hour out into the Rome “suburbs.” It was only when I realized me and one other woman were still riding that I thought, “this can’t be close to the Spanish Steps…” A short panic attack, a $200 pay phone bill later, I united with the crew. So see, all is well that ends well. THAT’S AMORE!
A few of the above Euro travelers that I pissed my savings away trying to simply meet up
on day one visited this past weekend. I recently saw an ad from Grey Goose that was a simple cheers to really great friends. I was lucky enough to live with 5 of them throughout college. And despite the fact that we were only a 3-headed monster this weekend, I knew damage was going to be done. We spent St. Patricks Day Saturday hitting on doormen with girlfriends, dancing where there was no dance floor, shittalking about the jerseys we were repping, making friends in the bathroom line and just generally being inappropriate.
We decided to end the evening at “Bye, Bye Liver” and for those of you who never claimed to be the “cool mom,” let me explain. It’s simply an interactive comedy and drinking show. Since I really find any reason I can to be in the spotlight, when they asked for a single, ring-less wearing loser to come forward I proudly held up my hand and gave those desperate eyes men are accustomed to seeing to get chosen. A lucky fella a few seats up and I then played a game to determine if we were a match made in Saturday night, beer goggle heaven. While we answered questions such as “What determines if you are in a serious relationship, is it A. You keep a toothbrush at their place. B. You piss on their leg in the shower. C….” all I heard was “whisper, whisper sweet nothings.” The show ended and my match.com helpless victim offered to buy me a drink and introduce his italian- chain- wearing friends. While most would envision this story ending in a typical good time as the opposite sexes mingled over peeing on your leg icebreakers and did you grow that chest hair yourself conversation, that’s just not how we roll. See, as time passed quickly it was soon only my comrades, the guidos, and a group of women nearby celebrating their friend’s 50th birthday. Maybe we identified with the women’s clearly strong friendship, maybe we saw our own mother’s in their faces, whatever it was we couldn’t ditch the guys fast enough to join the dance circle that was forming a few feet away from us as “SHAKE IT LIKE A POLAROID PITUUREE” bumped through the air. The women welcomed us by throwing boas our way and getting lower than a seventh grader at a Catholic school dance. My friends were pulling out their best moves in the middles as I was asking the DJ to play “I’m every woman” and give a special shout out to the birthday girl. If you’re asking why, you’ve clearly never had an “ALL MY WOMEN WHO INDEPENDENT THROW YOUR HANDS UP AT ME” while your hands are actually in the air- moment. We did this for much longer than you’d think is humanly possible and soon, with a look of longing cast back, waved goodbye to our future selves. It was a magical night to say the least.
And the truth is, I can see all too easily me writing about celebrating my 50th with many of the visitors above and talking about some crazy kids who joined in cheers’ing to fabulous friends. Obviously, after icing my knees from getting low. (End scene on brothel sore knees joke.) G’DAY.