So we survived Halloween by keeping the shutters closed and the porch light off. Oh what a party pooper you may say, but hear me out. Mr. Husband and I are the babies in our neighborhood. The majority of our neighbors are elderly and the only time a house goes up for sale around here is when someone died. There are no houses with children near us.
Any kids that show up here are bused in from who knows where and swarm all over the block scaring us half to death when they dart out into the street from between parked cars. I don’t like it. When I’m in a cynical mood I wonder if the parents are hoping for the opportunity for a juicy lawsuit. I prefer children that I at least know in passing, as in I trip over their tricycle when walking my dog, they throw a Tonka truck at my head, etc.
The holidays are always a weird time for me. It is particularly stressful for me because I have in-laws who have entirely different expectations of when and how to celebrate holidays. After going through this for years I have developed a deep-seated resentment because my in-laws tend to ignore the fact that I have my own family with their own expectations and ways of doing things. This is mostly my fault because I haven’t put my foot down and explained that I have a right to celebrate my way occasionally. Instead I’ve piled up a humongous debris tower of resentment.
I have bowed out a few times over the years and gone to be with my family for Thanksgiving. I always have a lot of fun even though my family gatherings can get a bit wild and crazy. So… what to do…what to do?
I’m going try to plan a bit this year and decide what I am willing and capable of doing. I’m going to send out Christmas cards this year. I haven’t for a few years, partly because I received a snippy reply from one of the card recipient’s informing me that I was wasting the earth’s precious resources and killing trees by sending out Christmas cards. Well, how rude! I removed them from my list and in an attempt to take the high ground I refrained from calling them and sharing my opinion that they should take up residence next door to the Grinch who stole Christmas.
So here I am facing the holidays again. It occurred to me while ruminating about this subject for the last few days is that Mr. Husband our past 10 years together has not joined me with my family for a holiday even once. It’s been his way or the highway, year after year. I’m not quite sure why I put up with this, but it’s starting to piss me off. Why do I do this to myself? I’ll just grin and bear something for years or even decades and then suddenly it’s a Mt. Vesuvius eruption of anger and resentment. Then I decide that I’m not going take it anymore and Yee Haaa, here we go.
So it’s not too early to plan for the holidays. I’ve pretty much decided that I’m going to do the Christmas card thing. But, for Thanksgiving I’m going to visit my family in New Orleans. What the heck, maybe I’ll just stay there for Christmas. I haven’t been with my family for Christmas in maybe 20 years. It’s high time to do something about that.
Mr. Husband and I just got home from a much needed vacation. It was the first time the Hubman went to Chicago. For some reason I thought he’d been there before. We had a great time and walked our feet off. Hub was recuperating from a cold but still managed to drag himself all over the city with us.
Our gracious host who is Mom’s longtime friend showed us around town. It was a lot easier and so much more fun than wandering around with a map and lost look.
On the second night there we went to a bar called the Red Line Tap for open mike night. The picture to the left is Mom doing her gig there. They know her by now because she’s been going there for about a year now whenever she gets up to Chicago. The lady who runs the place gave her a big hug and made an effort to put her in the line up fairly early in the evening so we didn’t have to stay until the wee hours for her turn to come up.
We also went to the Museum of Art and the Museum of Science and Industry. We got in to see the U505 exhibit. It is a tour of a German submarine captured in WWII. What a trip. I don’t not want to imagine what it was like to be cooped up in an underwater tin can for 90 days with 60 men, 1 toilet and no shower. I guess in times of war you gotta do what you gotta do. I probably would have asked them to just shoot me out of a torpedo tube and be done with it.
When we left the Art Museum we headed to the Russian Tea Room which is right past the sign that indicates that it is the location of the start of the famous Route 66. Yummy, the tea service there is out of this world. We got a 3 level plate of finger sandwiches and sweets that is to die for, along with the Russian tea of course. After that we went to a restaurant and bar that holds the 1st liquor license granted in Chicago after prohibition,
Mom headed home on Friday because she didn’t want to Halloween in New Orleans. We stayed on with her friend. Thank God we did. We had been in a hotel but had to leave Saturday because the hotel was booked solid. I was extremely grateful to be in a home of a friend rather than a hotel at that point because the temperature dropped into the 30s so it was way cold and windy. They’re not joking when they call Chicago the windy city.
So now we’re home and there’s no place like it. I love to travel more than anything else in the world and getting home is part of the joy. My own bed, my own shower, I can sling my stuff everywhere. I don’t need a map to find my way to the corner and back. Now I can kick back and plan the next trip.