Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Whether You Like the Weather Or Not

There is not a coffee shop in New York, cafe in Europe or seedy bar in L.A. where someone hasn’t commented, “I love Chicago!” the minute I tell them my hometown. They then proceed to tell me two things: 1) how much they loooove the people and 2) how they could never live here because they haaaaate the weather.

I’ve been living in Chicago for a couple of months now after having lived in L.A. for a number of years, and I can honestly say I don’t regret the decision one bit. When I tell this to my friends in L.A., their response is, “Just wait. You haven’t hit the nasty weather yet.” I’ve always felt it was the nasty weather that helped me to appreciate and enjoy the favorable weather that much more. Although my friend Gus always counters with, “Well, would you cut off one arm just so you could enjoy your other arm?”

It’s not as though I didn’t live in this city for 23 years of my life before I moved to the West Coast. I feel as if I’m pretty prepared for the impending weather that should be hitting us soon. I remember cold and agree that 50 degrees is not pleasant ... that’s cold, right? I realize that the sky can change faster than the number of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s offspring, but that’s what sick days are for. And yes, I am well aware that the summers can bring on some pretty mind-blowing humidity, but I hear frizzy hair is in.

I miss the coziness of blizzards in December and the fear of tornadoes June. I also refer to movies such as “Twister” and “Deep Impact” as feel-good flicks, so my judgment might be a little off here. But I do think a part of the reason Chicagoans are so cool and tough is because they have to endure real danger. It’s one of the only cities where you can die in the summer because it’s too hot and die in the winter because it’s too cold. I actually had a friend pass away last spring. What a namby-pamby.

Studies show that violent crime increases when the humidity is high. So not only do we have the fear of natural disasters and the lurking possibility of natural death, the weather might actually make us kill EACH OTHER!!! This city’s awesome!

I hold a belief that there’s no such thing as bad weather—just bad clothing. While this can sometimes require less fashionable attire, I would prefer to have a guy show up for a date dressed in a snowsuit like the little brother in “A Christmas Story” than all pimped out, Justin Timberlake-style. No offense, J.T. You’re super cute, but I can’t date a guy who’s more fashionable than me. Any and all attraction I have goes out the fedora when I see brand names on a dude.

So bring on your worst, Chi-town! I’m ready for some favorable people.

A Toast

My sister, Bridget, is getting married Saturday and I am co maid of honor with my little sister, Maggie. I still haven’t written my speech.
To add to my stress level, Maggie is a drunk savant and will probably say something so disgustingly charming that I will come off looking like the idiot sava … er … drunk.
In my panic a couple of days ago, I thought I had come up with a brilliant idea to reference the three sisters being like a shamrock and Brad, the groom, making us a complete four-leaf clover. Maggie, thankfully, told me this was lame. I then looked into hiring a Kenny Rogers impersonator, Bridget’s celebrity crush, but he was busy. And cost five grand.  So I started YouTubing “maid of honor speeches” to help get my creative juices flowing.
There I sat, bawling like I was watching a marathon of “Extreme Makeover: The Biggest Loser Edition, Brought To You By Oprah.” My sobfest was interrupted by some terribly corny jokes and obvious attempts to appear on “The Today Show” (was anyone else aware of the trend to rap the bride and groom’s life stories to the tune of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”? )but overall, the speeches were genuine, albeit a bit formulaic.  And they make sure to set themselves apart by all captioning their video “Best. Speech. Ever.”
Maid of honor speeches have a general blueprint. They always start with a “for those of you who don’t know me” intro. This makes the speaker look humble even though she knows damn well everyone knows who she is or that they can look in the program where it clearly states “College friend/Sister /Insecure cousin who would throw an adult temper tantrum if she wasn’t asked”. And if nothing else, it's safe to say everyone can surmise the bride asked her maid of honor to give a speech and not Aunt Judith fromPoughkeepsie who she hasn’t seen since she was 6. She then shares an embarrassing story from childhood that guests politely laugh at while inconspicuously checking their phones. Insert slightly crude statement regarding an inside joke (e.g., “… and you and I both know what happens when you don’t wear clean underwear, don’t we?”) and end with some tear-jerky sentiment of how happy they are for the couple.
So why was I actually moved by watching the videos of these speeches? Because regardless of how cheesy or poorly read or incredibly bland they were, I was watching the bride and in every clip, she was looking on as though she was watching the Best. Speech. Ever.
So I am just going introduce myself, tell an embarrassing blurb with a semi-crude joke, and probably cry as I look on at mybeautiful big sister celebrating the biggest day of her life. And if ends up being the worst toast of the night, at least I was able to use a highly circulated newspaper to publically wish them the Best. Life. Ever.
Top that, Maggie.