It is time to confess that living apart from The Fred is getting to me. We met in Chicago this past weekend, on my family’s annual trip there, and I could hardly bear it to watch him walk away at O’Hare.
“But why,” you ask, “have you and your parents been gathering in Chicago every third weekend in September since 1990?” Well, I’m glad you asked. My stepfather goes there for a toy soldier show, which draws hundreds of collectors, and my mother and I . . . . well, we shop. Not on Michigan Avenue, usually, which is a bit out of our price range, but at Woodfield Mall.
And Fred goes to the Art Institute. In case you are wondering, cab fare from Schaumburg, where the show is, to the Art Institute is $65. Each way. But as my mother and I easily spend that much at Woodfield, it’s a small price to pay to make Fred happy.
“And what about the food in Chicago?” you ask.
Well, we are in the burbs. And the burbs are pretty much the same everywhere. We had dinner at Houlihan’s and lunch at the California Pizza Kitchen. No gourmet meals there. But they were joyful gatherings nonetheless, because I was with the people I love.
And that’s what food is really all about.