I learned yesterday that Chicago PomJob is much more fun than regular PomJob.
When she found out that I was spending additional time in Chicago after our training, my colleague S invited me to her home and then we went to Wicker Park for dinner. (In case you’re wondering, the Wicker Park dog park smells like a chicken coup.) After debating the merits of delicious sangria versus a novel of beer options, we decided to head to People to introduce me to the world of tapas. How have I lived 27 years without tapas in my life? It was divine. I tried many new things: sheep’s milk cheese, goat’s milk cheese, mango chutney and spaghetti squash cakes.
Speaking of 27, as we enjoyed a bottle of wine at S’s house before dinner, the subject of age arose and S stated/questioned whether I was around the same age as her and M, right? I knew I was several years younger but as I was trying to tactfully correct her, she said, “You’re what, 34?” Um. Yikes.
After two carafes of sangria, several plates of food and great conversation, we interrupted a kickball league celebration at the bar next door. When they lined up for a game of flip cup, I almost asked to join in. After a beer, M and S said their goodbyes and I headed for the L to head back to my hotel. At the fare machine I realized I only had a $10 and a $20 and I didn’t really want to put it all on a card. The info booth doesn’t give change, so I went back outside to the Blue Line Lounge. I couldn’t just ask for change, so I ordered a scrumptious social mojito and became engrossed in the Olympic gymnastic competition.
The regular me would never go to a bar by myself. I over think it – people will think I look like a loser; I won’t have anyone to talk to. But that’s the beauty of having a few drinks first, my inhibitions were lowered. Almost immediately, the guy sitting two barstools over starting analyzing the Olympics then a couple sat on my other side and we started chatting (oxymoron of the night: they guy’s name is Little John and he’s probably 6’4″). That’s when I discovered the Blue Line has board games! At this point, Olympics Announcer tells me he’s married to one of the bartenders but he paid for his drinks and left without saying bye to her. I don’t know if I believe him but why would be lie about it?
One mojito turned into two as a group of friends came in and I pointed out the board games. I challenged them to Candyland then we broke out Taboo. Two a.m. rolled around and the bar’s lights came up. The group headed back to the bar where I had already had a beer but I took my sweet time paying my tab so I could avoid having to rebuff the advances of my Taboo teammate who made suggestive comments throughout the game.
I finally had change for the L but unfortunately it doesn’t run very often that late and P.S.? Chicago gets chilly at night. After about 30 minutes of sitting next to a woman who I am pretty sure is a prostitute and her pimp, I started pacing the platform so I wouldn’t pass out on the bench. That’s when I met a HOT surgeon who was in town to take some kind of surgeon test. And then the L decided to show up.
The only downside to lowered inhibitions is the lowered sense of safety. Is it smart to run around a strange town by yourself and talk to strangers who offer candy-flavored drinks? Probably not but I survived and had a blast. Although now I do have an awesome script in mind for an episode of “Without a Trace.”