As irritating as it is when the only comment people have about Chicago is, “Oh I hear the summer is amazing!”, it is stone cold true. It took me four years to fully grasp the beauty behind the summer season, but now that I have a firm grip on it I may never let go. Summer in Chicago is walking out the door to a beautiful 70 degree morning or a sweltering 100 degree heat wave. It is sweaty CTA cars and crowded train platforms. You better believe that everyone is out of the office at 5:30 pm, not a minute later, and those trains will be filled to the brim. Except they won’t be, because no one in Chicago knows how to pack a car.
It’s a season of god bless the sundress. Every corner is filled with pretty young things in polka dots, floral prints and sunglasses the size of their face. It is boys in Nantucket red and topsiders and more often than not (much to my distaste) tank tops. It is toddlers taking their first steps in little pink dresses and parks filled with the sounds of happy, giggling children.
Summer in Chicago is going out ten nights in a row only to throw your head back and using the excuse of, “IT’S SUMMER!” It’s never turning an invitation down to sit on a patio, a porch, or a front stoop. It’s crossing the must-visit places off of the list only to realize there are 100+ more and only 7 weeks until Labor Day. It’s the ever present offer of “I’ll bring the wine” and then your party ends up with a 2:1 bottle to drinker ratio. It’s melting ice cubes in everything. No liquid is safe from being diluted.
It’s catching cabs at 3:00 am on a Thursday because the conversation just couldn’t stop and you had to tell just one more story. It’s taking lunch at 10:00 am on Friday because you definitely need the breakfast special, and the catch up with your work girls, to get you through the remainder of the working hours. It’s taking a power nap and doing it again.
It’s a slew of constant visitors with Wednesday serving as the only reprieve. It’s a rotation of spare keys and “good to see you, see you soons”. It’s turning down out-of town vacations because let’s be real, we don’t want to go anywhere but here. Summer in Chicago is existing in a constant state of FOMO (fear of missing out) and wondering what is going on on every porch around you. It’s getting antsy if you haven’t gotten the “What are we doing tonight?”, text by 11:00 am. It’s needing to know what stop to get off at/ if I should make a reservation/ if I need to plan on spending the night at my best friend’s hours in advance, so please be respectful of how I’m planning my day. Thank you very much.
It’s about not being afraid and throwing any hint of hesitancy out the window. It’s unabashedly making a new friend in the bathroom line and shamelessly eye flirting with the cutie across the room. It’s writing your name on a coaster and dropping it in someone’s lap even if it lands you in text purgatory… indefinitely. It’s a not-so-subtle-open-mouth-gape at the girl dancing on the table at McFaddens and re-hashing the traumatizing experience for the rest of the summer.
It’s Cubs game after Cubs game after Cubs game.
It’s the season of the friend sleepover because no one wants to go home alone. It’s breakfast is always a good idea and brunch is even better. It’s sunburnt cheeks and exchanging hugs for no reason at all. It’s the strict Saturday schedule of: Farmer’s Market and beach, with baguette, cheese, and wine in tow. It’s Pride weekend and the f*[^%$# Sheffield Garden walk. It’s Lollapalooza and the Air and Water Show. It’s having ten places to be at the same time and somehow, through superhero strength, making an appearance at all of them.