You Have a Baby! In a Bar!

Hi! Remember me? I didn’t forget about you. I’ve been fighting off a pretty gross cold over here all week and am just now starting to feel normal and insightful again. What’s really cruel is that I just got over another nasty cold about two weeks ago. We’re calling this one “Second Sick” over here. The plan this week is lots of fruits and veggies and yoga. Third Sick is not welcome here.

I did manage to have a little fun between colds, though. Last weekend, Kurt and I went down to Chicago to celebrate his spring break (woo!) and check out the St. Patty’s Day festivities down there. We managed to snag a last-minute deal at the Allerton hotel on Michigan Ave., so we were conveniently located a few blocks from the green river and in the midst of the day-drinking scene. Have you ever seen the river dyed green? Green is sort of an understatement, actually. For St. Patty’s Day, the Chicago River is turned to Ecto Cooler, and I kept checking all the manhole covers for signs of emerging Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It’s that green.

The bar we went to on Saturday was located right by the river and had set up a tent with makeshift bars and a lot of extra room for spill-over crowds, so we spent most of our time in there trying to stay warm and maintain a modicum of personal space. When the day started, I had been impressed by how many Chicagoans were out wearing their green clothes and guzzling beer at breakfast time, but I soon realized I had been far too easily impressed. Around 1 p.m., a young mother arrived at the bar/tent with her 14-month-old child on her back. The little girl was totally zonked out, but to her credit was dressed in green and even sported a leprechaun hat with red-yarn braids attached to it. It’s unclear whether she was just a kid serious about her naptime or perhaps had been slipped a few drops of Jameson in her sippy cup, but her mom had a great time chatting and laughing with friends while her daughter slept. In a bar. At 1 p.m.

Maybe you’re thinking, as I was at the time, “Well…at least it’s not the middle of the night?” But then later on, after we’d had a nap and some dinner, we went to another bar for a beer and more visiting. Something low key, we thought. It turned out, though, that we were the only ones who had taken a break from the festivities that afternoon, so by 11 p.m., the crowd was sloppy and rowdy. That’s why I was flabbergasted to see a young couple making their way through the drunken hoards, carrying their infant and a Boppy pillow toward the door. As calmly as if they were leaving a play date, they navigated around the girl with smudged eyeliner who was trying to pole dance on the two-foot-square pillar; dodged the 6’4″ oaf who had lost all sense of balance yet continued to jump up and down in time to the music; steered clear of the hipster in all black who stood by himself swaying; and headed home to bed.

Or, you know, to the bar next door.

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About mbdevilbiss

Until 2009, I never really thought much about Wisconsin. When I did, it was usually in the context of silent pep talks I'd give myself as I walked from the Metro station to my downtown D.C. office on blustery January mornings. "This isn't so bad," I'd tell myself. "Just imagine if you were in...Wisconsin!" *shiver* It wouldn't make me any warmer, but I could finish the 12-minute walk secure in the knowledge that I lived so, so far away from Canada. And then, one Saturday in early June, I went to a cookout and met a boy. He was wonderful and he was also moving to Madison, WI, to begin a PhD program in August. After a year of emails, phone calls, and biweekly visits, we shoved the last of my belongings into a jam-packed moving truck and headed west. As of October 9, 2010, I was an Accidental Wisconsonite. I'm no Sconnie, and I'll never be able to claim that prestigious status, but I'm loving life here so far. My blog is a place for writing about this life, and I hope you enjoy my Midwestern adventure as much as I have been.
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