The fog in Chicago this morning was so thick that I couldn't see the lake through the buildings from my seat on the El.So thick, in fact, that I couldn't see the buildings on Michigan Avenue or even a few blocks to my east. The powers that be actually closed Midway Airport — where I'm waiting now for my flight back to Kansas City — for a few hours this morning, which means we're delayed. Big. Surprise.
I don't fly out of Midway very often, mostly because I'm not a fan of Southwest Airlines, but also because leaving from Midway means riding the Orange Line all the way to the end. It is not a pretty ride. And people look at me like I'm wealthy and white and don't belong on their train. Then, I imagine, they look at my suitcase and think, "Oh, just another traveler passing through." I smile at them.
Today, anticipating a long journey with a lot of walking through city streets, CTA stations and airline terminals, I wore my most practical shoes: three-inch nude patent-leather pumps. The whole ensemble today smacked of total idiocy where practicality is concerned. There are two sides to the dressing-for-the-airport argument: On one hand, it's pretty safe to look disgusting, because many travelers might as well own stock in Crocs. But on the other hand — just like every time I walk out the door — I could meet the man of my dreams on this very plane ride. And while I'd love to think my charm will overcome any unfortunate comfort-over-style incidents… Right.
I've had a bad week. A really bad week. A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. The stress I'm feeling lately has inched up from my lower back all the way through my shoulders and neck, into my already hyperactive tear ducts. Beyond that, every muscle in my body aches from the fitness classes I've been taking three days a week. (For nothing, apparently: Even with all this effort, some minion of Satan still found it in her black, empty heart to ask me if I was expecting on Tuesday. Did I mention I'm having a bad week?)
But I wanted to look pretty at the stupid airport. I want my mother to think I have my shit together at least a little bit, even if I collapse into hysterical sobs the second I load my suitcase in the Murano and close the hatchback. So, weather be damned, I put on a black tee with my new crocheted cardigan, my favorite spring scarf and a brown linen skirt I haven't worn since last summer, and I finished with the pumps. I've nearly fallen five or six times, at least once with a cup full of Ben & Jerry's Mint Chocolate Chunk. On the moving walkway. Not that I'm counting. But sitting here, computer safely on my lap and feet unmoving, I look like I have my shit together. No tears in sight.
The fog persists, but we're boarding now. Soon, I'll be home. I think sunshine is expected. There must be some kind of metaphor there.