Sunday was social. I had brunch with these charming folks. Mike is a college pal, and Cherie is his charming girfriend whom I have never met but have always heard wonderful things about from Nick and Nadine. They’re in town, Mike for the first time since 2001 and Cherie for the first time ever, and I hope that Chicago does not disppoint.
So far they’ve been enjoying good art, architecture, and food. Their first stop upon arriving for the weekend was Iberico, which is always an excellent notion. Also a reminder that I should bring Patrick there when he arrives (in two days! I’m so excited!).
But back to Mike and Cherie. We talked food over food at The Publican, where I finally achieved my dream in being seated in one of what I call “the pens”, booths with wooden doors that make you feel like a happy pig while you eat, well, pig. The Publican is my happy place, and Mike and Cherie really seemed to like it. We shared some coffee cake (fig and pistachio, I think), a walnut and cherry scone (OMG), an order of bacon (OMFG). We mentioned to the waiter that we’d wanted to get the pork rinds but we didn’t think we had room. He brought us an order anyway, on the house.
Guess what? We had room. I had this amazing sausage with a cabbage slaw, grits, an egg, and perfect toast. Cherie had the pork roll, while Mike ordered the pulled pork. My tears of joy were scented with pork and grits.
After brunch, we walked east towards Michigan Ave. Saying goodbye near Frontera Grill, I headed south to Kathy’s place so we could head out to Oakbrook to do some shopping. I had no need of anything, though I buy some cute undies at Lane Bryant. We thought the Lane Bryant was closed but it turns out the shop was cut in half, ceding half of its space to an Eddie Bauer store. Which is fine, whatever, but the entrance to LB doesn’t face inward into the mall, but out into part of the mall parking lot. As if plus-sized shoppers didn’t already feel marginalized but whatever. Am I supposed to seek retail revenge by losing weight?
Anyway. Kathy bought some wonderful tops, bringing some much-needed color into her wardrobe. She got great deals. I tried to buy a pretty scarf at Macy’s. The sales associate could not sell it to me for some reason. Not would not, but could not. Not a big deal but since when does Macy’s not want to make money? I should have asked, but I didn’t much care. I was just glad that the weird blood sugar low that had hit me while looking at Eileen Fisher separates went away after I got a cup of half Coke, half Diet Coke from the store food court.
Kathy got some nickel-free earrings and earring backs while I bought some necklace extenders (I like to think I have a lot of short necklaces instead of saying I have a fat neck) at Claire’s. Which was kind of a nightmare. Gaggles of tweenage girls going “OH MYEE GAHD” over, like, everything. EVERYTHING. The one employee in the store looked miserable. Also she was pregnant. I bet she hopes she’s having a boy.
Driving back into the city, we met up with Elisa and Maurel for dinner at Mixteco Grill. Delicious. We split empanadas and tamales, an order of chips and salsa. I had the pork chop – moist and tender and oh so very porky. My second pork dish of the day. I think I set some kind of record. I am awesome. I should wear a pork chop tiara, my neck dripping with jewelry made of bacon. Naturally, the topic of conversation was boys. To that end, we talked about ways to be more social. February has lots of events going for it, things that could get me out of the house and hopefully into some cute guy’s lap (or at least into the closest bar stool). I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.