Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Birthday to me, Part 3

Lou Mitchell's with Kathy. Thirty years ago -- yes, 30 years ago! -- when Kathy, John and I first started hanging around together, we used to visit this Chicago institution all the time. It's not so much that the food is great (it's absolutely fine, hearty breakfast fare), it's the other stuff. The "circus" aspect of the "bread and circus" that makes it famous. If you're stuck in the line* that often stretches around the block in all weather, the owner comes by with a Longaberger basket filled with donut holes. As you're seated, you're presented with a tiny box of Milk Duds. Every meal is served with a slice of orange and a prune, and everyone gets a tiny cup of softserve ice cream (always vanilla) for dessert. I do not know the derivation of any of these traditions. I just know they began before my merry little band of friends began going there, and have continued without us.

I was thrilled that Kathy was willing to drive in to the city on Sunday to celebrate my birthday. In addition to a pecan waffle, she got me a satin pillow case. I had mentioned once to her that the folds of my pillow case stayed stuck into my face for a while when I first wake up, one of the signs of aging I really hate. This way, I won't be reminded of being ancient every morning. I was touched that she remembered.

I wasn't so thrilled that I somehow chipped one of my molars. I don't know if I chipped it, or if the valiant old tooth just gave out. No matter, it was an unwelcome sign of impending decay, during my otherwise happy birthday celebration, no less!

*And I wasn't, because I'm the Birthday Girl! As soon as took our place at the end of the line, among tourists and families in after-church attire, the owner called out, "Anyone need a table for 2?" Amazingly, we were the only table for two in line. Yea!


  1. What a delightful way to celebrate #3.

  2. Gal,wishing you a very happy birthday...take that extra piece of cake!
    praying next year will have many, many blessings.

  3. Anonymous8:08 PM

    happy Birthday Gal!

    That definitely sounds like my kind of place...except the milk duds, they can keep them.