Friday, March 31, 2023

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Fool (If You Think It's Over) (1978)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. (I love this song.)

1) Do you have any pranks planned for April Fool's Day? Nope.
2) When Crazy Sam was a little girl, she once pranked her mother by putting bubble wrap under the bath mat so Mom heard a POP when she stepped on it. When you find bubble wrap, can you resist popping it? Yes. I find it very resistible.

3) This week's song is about a wise man counseling a heartbroken younger person.
Chris Rea, who wrote and performs this song, says it was inspired by watching his kid sister endure her first breakup. Were you in love at 17? Do you remember the object of your affections? I don't recall exactly who I was crushing on at 17, but one of my teen-aged imaginary lovers died on March 13 and attention must be paid. This is Joe Pepitone. He was the Cubs first baseman for 2.5 colorful seasons and I adored him. In fact, I had this very baseball card tucked into my bedroom mirror. Thursday was Opening Day at Wrigley Field and there was a moment of silence in his memory. I loved that. A new season was beginning with new ballplayers (only 3 of the starting 9 were Cubs last season) and they took a moment to say farewell to one of the lions of my long-ago girlhood. A perfect moment. To borrow from Moneyball ...


4) She's dressed in black as she mourns the end of her romance. Does your wardrobe include a lot of black? I used to, but not anymore. I grew tired of battling the cat fur.
5) He offers to treat her to her first glass of good wine. Do you prefer white or red? Wine gives me migraines, so I'll pass.
6) Chris' own teenage romance was highly successful. He met Joan Lesley while still in school and they have been married since 1968. Whose was the most recent wedding you have attended? My niece in 2020.
7) Chris Rea is a passionate race car fan and once worked as a pit mechanic for a Formula One race. Do you watch auto racing? Nope.

8) In 1978, when this song was popular, Laverne and Shirley was America's #1 TV show. It's still available via cable and streaming today. Are/were you a fan? Nope.

9) Random question: What are you grateful for this morning? My cat,
Constance Mackenzie, is healthy and happy. She's had some dental issues made more complicated by her old age and heart murmur. My regular vet referred her to a specialist, who did a deep cleaning and an extraction and a biopsy. Connie received terrific care and now she's bright-eyed, alert and comfortable again.

Ladies who lunch

Today was a good day. It felt so normal. Like it could have happened before covid.

I met Joanna at Miller's Pub. It's a classic, old-school Chicago restaurant. Laminated menu. Lots of burgers, chops and chicken. Framed photos on the wall of the luminaries who have dined here before. (We sat across from the Wicked Witch of the West herself, Margaret Hamilton, whose autographed photo was displayed beside Ghostbuster Harold Ramis. I passed Joey Bishop on my way to the ladies room.)

I took the train and wandered through the Loop. I was surrounded by people! Not as many as an afternoon in February 2000, but more than I've seen in a while. It made me happy.

I strolled on my way to the restaurant and saw this. The Huntington Bank branch on the corner of Madison and Wabash was a place of worship before The Fire. I've passed this corner dozens of times and never noticed this plaque before. For a moment I felt a tremendous kinship with the Chicagoans who were here before me.


It was nice to catch up with Joanna. She and I email and text regularly but this is the first time I've seen her in 2023. I loved her yellow raincoat. I told her she looked veddy veddy British, which makes sense she'd ordered the coat from a department store in London. She always puts such care into her appearance that I upped my game a bit. Sure, I was wearing jeans and tennies, but I chose a pullover instead of a Cubs t-shirt.

She's been working very hard, is tired, and I sense that she's a little jealous that I'm retired. Two years older than I am, she's long been self-employed and hasn't had the benefit of decades of 401(k) contributions. But that isn't why my heart went out to her today. She's been seeing Sid since 2019 and has been crazy about him since they met. A successful businessman, he retired because of a stroke and she's enjoyed being part of the new chapter of his life. But his health and especially his cognition are failing and she knows she's in the midst of a long goodbye. As she talked about him, she still laughed at things he says to her every day. He amuses her, she loves him, and he's fading away. Heartbreaking.

But she's a survivor. She's looking ahead, too. The cost of living here is too expensive and she's considering a move to Kalamazoo. Or Paris. I tried not to laugh but that's so Joanna. She of the Paddington Bear raincoat. She always has one foot in the Midwest as her soul soars over the ocean.