We took the South Shore to Chicago this weekend, and although the city made me feel proud of what people can accomplish (large shiny sculptures, oooh), it also filled me with a strange sense of unhappiness. There are so many beautiful people in large cities, and there are countless more people of a more average nature who can be found attempting to be perceived as beautiful through gadgets, new clothing, and new possessions. There is an unbelievable amount of money in this shopping area. I'm always impressed that things can get "refined" to a point where you need handsome, tie-clad men to help you navigate through four floors of matching furniture, vases, and kitchen dishtowels. And yet ... there are still so many people in Chicago who live in poverty while "the media" tunes them, causing many to aspire to these ridiculous heights. Is this really a satisfactory situation?
Just how ridiculous is this glamorous retail district? If you enter Nordstroms, you can find a number of the newest fashions of sometimes dubious taste. I was not impressed, for example, by the dresses with unfinished edges to them (think of all the unraveling! Ick!). I did, however, find a cute, fitted little purple corduroy jacket. It is unlined, meant for the warmth of the early fall, and has plastic smiley-face buttons (these appealed to me immensely). It costs almost $800.
We all know that despite being twenty-one years of age, I lack a driver's license. Driving has never been very important to me, and as I used to live in the city, I could easily walk/ride a bike to where I needed to go. My family, however, believes that despite my inclinations to the contrary, it's high time I learned how to drive. Because I am so old (... in respect to most people who are learning to drive), we opted for a private instructor. He happened to be my seventh-grade algebra teacher.
On the first day, I prayed with all my heart for a cheaparse car. I was scared that putting me behind the wheel of an expensive vehicle would be making me faaaaar too responsible for a helluva lot of money. I just didn't want to deal with the risk of putting the first dent in something someone invested a lot of funds in.
I got a shiny new, painfully yellow Ford Mustang.
The second day, we were going to practice the most intricate aspects of parking, from straight, to angled, to even the dreaded parallel. We were also going to rehash the art of backing up, which I (still) have issues with. Worried, I prayed for a small car.
I got a big sky-blue SUV.
In this hella large vehicle, I parallel-parked in the downtown area. I am pleased to announce that although I did, at one point, bump into the curb, I never went over it.
On the third day, I finally got the small car of the sort that I would most likely drive if a car proved necessary in my life. We went on the Toll Road, which was quite an experience for someone who once considered ten miles an hour in a parking lot quite quick.
Since undergoing driver's ed, I have developed a (peculiar?) habit of talking to everything in my range of vision as I drive. "What are you doing? What are you doing?? You didn't signal! That's bad! Hooligans in an SUV! Er, please don't pull in front of me, that is a very bad idea. OH MY GOD. I am so sorry, dude!! I didn't mean to cut you off, I swear it!! I apologize for going the speed limit! OH SORRY! SORRY! Okay, I need to turn, so right up left down! Woo! It's my turn to go."
All trees, mailboxes, small children, puppy dogs, and road signs are still intact. No car took damage.
Since my college days are coming to an end, I've been somewhat obsessed with the concept of making some sort of change, especially visually remaking myself (by some method other than wardrobe, which would be expensive, annoying, time-consuming, depressing, and a lot of other adjectives which are not positive). Thus, I got my hair cut. It didn't turn out as expected. Unfortunately, I think I look like a badly coifed soccer mom, and my mother thinks I look like a twelve year-old. Fortunately, my hair grows quickly.
LJ keeps reverting to the blue and white layout that I hate.