Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chicago, a test

J & I moved here about 5 years ago from Pittsburgh, where we went to Graduate School for poetry (and where we also met, 2 poets, on their way up into dreamland). We moved for culture and for adventure, to be closer to St. Paul (than Pittsburgh, which is twice the distance), and for a wealth of other reasons. And it has culture, and adventure, and it's a gorgeous city, and i love the people here. But I have to say, Chicago is a hard city to live in, and I'm currently failing its test.

I don't hate it here...not that, but I feel like Chicago is constantly testing us, constantly seeing if we're worthy of it. Being on mostly one income now has brought this point even closer to the surface. We just don't have the money to pay for Chicago's costs anymore. Between parking tickets (late by 2 minutes to a parking meter, and a zone i used to always park in turning into zoned parking), speeding ticket (screaming hungry baby, and I'm not the milk mom), and other fees and the sales tax at 10.25% it just feels like Chicago is constantly saying to us that we can't afford it here. I don't like to complain about money. I feel like we are the luckiest people on earth with our son, but at the same time, I just wish Chicago would give us a break. We just got back from a trip to St. Paul, which was fabulous. I love St. Paul. But I got into the car yesterday to find that I had a tire problem. Took it in to the dealership to find that we have 2 unrepairable tires. TWO! The car is 7 months old. Nails in the sidewalls. So now on top of everything else, I have to figure out how to get that into the budget. I wish I could ticket Chicago for the tires. All the construction, I'm sure that the nails came from that.

Don't get me wrong Chicago, I love you. But where's the loving me back?

I'll post more about St. Paul on a later date. I just got struck by the Chicago test again, and I had to say something.

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