I had a brilliant idea! As an add-on to a previously scheduled trip to Milwaukee, I decided to take the twins to Chicago. This way my daughter Lindsay could tour DePaul University and Sam could enjoy the city.
In the morning, Lindsay and I left for DePaul, leaving Sam on his own. He texted me a picture of a large stack of cinnamon roll pancakes.
“I feel like a kid in a big city.”
“Sam, you are a kid in a big city.”
We toured the campus while, Sam posted on TikTok riding the Ferris Wheel, visiting the Bean, living Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
By the afternoon, we were finished with our tours and they boarded the 5:08 train to Milwaukee.
“What a waste,” I thought, “alone in a hotel room in Chicago, on a Friday night.”
There was a happening bar in the adjacent hotel. Why not? I crossed the street I saddled up to the only available stool and ordered a Bee’s Knees. This was a $35 cocktail that consisted of vodka and honey floating around a large honeycombed ice cube.
“What is that?” the woman next to me inquired.
“Bee’s Knees,” I replied, grateful for the interaction.
We began buzzing and chatting like old friends. She told me her story of a failed marriage and suffering multiple online dating mishaps. One night, she had simply given up on love. That same night, she received a private message from a high school friend that she had reconnected with on FaceBook. He took a shot and asked his high school crush out on a date, 30 years after graduation. They have been together ever since. Her story made this Queen Bee smile.
After we enjoyed a couple of cocktails, she flew off for dinner. I stayed behind and finished my Bee’s Knees, pretending I was in fact the bee’s knees and rich. I would have left with her, but I didn’t want to get caught going back to my hotel.
Suddenly, Bob swarmed into the vacant stool.
“I’ll have a scotch rocks and another of whatever the lovely lady next to me is having.”
We struck up a pleasant conversation. I noticed his wedding band, which put me at ease. He talked about his wife and bragged about paying for his daughter’s education at NYU. Then he gave me his business card. When I took the card, I noticed his room key was slipped underneath it.
“What is that?” My stinger came out. Although, I must admit, I was a bit flattered for a nanosecond. “Ugh! No, thank you.”
I bee lined it back to my hotel.
The next morning, I took an UBER to the airport. The driver was a kid not much older than my son, Jack, maybe 26. We talked the entire way to the airport about colleges. It broke my heart when he told me his story that he finished college but couldn’t get his degree because he owed $5,000. He was driving an UBER in the hopes of returning to his dream. I wish I could have written a check right there. If I couldn’t, I knew someone who could.
I took a picture of his information card on the back of the seat.
Engulfed in a swarm of revenge, I texted it to the number on that jerk’s business card, “Hey Scum-Money bag. You should send this worthy kid $5,000 to redeem yourself.”
Live with waffletude.