Stephen and I have lived in Chicago for 17 years and every year there’s a day that we’ve coined, The Day.
We’ll be driving or walking around and one of us will call it: Today is The Day.
It’s still winter, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it is.
It’s the day when the music on the radio station plays Best Day of My Life and the line at Bang Bang Pie is alive in relaxed conversation.
It’s The Day.
The Day comes almost as a surprise.
It hits us because it’s still winter and yet we’re roaming around outside – way comfortably.
Temperatures surge for a day – maybe a weekend – and winter is suspended.
It’s The Day.
The Day feels like a gift. It’s winter, yet windows are open and Empire State of Mind is blaring.
It happens organically.
And yet everyone knows it.
It feels like something special is happening.
It’s The Day.
The Day is highly anticipated, but it’s unexpected.
Sometimes it comes sooner; sometimes it comes later, but it always happens.
There are no leaves. There’s no green.
It feels unnatural – is this really happening? This shouldn’t be …
But it’s real. Oh The Day is very real.
The energy is alive, palpable.
Cabin fever is broken on The Day.
There are smiles. Huge smiles abound.
It’s good vibes only.
It’s still winter. And yet it’s a euphoria that we freely embrace.
Life feels like it’s happening right now.
Music fills the air. Food hits the spot. People are more attractive as their true colors shine through.
We haven’t even come close to transitioning to warmer weather, so the outfits are awkward. Shorts are mixed with tights. There are scarves and tank tops.
Layers are shed left and right.
It’s a no man’s land of what to wear.
Yet in this barren place, in this a collision of fashion, trends are born.
No one has sunscreen and countless will wake the next day with an unsuspected sunburn.
But on The Day no one cares.
It’s the first day that the inside flows outside. Restaurants scramble to set up tables outside as spontaneous gatherings erupt.
Maybe there’s ping pong.
People are easy going on The Day.
Stella wonked a brunching lady on the head with a ping pong ball. The woman shrugged it off with a smile and a “what do you do” raise of her palms. Mid-summer her irritation may have bubbled up, but not on The Day.
There’s biking. In Chicago, we hit the 606 or Lakeshore path.
The ice cream truck is back on our street for this day.
Lines form on The Day.
The conversations are note worthy:
“It’s February. What is happening?”
“What are you are going to do with rest of your day?”
“I don’t know. It’s ’70 degrees and it’s February. I’m just gonna roll with it.”
The high makes you feel hope for what will soon be or maybe some anxiety over why the weather is so warm in mid-February or early March.
But it’s a one off and then it’s gone.
The next day you’ll wake up and winter continues.
After The Day it will be cold again. We will likely endure weeks of freezing rain and perhaps some snow. But we are okay because we had The Day.
The next time the weather spikes, it’s not as special as The Day. The next time it happens, it won’t be The Day.
Tell me about your experience with The Day. I’d love to hear your comments.