So I went to Seattle last week and it was okay. Three nights away from home/baby, one spent asleep in an airport/on a plane, is just too much for me right now. I could NOT wait to get home.
I scoobied out to Economy Parking E like a tired-ass bat outta hell, it was 5:30am after all. I DID feel a disturbance in the Force, but I figured it would be that there was snow piled on my car for the 3 inches we got while I was gone and I'm pretty sure I've never owned a scraper in my 16+ years of driving.
And then I saw it...
I called the number on the orange label on my window. They didn't have my name on file, THAT is how old these tickets were. Yes, in 2003 I didn't have enough money to buy the $225 city sticker required to park on Chicago city streets by the due date and I got a few tickets until I was able to make it happen. Then I moved to Indiana and a bunch of other places. I should mention that I don't currently live in Chicago, just the burbs.
I guess it got lost in the weeds.
The woman on the phone looked me up with my pre-married name and told me I owed more than 1k, but they'd settle for $800.
After not getting any sleep all night, I made a quick decision to not deal with it immediately. So I did what any level-headed person COULD do. I took a $100 cab ride home. Which is insane. When I got home I took a long nap, I ate breakfast and hugged my lil' girl for the first time in days. It was a restorative hug.
Then the 3 of us struck out to O'Hare again to get my car out of the pokey.
The office for the Chicago Auto Pound at O'Hare is in a sad, scary trailer in the middle of nowhere. It took a while for the clerk to get the paperwork ready, and OH yeah, there's an extra $100 fee for defaulting on a payment plan in 2000 and a $60 boot fee. So, that's 1k and I am so not made out of money. It means eating crackers for a few days. So when I leave the trailer I'm totes deflated.
By the time I realize I've left my car keys at home it's already so much my reality that I don't even care.
We're going to have to COME BACK HERE another time to pick up my car.
At $17 a day, whatever. .
Dan took me to breakfast. I drank.
Fast forward almost a week, Dan takes me back up to O'Hare. I walk to my car and there's A GODDAMN PARKING TICKET because my plates expired on the 1st.
I give up, Chicago. I love you, but I feel like it's a very dysfunctional relationship right now. I want you to want me, not just for my money.
P.S. When I originally got to my car and saw the boot and decided to take a cab home so I could sleep, I chucked my suitcase inside because I thought I'd be right back for it and I was tired of lugging it. Well, that didn't happen. It sat there in freezing temperatures for a week, with a Lingonberry plant in it that I bought in Seattle. That Lingonberry sat in my suitcase for a week and still looks okay. I think there must be a Saab/Lingonberry Swedish alliance.