Monday, March 26, 2007

Two by Two

Ah, Sundays in Chicago. Couples' day. The one day of the week when the city suddenly becomes a modern-day Noah's Ark, and every activity is performed in pairs. Two by two they hold hands and stroll down the sun-dappled streets. Two by two they ride bikes on the lake and wait in hours-long lines to share omelets at neighborhood brunch spots. Two by two they slurp Starbucks and march through the park clutching leashes attached to pairs of drooling pugs. The city is a commercial come to life. Love is all around. It's just too adorable for words—that is, until you witness the one pastime that always sends me straight over the edge: couples' jogging. The matching outfits (MICHIGAN. HARVARD. PURDUE.). The sweaty stoplight shoulder massages. The out-of-breath pep talks about picking up dog food at Petco and painting the guest room in the new condo. It is all much, much too much.

In other news, I've been working on a thank-you note that I intend to send to Tara Connor, the outgoing Miss USA who, incidentally, hails from my home state of Kentucky. Let me know if you think this is OK:

Dear Tara,

Thank you for using your reign as Miss USA to show the world exactly what kind of nice girls are born and bred in Kentucky. As you know, the Bluegrass State sometimes gets a bad rap. For instance, I'll never forget the first time I saw the movie Clueless and heard Alicia Silverstone say (in reference to teenage brides): "As if! This is California, not Kentucky!"

But, despite your highly publicized stint in rehab and other Spearsian antics, overall you have represented our state well. The Donald was right to give you a second chance instead of stripping you of your sash. I was impressed by your graciousness last Friday night during the telecast of the 2007 Miss USA pageant, when you had the difficult task of passing on your cultured-pearl crown to a new American princess. Remember when you were hanging out with the girls backstage and you gave the camera a sideways peace sign and said, "Word?" I could tell it made everyone feel more relaxed, and in my opinion, that moment was a significant indicator of just how cosmopolitan Kentucky has become in recent years.

And even though I'm not sure if they should become your trademark, you took a real risk by getting those shaggy bangs. Although truthfully—and I mean this in the most helpful way possible—you kind of looked like a kitten who'd just escaped from a pillowcase thrown in the pond out back.

Anyway, have a nice year. Take some time off. You deserve it.

Yours truly,
A fellow Kentuckian

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