It was the early '90's when a guy came up to me at Bally Fitness, tapped me on the shoulder, mentioned he loved my show, and then upon my turning around, quickly apologized for mistaking my identity.
I had long black curly hair with a big rounded poof in the front, pushed forward a bit, the ends being clipped back with a barrette. Seriously, I am not sure how to explain it without a photograph handy. Something like this. See where I'm headed?
He wasn't mistaking me for Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
No, that happened with a different guy. And not at Bally's.
This time I was wearing red workout tights. That I remember.
Had I actually been the actress he thought me to be, I would have indeed been wearing red. On the Starship Enterprise. I would not, however, have been seen working out at a Bally's in Deerfield, IL.
Unless, maybe, Marina Sirtis did happen to hit Bally's from time to time. Who knows. She had to stay trim in that outfit somehow.
All that to say, I do have some inner-geek in me when it comes to Star Trek: The Next Generation, and even spent a Halloween dressed as Commander Deanna Troi. Communicator and all. There are pictures. Somewhere. George went as Wesley Crusher.
Will Wheaton. Yeah, he's still around.
So, I know all about the Borg. Forced assimilation and all that sort of jazz.
I revisited Chicago this past weekend. It took only seconds after exiting the plane and entering the gate at O'Hare upon arrival to realize that this was not home.
It didn't look like home. It didn't feel like home. It. Was. Not. Home.
I have assimilated.
We are Beaver.
I had a tremendous time. Fabulous. Loved seeing all the folks I could in roughly 24 hours. I reveled in watching a performance of a former student. I enjoyed much needed catch up's on conversations with old friends. I was introduced, and re-introduced to new babies. I hit up my favorite second hand shop, drank coffee with those I hold dear, ate a great hot-dog, and slept in a king sized bed. Alone.
And that's just it.
I loved it all, and yet there was a deep-seated feeling of loneliness and wanting to be home.
And Chicago just didn't cut it as "home" any longer.
I don't feel any remorse over that revelation, but rather, gladness. For I have taken to this new town so very quickly and easily. I have a neighborhood the likes of which I have never experienced, and new friends with whom I've connected surprisingly quickly. My new church community is my new church community. We live here now. Now.
And Chicago? Chicago, along with Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, and let's not forget Lake Forest and Bannockburn will always hold some of the best memories from 18 years of my life.
And yet, as a wise, wise, woman once recalled after a bump on the head,
"There's no place like home."
Resistance is futile.