Shopping in the Suburbs


I get out to the suburbs of Chicago every few months. When I’m in the area, I like to look at the stores. I’m not much of a shopper. First of all, money is tight (it has been tight for about – oh, my whole life). Second of all, I’m a guy. I don’t do much window shopping; my browsing tends to be limited to the local Best Buy and the Craftsman section of Sears. However, I must admit I like all the variety available.

There are a huge number of restaurants in the suburbs. You have the classics: Chinese, Italian, German, and Japanese. Since I left the suburbs there are more nationalities with their own eateries: Korean, Indian, Pakistani, and Brazilian. The most interesting ones to me are the “fusion” restaurants, like Carlos O’Kelly’s. It’s an Irish-Mexican Café. I try to imagine this: tacos full of corned beef and cabbage, maybe pints of Guinness with worms at the bottom?

There’s a restaurant near my dad’s house called Burnt Toast. I’ve never eaten there. I am on Weight Watchers now, so I’m unlikely to spend my hard won calories on a place I’ve never eaten at. Even if I did have the points to spare, with restaurants advertising prime steaks, fresh seafood, even hot doughnuts now, burnt toast just isn’t high on my list.

Daniel and I did stop in one store the last time were in Chicagoland. It was a large store in Schaumburg called The Container Store. They sell – well – containers; everything from cardboard boxes to wrought iron shelving systems. They have containers for food, containers for your clothes, specialized ones for hats and ones for Christmas ornaments. No matter what kind of stuff you have, The Container Store has somewhere you could stick it. If you have less stuff and more crap, they even had very stylish garbage cans.

I have to admit we didn’t buy any containers, though I have plenty of need. The Container Store was very versatile, but very expensive. I have a rule: my stuff should be worth more than the box I’m using to put my stuff in.

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