This month has seen me spending a significant portion of my time driving back and forth to Chicago while streaming podcasts and Prince playlists and drinking Arnold Palmers. And when I say “significant portion,” I mean 28 hours of driving, to be exact.
This is could be tedious, but it’s not. Driving alone is fun for me. I’m a mom and quiet time in a car is not a punishment, but cause for celebration.
But, half of those hours of driving were also unintentional and here’s why: I showed up in Chicago a week early for my Fox 32 television interview. For real! I misread the producer’s email. Seriously, Laura?
I could have gotten down on myself. How could I make such a dumb mistake?
Instead, I laughed it off. Because it’s July. And I promised myself to keep it light. To keep that attitude of play first, be serious later. Way later — like next year later. I’ve got all of 2020 to be as serious as I want. But right now I need to channel a spontaneous, shape-shifting artist who was light on his feet and lived to disrupt the status quo. I needed to trust that for reasons unknown to me, July 7 (and not June 30) would be the ideal date to be on the air.
I had the great good fortune to be able to play in one of the greatest cities on the planet for two weekends in a row in the most gorgeous weather of the year. Not exactly tragic, even if a bit of an unplanned budgetary blip.
Chicago was fun. I had playful lunches with a family friend two weekends in a row. That never happens now that we live in Minnesota! She’s 91 and when she asks for something that doesn’t happen to be on the menu (and she does this with some frequency), waiters fall over themselves to deliver it to her. If it were me requesting the dishes, I guarantee you that it wouldn’t happen. (No kidding – at Carmine’s, the table next to us tried to order the salmon over sauteed spinach dish the chef made for Marge, and the waiter bluntly said: No. Just, no.).
Then, I reconnected with my friend and former hairstylist Lori, who works for Sassoon. Lori understood when I told her that I wanted to channel Sheena Easton. This is something hair stylists might balk at or look crossways at, but not Lori. Lori is cool. Lori gets music. Lori is from Detroit and used to model with former Prince girlfriend Annalisa. (If anyone knows Annalisa, let me know. I would love to talk with her as I believe that we have Annalisa to thank for “Anna Stesia,” on the Lovesexy album). Lori did the hairstyle beautifully the first weekend I was in Chicago, before I realized my mistake, but the second time? She killed it! And, Lori reached out to another client of hers who worked with Prince for eight years, and we wound up going out for dinner. Lori intended to come but couldn’t and wondered if it might be awkward. Her Prince-related client and I talked for four hours. With a shared interest, it’s never awkward.
And finally, I wound up on television on July 7, which turned out to be the same day that the Chicago Tribune published Heidi Stevens’ story on me in the print edition.
Going with the flow, keeping it light, and trusting all will be well. July, you’ve been good to me so far.