FACTS OF LIFE GROWING UP IN THE NORTHSHORE OF CHICAGO
My childhood as a white, upper-middle class, Jewish girl
- •I went to a public high school that was probably nicer than a lot of private schools.Our school had a huge focus on the arts, college counseling for everyone, and I even got to take trips to Peru, New York, and Boston for various extracurricular activities. No, we did not have metal detectors.
- •Bar/Bat Mitzvahs were the only social activity for all of 7th grade and a good amount of 8th grade.Often, we even had two a weekend. I had a whole Mitzvah wardrobe and knew all the MC DJs by name. I also still have drawers stuffed with giveaway sweatpants, T-Shirts, sweatshirts, etc. that still serve as my pajamas.
- •Fashion trends were very specific through the years.Michael Star T-shirts, Church Girl T-shirts, Rocket Dog shoes, Juicy sweatsuits, North Face fleeces, Ugg boots, those black choker necklace things, hoody sweatshirts off of one shoulder, Birkenstocks (which are suddenly coming back now?), and the list goes on.
- •Pretty much everyone was Jewish.And if you weren't, you were basically culturally Jewish.
- •Since everyone was Jewish, there was no school on the high holidays.Can we make that a real life work thing too?
- •If you didn't go to summer camp, no one was around during the summer.Eagle River, WI was the place to be. I miss you, Camp Marimeta.
- •Everyone knows what a "North Shore mom" is.It's a hot, skinny housewife mom, who goes to yogalates every day, drinks green juice, always has a Starbucks cup in her hand, and dresses her kids in really trendy clothes. It's actually not too different from the "Los Angeles mom."
- •Highland Park had an unarmed, unmasked bank robbery once, and no one knew what to do.The guy didn't get caught because that type of event just does not happen. It's such a safe suburb that there's no protocol for bank robberies.
- •Most kids were expected to go to college.There were a few who went into the military, but I'd say the vast of majority of my high school graduating class went on to college. The question was never whether we would; the question was where.
- •Taking Metra to the city made us feel cool and Metropolitan.A city day taking pictures at the Bean? Best day ever. I promise we're not tourists.
- •To anyone who's not actually from Chicago, we are from Chicago.Who cares if I live a good 45-60 minute drive from the city? No one knows what Highland Park is anyway.