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Girls’ Night Out

Readers, I took many of your comments on my last post to heart. Then I called the journalism-community hotline, and it turns out the blog meets its level of standards. Phew! I was worried.In all seriousness, several of the comments held some weight. I would never reveal the e-mailer’s identity-not even to my friends (they don’t know him)-but the real point I was making was that there’s a double standard in the dating world. If a girl pursued a guy like that, it would probably be considered stalking. Thing is, I barely know him, and I’ve politely turned him down many times. That only seems to make him try harder. I know it’s not easy asking a girl out, but it seems to come very easy to him. Sure, I was flattered by his first couple of gestures-six months ago. But I’m not a girl who’s used to flying to New York with a total stranger. So, let’s move on to the next topic: my weekend. (I know, aren’t columnists so egotistical? It’s always me, me, me!) My weekend started on Wednesday. I had a blind date with the mystery man I mentioned in my Valentine’s Day post. In all honesty, I was sort of dreading the evening. Nothing because of the guy. I just suck at blind dates; hate the whole concept. I had absolutely no expectations, but I was happily surprised when he picked me up: a sweet, cute, accomplished L.A. native who’s so not into the L.A. scene. We went to Lava (the new Lava Lounge in Wicker Park, 1270 N. Milwaukee Ave.), which was pretty empty but a nice neutral first-date spot, where neither of us knew anyone. When the trip-hop took over the turntables, the vibe got a little too noisy for us to hear each other. So, after a couple of cocktails, we headed to Landmark (1633 N. Halsted St.) in Lincoln Park. It was his call, and a good one. Much more conducive to actual conversation. Thursday: Girls night out started at Krem (1750 N. Clark St.) with a fashion show hosted by Akira boutique. I got there after the show had started, and the place was packed with Ford models. Yay-tall, stick-thin, hair-gelled pretty people. I swear, I didn’t think I was in Chicago. The place feels a little like the Delano in Miami, and the scene certainly looked like South Beach that night. I couldn’t really see the clothes hanging on the models since, unlike them, I’m not yay tall. (More like wee high, and I wasn’t wearing heels.) The girls and I jockeyed for position at the bar while trying to chat over blaring hip-hop. Fashion shows in Chicago are funny affairs. They’re like mini versions of what you’d see at Fashion Week in New York (not that I’ve been). The people sitting in the front row are placed there strategically. Even at these local affairs, you see people whispering in each other’s ears, looking very serious, taking notes for articles. The Akira show was hosted by Belvedere Vodka, so at least the drinks were good. We lasted for about half an hour before moving on to our next destination: Pops for Champagne (601 N. State St.). What’s a girls’ night out without a little bubbly? We managed to score a banquette and ordered a bottle of sparkling dessert wine, plus a few of Chef Andre Christopher’s concoctions: braised short ribs, cheese fondue, king crab rolls. But the food didn’t distract us for long. You know how it is when girls get together: Talk turned from home decor to hot guys in about five minutes flat. We had another GNO planned for Saturday, so I took Friday off to hang with a couple of girlfriends and their dogs. A low-key night turned out to be a good idea since Saturday was a real doozy. I headed to Lotties Pub (1925 W. Cortland Ave.) with a mix of The Marrieds and The Singletons for Denver Boy’s 30th birthday. Lotties is a neighborhood bar in Bucktown that always has a strong guy-to-girl ratio on the main level, but the birthday party was downstairs in a private area-with many more girls than guys. That was probably due to Denver’s Evite list: 76 yeses total, of which 80 percent seemed to be female, and most with names ending in ‘ie’ or ‘ey.’ I’ve lived here my whole life, and I don’t think I could scrape together that many people for a birthday party. It turned out to be a fun night-albeit with too many cocktails. But hey, that’s what girls do when we get together. When we’re not talking about boys. Photography by Colleen Durkin

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