my vicarious med school training is paying off/Chicago

As the wife of a med student, I am totally qualified to diagnose people.

So I'm diagnosing myself with Seasonal Affective Disorder -- the summer version.

I wouldn't say I get clinically depressed or anything, but this quote -- from someone who actually claims to have the disorder -- describes me perfectly. Not to be dramatic or anything...

''I actually feel kind of attacked by the sun. I feel like it's piercing into me, and I start to feel more and more desperate to escape it. I have a hard time organizing and managing daily life. By August, I'm barely able to function and don't really recover until autumn. October is reliably a good month. I feel like I'm being released from my summer, what I would call, jail cell.''

I used to think I hated summer because I was always The Pale Girl in a sea of tans or because my frizzy hair just did not cooperate. Now that pale is in and I have my hands on some frizz products that actually work I'm not in high school and don't care as much about fitting in, I'm positive it has something to do with the heat.

This picture just looks cold and it makes me happy.

All this to say that my trip to Chicago -- a plunge into fall, rather than Louisiana's gradual, 1 degree at a time version -- was the perfect medicine.

Wearing a scarf in September in Louisiana is almost unheard of

Red velvet pancakes from The Bongo Room and spending quality time with friends who don't mind laying on the ground for a photo op didn't hurt either. And the trip ended the way any good trip (or any day, really) should, with some very successful internet stalking detective work.

And I'm happy to say I wore the skirt that was subject to a drive by fashion critique with no negative comments. Success!

But a girl can only be away from home and live on donuts and pancakes for so long -- it was good to get home to these guys, just in time for blissful October.