I think I can safely say that Old Man Summer and his deadly cancer rays are officially here, and that everyone wishes he would just go back to his hateful hole in the center of the sun already (where his roommate the Devil resides, if I'm not mistaken).
Seriously. I'm half a blistering sunburn boil away from begging Old Lady Winter to prematurely return to shower us with her frozen, white "love" in the form of a record-breaking snowfall. At least then my skin wouldn't peel and fall off my body in fleshy, flaky, circular patterns, and my pit stains would be hidden underneath the extra wool layers. I know what you're thinking: "Why do you even go outside if your skin keeps falling off?" And to that I say: Good freaking question.
But if your significant other just won't stop nagging you about leaving your apartment, here are some things you can do and places you can go that won't leave you unbearably singed and sunburnt. Hopefully.
Everyone knows that the best place on the planet to escape the fiery fury is in the cool confines of an overly air-conditioned movie theater. That or a meat locker. But movies are notoriously boring during summer, what with the bloated special effects that make them look more like video games (Indiana Jones 4, anyone?). Thus, instead of hitting up AMC River East 21 for the 40th time to see a CGIed Marlon Brando in Godfather 8, why not spice things up and head north to Rosemont and the Muvico? See, a Muvico, for those not in the know, is a special kind of movie theater that allows you, the customer, to pay even more money to see a movie. But instead of getting nothing for your extra buck like you would at a normal theater, at a Muvico, you get to choose where you sit, how you sit and what you sit on, and that doesn't even include the complimentary popcorn, dinner reservations (at the Muvico restaurant), and full-service food and drink bar for the 21-and-older crowd that come with. Honest to God, this place is the Camelot of movie theaters, and it looks like it, too. Tickets: $15.
FYI: Loveseats are readily available for you and your...loved one.
Original Rainbow Cone
The Original Rainbow Cone, with its neon-rainbow theme and retro '80s look, reminds me of my pure and perfect childhood, long ago, when I didn't have to worry about the threat of global warming lurking around every corner. If your mission is to turn hot into cold whilst having 'fun' with the old ball and chain, eating ice cream is probably the quickest way to cool your inside jets, and eating ice cream at the Original Rainbow Cone is probably the most delicious way to do it. Also, where did you Rainbow Cone workers go to get so incredibly friendly? Is there a night-school nice class? Truly, you are wizards of generosity. Ice cream comes in various flavors (chocolate, strawberry, orange sherbet, bubble gum, New York vanilla, cookies 'n' cream, banana, coffee, cookie dough, chocolate peanut butter, mint flake and more) and sizes: small cone, small cup ($2.75), large cone, large cup ($3.75), hand-packed pint ($5.50), quart ($8.50) and half-gallon ($14). Don't forget about the rainbow ice-cream cakes ($21-$118), shakes ($3.95-$4.95), sundaes ($4-$5.25) and, once you've sufficiently cooled off, barbecue beef and pork ($4).
FYI: Girlfriends love ice cream, without fail.
In Chicagoland, there's no better place to freeze your ass off in the middle of 100-degree temperature and 100-percent humidity than the icy shores of Lake Michigan. And thankfully, they're icy all-year-round, even in the summer! Sure, BP dumps its toxic and hazardous materials into the lake's watery contents when nobody's looking, but keeping your skin from melting into oblivion is worth the five extra arms and eyes that may attach themselves to you at some point in the future. The only question is, in which part of Lake Michigan do you plant yourself for maximum non-warmth? For my money, the beach off Fullerton Avenue is the most attractive option, and by that I mean literally. If you can deal with feeling really depressed for not having gotten into proper beach-bod-shape by the time you hit said beach, there's nary an ugly person in sight amid the sandy dunes and vast (in number) volleyball tournaments. Join in on the volleyball fun, or, if you're smart, just stay in the freezing water.
FYI: Have you ever met a girl who didn't like the beach? Me neither. Just don't stare too long at all aforementioned beach bods adorning the sandy landscape, or your girlfriend may become hazardous to your health (even more so than the sun itself).
Some people like to occasionally exert energy, via sport, thought or exercise, but with the ozone layer as full of holes as it is today, it's unsafe to play baseball, football or any of the outside sports under any circumstances whatsoever. Additionally, with temperatures rising incrementally with every passing day, incredibly active inside sports like basketball, running, and Wii Fit are out of the question, too. Thus, that leaves only the laziest inside sport of all time: Bowling. That's right, only bowling is the kind of sport you can play without fear of slipping in a pool of your own sweat or overheating to the point of cardiac arrest, and thank God it's also the most romantic. Now, some people, whose names I won't mention, would likely send you to the "cool" bowling lanes of Chicago, like Lucky Strike, Waveland Bowl or 10pin Bowling Lounge, but those places are only cool if cool means way-too-damned-expensive (sometimes $30 an hour). For plain, cheap bowling ($3 a game, $2 for the cleanest socks you've ever worn) without the uptight, snooty nonsense many downtown Lanes have to offer, Timberlanes is the place to bowl. It's the dive bar equivalent of a bowling establishment.
FYI: Nothing will impress your lady like the curvature of your...bowling stroke.
Bensenville Water Park
Speaking of childhoods, remember when all you did was go to water parks, day-in, day-out, all summer long until school started up again? Maybe that was just me. Still, everyone loves a water parkóbabies, children, pets, teenagers, adults, insects, old people, dead people and probably even your outside-loving girlfriend. Unfortunately, the nearest park is 23 miles away in Bensenville, Illinois, but that just means one 30-minute, air-conditioned car-ride, coming up! At the Bensenville Water Park, they've got a 155-foot-long water slide, a 12-and-a-half foot diving well with a one-meter diving board and two drop slides, 100 chaise lounges and sun chairs throughout the park and a water play area with interactive water playground and animal sprinklers. I'm sorry, but how could you pass animal sprinklers up? Admission: $11 during the day, $6 during the evening.
FYI: Girlfriends love to have their heads dunked under the chlorine-laced water for extremely long periods of time; yeah, they think that's really sexy.