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24 moments that give Chicagoans anxiety

Don't worry, you're not alone—these facts of city life are enough to send any Chicagoan into a nervous sweat

Written by
Time Out Chicago editors

Chicago, we love you, but sometimes you stress us the hell out. From e-scooter pilot programs sending riders careening through the streets to the ever-present threat of CTA delays and the fickle nature of our weather, there's no shortage of opportunities for life here to tax our fragile nerves. Next time your heart is sent aflutter by the threat of parking tickets or any other myriad stressors, just remember: We're all in this together (and hey, there are some perks to living here, too). Here are the moments that give every Chicagoan a flash of anxiety. 

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1. When you learn e-scooters are coming back to your neighborhood. Good luck dodging those 15mph human missiles.

2. Spending the entire month of October waiting for the temperature to drop. Will it ever be warm again?

3. When all your friends start getting married and moving to Ravenswood. And on that note...

4. When your friends buy an actual free-standing home and you wonder where you went wrong. A literal house.

5. Hearing a rustling in the alley trash can. You don't need to look. It's definitely rats.

6. When you secretly love ketchup. Don't you dare tell a soul.

7. Deciding whether or not the train operator can be trusted when he says he has an immediate follower. It's the lie that keeps society afloat.

8. When you end up at a cash-only bar with no ATM. Extra points if you've already ordered the drinks.

9. The moment you realize you're old enough to be a parent to Lollapalooza's target demographic. This is fine. Everything is fine.

10. When the timer on your CTA bus app randomly jumps up five minutes. K, guess I'm sprinting for the bus now. Cool.

11. Seeing Divvy bikers without helmets. [extreme mom voice] "You're going to get yourself killed!"

12. The split-second after you tap your (potentially valueless) Ventra card. Please, please, please...

13. When you have friends in town who *need* to try deep-dish pizza. What if they hate it? What if you hate it?

14. Anytime a Chicago-based team makes its way to a championship game. Even if you don't care about sports, the entire city gets real stressed out.

15. When everyone's like, "Yaaaas it's spring!" but it's still 40 fucking degrees out. Am I...supposed to...feel warm? And even worse...

16. When those same people start wearing flip-flops and cargo shorts in March. NO. Just no.

17. Watching your neighbors at passive-aggressive war via "dibs." Can't we all just get along?

18. When you get an itch on your leg and are convinced you have bed bugs. Yep, that's it, burning all my clothes now.

19. Accidentally getting on the northbound Purple Line instead of the Brown at Belmont. Guess I'll just kick back and head to Evanston.

20. Forgetting to move your car before street sweeping. Nothing better than waking up to a $60 ticket.

21. Watching people jog on the Lakefront Trail when the waves are super high. Consider fitting in your run somewhere you won't potentially get sucked away by 15-foot swells.

22. When it's still freezing on April 1 but the CTA heat lamps aren't in service. You better hope there aren't any train delays.

23. Spotting the flash of a red light camera. Hope you have an extra $100 in your bank account!

24. Accidentally sitting in something wet on the train. Just don't think about it too hard.

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