Here in the northwest, we are in full-on over-heated mode. Sure, it may not be as hot as in say Death Valley, but when a girl is pondering the merits of freezing her undies, it’s too hot. Which, of course, reminds me of two things: the college prank of freezing undergarments and driving to San Francisco.
I don’t really have much to say about freezing undies aside from it never happened to me, but it did to the ladies living across the hall from me my freshman year. At the time, I was horrified. Not that young men had handled their panties and bras but at the thought of having to rustle up enough quarters to return frozen undergarments to their proper state. Hey, it’s all about priorities, man. As weird as it is to want to paw through a stranger’s underwear drawer, I understand it’s a prank with a longstanding tradition, much like the frat prank of collecting bows off of bras in the laundry. I was more of a fan of saran-wrapping cars myself. But like most things back in the early adulthood years, it sounded like a good idea at the time.
Speaking of situational good ideas, I spent a few summers driving from my home on the central Oregon coast to my friends’ homes in San Francisco. I made this drive bookending my first year of college. I did this solo, in my 1976 Chevy Chevette. Now, if you’ve ever driven a 1976 Chevy Chevette, you might be familiar with one of the Chevette’s features: a heater that never quite turned off. I would load up my car, put on my lightest clothing and tie my hair up in a ponytail, and start driving. I’m pretty sure I was about 5 pounds lighter upon arrival purely through sweating so much.
I’d usually hit the Golden Gate Bridge at about rush hour which makes me think one thing and one thing only. What on earth were my parents thinking letting me drive there on my own? (Of course, I was legally an adult and all that, but still.) Rush hour in the Bay area is a far cry from rush hour in my tiny little hometown with four traffic lights. Hell, there were probably more people driving across the bridge with me than even live in my hometown.
One of the best parts of my drives, besides the pool of sweat on my driver’s seat, was the sound track. I had a super-fancy Radio Shack tape deck that would play the second side of the tape automatically. I know, amazeballs, right? And it was on that bad boy that I would play the music that over 25 years later is the sound track of my first year of adulthood. Before I hit the Oregon border I had been through the entire “Good Morning Vietnam” sound track a few times, as well as several other favorite bands and movies.
“Hot? It’s damn hot. Hot enough to do a little crotch-pot cooking…” My love affair with comedy and comedians was already in full-swing, as well as my affection for Yaz, and Kate Bush. Movies I’d seen with friends, music new friends had introduced me to…so many memories of such a great time in my life. I was on my way and just so damn excited to get started living. There were good relationships and bad relationships, but each one set into motion what would ultimately become me today, and so even the really bad times and really bad things were important because they made the ripples of my today.
Isn’t it funny, looking back at those pivotal times in your life? When you were on the cusp of something and didn’t know it?
Yep, it’s hot. Damn hot. And I think I’ll pour some more lemonade, float a little Amaretto on top of it and enjoy my day. Don’t mind me if I wipe my sweaty brow while humming a little Martha and the Vandellas.