I Want to Rage… Right Now
Art by Paul Rios
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
For whatever reason, I had decided to pick out my clothes before jumping in the shower. It wasn’t what I normally did. Maybe my subconscious knew there was a problem.
“I have shirts, undershirts, shorts, pants, a sweatshirt, board shorts, socks!” I yelled to Jen as I haphazardly tore through my suitcase. “I packed stuff I didn’t even need!”
A birthday getaway to Santa Cruz, and I forgot to pack underwear.
“I can’t believe… I forgot to bring underwear,” I said. The pause in between was so I could take a large breath filled more with rage than oxygen. “I… am so mad… right now.” Had I asked for a keg of beer, it would have been a spot-on angry Teen Wolf impression. My eyes may have also been glowing red.
“It’s OK,” Jen said, cute and smiling. “I’ll buy you birthday underwear.”
It was hard to stay angry after that. It was also hard to stay angry because she was right; it was OK. The Gap was within walking distance, and if they are good for anything it’s underwear.
Forgoing a shower until I could get a fresh pair of undergarments, the two of us left the house and headed towards the downtown strip. Less than 20 minutes later, I was slinging a blue bag containing two sets of boxer briefs over my shoulder.
“Did you want to head back to shower now,” asked Jen. “Or do you want to walk around for a little bit?”
“Well…I still haven’t had any coffee,” I responded. “Let’s hang out for a while.”
Being as close to Starbucks as we were, the next decision was easy to make. Walking down the street with a corporate-emblazoned cup of iced coffee and a Gap bag, however, felt rather un-Santa Cruz.
To make matters worse, or better depending on your acceptance of hipsters, we wandered another block down Pacific Avenue to Urban Outfitters. The two of us always manage to spend a decent amount of time in the store but seldom buy anything. This trip was no different.
“Ready to go?” I asked, surveying the men’s section one last time and noticing an odd amount of moustache-themed paraphernalia.
“Do you care if we check out the books first?” Jen said.
We made our way to the table near the front of the store stacked high with throwaway literature. As we laughed, maybe a bit too loudly, at the featured works in “Awkward Family Photos,” my phone rang.
“What’s up, buddy; where you at?” Greg said, following a heartfelt rendition of the “Happy Birthday” song. He was in Santa Cruz as well.
I explained my packing snafu and that Jen and I were already milling around downtown. After he stopped laughing, he informed me he was a few blocks away.
“Alright, I’ll meet you out front,” I said, motioning to Jen to follow me towards the front entrance. “See you in a minute.”
I hung up the phone as Jen and I passed through the two large glass doors and onto the sidewalk. A jazz band had set up shop across the street, giving the pedestrian-heavy area the perfect shop-hopping soundtrack. The two of us moved around the corner, propped ourselves against the wall and waited with the non-urgency of vacationers.
Before we knew it, Greg appeared before us. His two weeks of beard growth helped him blend into the crowd.
“You guys hungry?” he inquired. “I was thinking about hitting up Zoccoli’s.”
Zoccoli’s has the best meatball sandwich on the planet. It wasn’t long before we were crossing the street and making a left towards the delicatessen. Small talk continued as we weaved in unison past window shoppers. One pair of slow-movers, however, stopped us dead in our tracks.
“But I am a part of the Ragin’ Grannies,” is all I heard come out of the elderly woman’s mouth. We couldn’t have walked into their conversation at a better time.
“What the hell is that?” croaked her equally aged, male counterpart. What other response was there, really?
Before we could hear her official answer, though, the two were out of earshot.
“Did you just hear what I heard?” Jen asked.
Our laughter was answer enough.
As we continued our short walk to sandwich heaven, I couldn’t help but smile—if there was ever a good day to forget your underwear, this was it.