Inside the cavernous REI
store in Berkeley, beneath the flickering overhead lights, we are
trying on yellow his-and-her windbreakers.
Yellow isn't my first
choice. I'd really rather have blue or black or red or purple or gray
or *FootNotes* Green ... or any color EXCEPT
for yellow, basically. But yellow
is the only color available in both men's and
women's incredibly groovy/sale-priced Sugoi bike-riding jackets.
Still, as yellow
goes, I'll admit that this isn't the ugliest yellow I've ever seen.
It's not that awful, anemic shade of yellow that leaches all pigment
from my skin tone, like my high school graduation gown. And it's
the screaming fluorescent yellow so popular in riding gear these days,
either. This is a warm, buttery, almost orangish-yellow.
"You'd actually WEAR
this?" I ask David again, as he contemplates his yellow-jacketed
reflection in the mirror. I have an identical jacket, one size
smaller, slung over my arm.
He nods and says yes,
absolutely, this would be perfect.
We head for the cash
register to pay for our windbreakers. As we stand in line, we idly
discuss the color. Cornsilk? Lemon
Chiffon? Amber? "I think it might be
Goldenrod," I venture, running my hand across the silky fabric. David
says yes, he thinks I'm probably right. I can't resist ribbing him a
little -- Did you ever think
you'd be wearing matching Goldenrod jackets in public? With a girl? On
purpose? -- but he seems to be
very secure and comfortable and not-weirded-out-at-all by the idea.
(This is a first. Nobody
wants to dress like me! Just ask The Tots!!!!)
Eventually we reach the
head of the checkout line. The REI gift certificate my mother sent us
for Christmas covers most of the cost of both jackets. We pay the
slight overage, refuse the nice young cashier's offer to sign us up for
REI membership ("Not today," David says politely), then get
back into the Subaru and head further into Berkeley. We're going to
stop by a couple of bike stores, beginning the search for my
Schwinn's replacement, and maybe have a burger at Kip's.
As David drives, I twist
around in the passenger seat and admire our new riding jackets, folded
neated on the back seat behind me.
"You know what?" I muse aloud.
looking at our jackets in daylight, and I don't think it's
Goldenrod after all. I think it's actually closer to Buttercup."
"Hold it," he sputters
in faux indignance. "I said I'd wear Goldenrod. I never
said anything about Buttercup!"
But of course he's only
kidding. If I'd fixed the two of us up with
matching Tulip Pink windbreakers, Danskin leotards and a couple of
Barbie bike helmets, he'd wear them. And he'd wear them happily,
just so long as I was huffing and puffing behind him on the bike trail.
(And he would probably
in them than *I* would.)
By the time we finally
get home -- two bike stores, two Santa Fe Burgers and an hour at Barnes
& Noble later -- the sky has started to spit rain again. We had
hoped to squeeze in a teeny-tiny bike ride this afternoon, maybe over
to the abandoned Navy Base and back ... just to log a
preliminary miles onto the "2002 in 2002" chart David has already
affixed to the refrigerator ... but at this point it
doesn't seem like
it's going to happen. We settle instead for a long tandem afternoon
But first we hang
the new Buttercup Yellow jackets in the closet, side by side.
We're going to be
needing them soon.
throw a rock