On Saturday I told Vincent that I’d take him out shopping for cool-weather clothing. Vincent understood me to mean that I would buy him some cool weather-appropriate clothing and not just, you know, corduroy pants and long-sleeved plaid shirts designed to ward off the chill. So Vincent took me to one of our area’s coolest (read: awesome) clothing stores to check out the merch.
The store’s nightclub-style entrance triggered flashbacks to the disco nights of my youth. In the foyer (yes, there was a foyer) were two easy chairs and a table stacked with surfing magazines. One mag’s “Guide To The Best Surf Colleges” looked intriguing, but I couldn’t read it because the store’s ceiling floodlights – housed in what looked like tin cans with the sides peeled back – were focused, not on the reading material, but on a bevy of mannequin beach babes. Mood-making scents of vanilla and coconut made the whole place smell like an ambrosia fruit salad. And the music was loud. Really loud. It wasn’t long before the sensory overload got to me. I was about to ignite a nearby tiki torch and put it to the blaring sound system when Vincent announced that he was done shopping. Cowabunga!
Still, there remained the task of navigating our way through the plastic palm trees and back to the East Coast. We didn’t want to find the perfect wave; we wanted to find the exit. The fake directional sign reading “ 5 Mi. to Huntington Beach” didn’t help. I actually walked into a surfboard trying to make my way out of the store.
Lesson learned: The laid-back So Cal lifestyle can be really stressful.