While we had a Blockbuster video up the street from the dorms, walking there took just as much time as watching the movie you were going there to get.
Kids today will never know the lengths we used to have to go to rent a movie. There was no Netflix or On Demand. We had to work for that flick.
Even though it was a school night, Peter and I declared it also a movie night and made a pilgrimage.
I debuted my important new purchase that night. It was high time I started looking more like a Washingtonian and needed a trench coat. The previous weekend I went to one of Pentagon City Mall’s crappy anchor stores and found the least expensive one.
It had all the important flattering components of a wardrobe classic: epaulets, wind flaps, and a houndstooth removable liner.
Even though it was the right size, I looked like a little kid trying on my Dad’s coat to get a laugh. The bottom dusted the floor. I could have smuggled three of my closest friends into a movie theater with it.
Tragically, I thought I looked fabulous.
I didn’t quite get the reaction I wanted to my “grown-up” trench. Peter cocked his head to the side and said “Uh-huh” with a grin.
Damn it, Peter!
I went into detail about the importance of a good trench on Capitol Hill. How I now commanded authority and respect.
I thought he was making a mockery of my new look that signified my important status as an intern.
I should have known better. He was formulating a plan. He could care less about my coat. “I dare you.”
“You dare me what?”
“I dare you to take your clothes off under your coat, walk into Blockbuster, rent a video, and walk back. Naked.” He handed me the 1.75 of Jack Daniels he was concealing in his pocket. I took a swig.
A couple minutes later…
“C’mon! I dare you! If you do this…I’ll get you (thinking….thinking…) a pitcher of margaritas at Taco Shore!” You have to hand it to him; he knew how to cut to my core.
My negotiation skills are for crap, but when it came to my undies I wasn’t going to back down. Reluctantly Peter changed the terms of the bet so I could keep them on. Crisis averted and my predilection for granny panties stayed hidden.
I couldn’t carry my jeans with me, so Peter fashionably tied them around his waist.
Remaining under wraps while taking off the rest of my clothes proved more difficult.
Peter put my bra in his pocket and tied my shirt around his neck like a preppy tennis player.
We were lit from the bourbon and had to admit this was becoming fun.
We made it to Blockbuster and giggled our way through the racks. We stumbled (literally) upon When Harry Met Sally and cheered out loud.
We had recently been referencing the movie, as our situation mirrored its first half; the fact I had lots of men friends with no sex involved, Peter insisting that sex always gets in the way, but both of us agreeing that we were the exception.
It was an inspired choice for the evening and, per the bet, I went up to the cashier and paid for the rental. Naked(ish).
Chuckle. Cackle. Chortle. All the way back to the dorms. On our front stoop was one of the students from one of the other schools. He was leaning back on his elbows with a beer can in hand. Apparently, this was a new thing, as he excitingly told us,
“I’m drinking a beer! And I’m outside!”
“Hey. Congratulations man!” Peter slapped him on the back.
Peter took a step back and dug the bottle of Jack out of his pocket and chugged. What wasn’t deliberate was my bra falling out of Peter’s pocket and onto the sidewalk.
Not only did Peter school this kid on drinking, but also convinced him he was a god.
Peter finished his gulp and slowly reached down to put the bra back in his pocket. His pace suggested this was a totally normal thing.
The kid sadly looked down at his “outside” beer.
We wished him a good night as we stepped over him to get into the lobby.