We were invited to go out to dinner with Kristin Walker and her husband Randy. Because Kristin is very involved in the biking community in Charleston, we decided that we would all ride our bicycles for our outing. She and Randy proposed that we meet before dinner at a new place called The Gin Joint, the old Robert’s of Charleston on East Bay Street. Being adventurous, we’re always happy to discover another destination and obliged with a 6:15 meeting time.
MTM selected what I wore, a Patagonia dress that he recently bought for me as a surprise. It is a knee-length halter dress, but I thought it would be okay on the bike. When we started out, it was a little warm, and MTM thoughtfully suggested that if we rode on Concord Street we’d likely catch a breeze off the water that would keep us from arriving drenched with dew.
To digress for a few seconds, Charleston is a rather prudish place. Head on down to Savannah, and people walk around brazenly with open containers. Here, a guy tries to walk a block with his brown paper bag and gets arrested. In the Holy City, it is a weeks-long front page drama when college co-eds want to sun themselves in Marion Square, with numerous folks rising up to call their behavior “indecent” because they’re wearing bathing suits. Revealing oneself to unsuspecting strangers is certainly frowned upon here.
So, we’re riding along Concord Street. Only the slight cooling breeze that MTM hoped for was actually a gale that was blowing off the water and into our faces. I leaned over my handlebars and peddled as hard as I could in my kitten heeled thong sandals. Surely, we would make The Gin Joint on time.
Then it happened. The wind caught my dress and blew it up. I swerved precariously but stayed upright as I yanked my skirt back down with one hand. I wrangled my bike back into a straight path and pressed on. Only, my skirt kept blowing up. I’m weaving all over the road trying to keep my skirt down; MTM is laughing at me; occupants of oncoming vehicles are either howling with laughter, covering their eyes or staring at me reprovingly like I’m some sort of sick, twisted flasher person.
I kept waiting for the Charleston Chief of Police to personally arrest me for indecent exposure, as he would surely be wont to do given his hard line views. Mercifully, we made it to The Gin Joint without my landing in the clink, though I think it is safe to say that my face had not blushed that much in a very, very, very long time. The breeze did have a cooling effect in other places, though.