Bay to Breakers: Here’s What I Can Tell You

Sunday was Bay to Breakers. I am. So. Sore. My body hurts all over, and I have a 3-D bruise on the back of my leg the size of a small child’s head. Figuring out what to go as was quite the emotional roller coaster. It all started a few weeks ago…

At first, Caitlin and I decided we would go with Katie, because Katie’s college friends were coming up for the weekend, and we wanted to go as a big crew. That was until we found out Katie’s college friends wanted to go as sexy cops.
“Absolutely not!” I exclaimed upon hearing this.
“I know. It’s heinous.” Caitlin agreed with me.
“Maybe you guys can go as sexy criminals instead?” Roomie Madoff suggested.
“You mean…hookers? Cuz, uh, that’s what a sexy criminal is — a hooker.” I answered.

So, now, Caitlin and I were bummed.  Being Sexy Cops was out of the question.  So who could we go with now?

Well, there was Matt.  Matt, wasn’t going to walk the course, but he was going to park his truck along the end of the course, dress in 80’s dance party gear, and have an 80’s dance party in the back of his truck as the racers sped by. But, was 8-‘s dance party festive enough?  Then, Katie called Caitlin to tell her that her sexy cop costume had arrived in the mail, and there was no way she was going to wear it: “There’s fishnets, and a ruffled skirt, and baby handcuffs hanging from lacy garter belts…”

Now that Katie had nixed Sexy Cop, she could go with Caitlin and me again, but what were we going to go as?

It was now the weekend before B2B, Roomie Madoff’s boyfriend was having an 80’s dance party themed birthday party. Caitlin and I bought sweatbands to prepare, and scoured the city (okay, 2 blocks on Market st.) for a store other than American Apparel to buy tube socks from, but to no avail. We ended up not going to his birthday party, but we were still really into the idea of buying tube socks, “they really will come in handy in the future,” Caitlin reasoned, and I agreed. Tube socks are really handy.  Don’t believe me? Buy a pair.  I bet you’ll find that you wear them often…ish.

Then, the Friday before the big day rolled around.

“Wanna just go as 80’s dance party?”
“I mean, whatever.” I shrugged my shoulders. “We do have sweatbands already…”
“And we do want to get tube socks…” Caitlin finished my sentence.
“Okay, done. 80’s work out it is!” I agreed.

Saturday: Bay to Breakers Eve
Caitlin, Katie and I went to American Apparel to buy tube socks.  We purposely went to the one in the Marina, on the tip that no one ever goes to that one, on account of the fact that The Marina is where Yuppies go to drink Bloody Marys, cover their bodies in Rugby, and die happy Yuppy deaths.  So, imagine our horror at discovering the store was packed. Apparently we weren’t the only ones planning on going as 80’s work out party. That was a bit of a bummer, but whatever, we would just have to be way cooler than everyone else. And besides, I just really wanted tube socks. So, then why did I end up buying hot pink spandex shorts, a fanny pack, and a neon green sweat band as well? How did I end up spending almost $70 bucks at American Apparel? Mysteries.  Mysteries….

Sunday: B2B

Caitlin got up at 6am. I got up about 45 minutes later. “Glorious day!” She jumped out of her room, scaring the bejesus out of me.  Apparently, Bay to Breakers morning was like Christmas morning, but with alcohol and costumes instead of presents.   Also of note, Caitlin had invited some guy she had been talking to come along with us on a whim.  His name is not actually Palo Alto, but for the purposes of this story it is. Palo Alto was so excited to be invited, that after leaving the office on Saturday, he promptly went to AA and bought workout gear as well. We were excited that he was excited.  The more the merrier.

One bottle of champagne, one fanny pack around my waist later, and we were ready to go. Caitlin had filled a 1.5 liter water bottle with Pomegranate Limenade from Trader Joes and Vodka, while Palo Alto showed us that he had filled a biking backpack (complete with handy side spout) with alcohol. Now, we were good to go. We left at 7:45am.

Bay to Breakers was surreal. Floats with alcohol were banned this year, as were glass bottles, but the tradition of nudity-as-costume was still alive and kicking. I have never seen so many old fat man penises. Shudder.Imagine thousands of adults, young adults, kids, babies (?!) wandering around a city, dressed up in crazy costumes, crazy drunk.  This year was pretty controversial, because opponents of the event wanted to shut it down. No alcohol, no nudity, less debauchery. People were pissed, because a “scaled down” Bay to Breakers would apparently make Bay to Breakers pretty pointless. People were actually upset that public urination was going to be a prosecuted offense this year. It’s cool though, because lots of people flaunted this law. Myself included. Did I or did I not pee in the bushes in Golden Gate Park at not even noon. It was 11:30 in the morning. Oh, that’s right, I did.

At one point, we were forced to choose between finishing the course and walking to the beach, or walking to Katie’s boyfriend’s friend’s house. At this point, the whole gang was in a jovial mood, having picked up more friends along the way, and hey, why not go to Friend’s House instead of finishing the course? Well, because it turned out they weren’t in nearly as festive a mood as us. We stayed there for a bit, but then got bored, so we escaped. Then, instead of walking to the beach, we just took a bus.  But we still ended up at the breakers, so it totally counts.

The beach was cold — too cold for our outfits. So, what does one do when they’re drunk and freezing at the beach? Well, if you’re Caitlin, you run into the freezing cold water, and swim out so far that you appear to be nothing but a speck in the water to your friends staring in amazement from the shore. Seriously, the water had to have been like 50 degrees. I then heckled Palo Alto into going into the water after her.  He didn’t want to, but being her date for the day, he had no choice.  Be lame, or be cold? Lame, or cold?  Reluctantly, he stripped off his shirt and trotted into the arctic sea.
“Where’s Caitlin?” Katie asked after she and her boyfriend Chris, and one of her friends had come back from Safeway.
“There?” I pointed to a speck that might have been my roomate, might have been a piece of debris.
“Oh, she’s in the water?” Katie stripped off her shorts and ran into the ocean after her.
“I’m goin’ in too!” Chris yelled, not wanting to be outdone by his girlfriend. He got as far as waist deep, got hit by a wave, then ran shivering up to the beach.  See? Arctic water.

“Your friend seriously has something wrong with her.” Palo Alto told me, shivering upon the beach. Meanwhile, Caitlin was doing mermaid dives through the waves.
“She just really likes the ocean.” I responded. “Do you like her?” I turned to him suddenly.
“Uh, yeah, yeah I like her a lot. Do you call her Caitlin, or Catie? Caitlin is so formal.”
“Caitlin is how she introduced herself to me, but I mean, it really doesn’t matter.” I shrugged my shoulders, wondering why we were discussing this.
“I think I want to call her Catie.” He announced, gazing wistfully into the sea. This reeked too much of The Great Gatsby, and it took all my energy not to laugh.  I nodded supportingly at him, as that was all I really could do…

When Caitlin finally came out of the water, her lips were blue, and she couldn’t stop shaking. We decided to go to Safeway because I had to go to the bathroom, and Caitlin wanted to buy a fleece to warm up.
“I want to go in a hot tub.” Caitlin chattered.

This sounded like a great idea. “Me too! Where do we find one?”
And then, I don’t know why, but it seemed like a totally appropriate idea to hop over a gate of a private apartment building complex in order to find their hot tub. The security lady hiding in a little booth didn’t think it was such a good idea, and she yelled at me and made me hop over “the way I came.”

Some more beach time, some more Bud Lights later, we finally got a cab home and we made it back to our place around 5:30. Naps ensued. As did an after party in my room, some Japanese takeout, and your narrator getting dumped via text message.  Okay, granted by someone that I didn’t even like, but like, a) who breaks up with someone via text message?! and b) what? I was supposed to dump him! what’s going on here?!

Then Palo Alto went home, Caitlin discovered she had a hickey: “I am NOT okay with this. What, are we in High School?! How do you go into work at a law firm with a hickey on your neck? He is so lucky I might like him. This is so inappropriate.”

We decided to walk to our local bodega so Caitlin could buy some cigarettes. As we sat on our stoop, gazing down upon the city from atop our hill, I got bummed that I’m moving. The night was chilly, and the fog was bizarrely wrapping itself around the sky.  The Real World was slowly coming back into focus, and I wasn’t sure I was ready for it.

One Response to “Bay to Breakers: Here’s What I Can Tell You”

  1. Hussell Says:

    I Loved it… Deal with it people- our generation has taken over and you can either join or be trampled by the Heard! Life is full of nudity, urination, public intoxication and trash of all sorts.

    Simply move to the marina, or maybe live in Hunters Point for a year then the nice events will be charished for what they are (liberal freedom) No one in my family of friends in our fine city wanna hear or see it so go back to dixie land…
    Sincerely, Hu$$ell

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