van me twice.

This is what Missoula looks like today from my view:

winter wonderland

The story I’m about to tell did not have the same snowy setting, but it was colder… about 20 degrees.

This is what the door to our apartment looks like:

upstairsviewEvan and I live nextdoor to this lovely woman named Suzie… who I hardly ever see, but she’s kind and polite and the sweetest.

This is what the downstairs of outside our apartment looks like:


That aqua door enters to other common rooms used by Buddhists for meditation but it also holds the basement where we keep some of our stuff. This door is kept locked, but has a locked hide-a-key that we use. And then the front door to the building is behind this picture taker.

So, the other day, Evan and I decided that we wanted to go hot springing/camping. Evan was running around getting ALL of our camping stuff together and I was trying to pack my clothes. Evan was [rightfully] giving me a hard time about how I don’t do anything and he has to pack for two.

It was such a quiet Saturday and I was sure that Suzie was out hiking or working or hanging with her college student daughter somewhere.

I kept grabbing things like a toothbrush and a puffy coat and telling Evan, “Look, I’m ready to go!”

He found it mildly entertaining, so I kept doing it.

Then Evan went to get some things out of the basement and I put my bikini on and walked downstairs. I stood outside the aqua door and yelled down,




– Hold on! I’ll be right up!

He came out the door and I was standing in my best Superman pose as he saw me and laughed as he locked up the door and put the key back in it’s lockbox.

– I’m ready to go!

– Really? Do I need to pack your clothes for you, too?

All the sudden we heard a door upstairs open…….

With deer in the headlight eyes we looked at each other and I tried to get into the aqua door… locked. Then we started whisper yelling…

– It’s locked!

– Get the key!

– I forgot the code! What do I do?! I don’t want Suzie to see me like this!

– Go get in the van!

– Okay!

So I RUN OUTSIDE… IN A BIKINI… open the van and dive into it and slam the sliding door.

Immediately I hear Suzie come outside with Evan and they are having a lively conversation… which is fine… until it lasts for more than 30 seconds. Because, well, I’m hiding in a van wearing a total of 18 square inches of fabric in the freezing cold.

You would think that maybe since there’s a full bed in the van, we would keep blankets in the van, but we don’t. You know what we do keep in there? Reusable shopping bags. So, yep. After about two minutes, I started trying to cover myself up with shopping bags.

There I am, covered in shopping bags in a swimsuit in a van in front of my own apartment in the freezing cold listening to my boyfriend make small-talk with the neighbor. And I don’t know if this next part was justified or not, but I became LIVID. Saying things outloud like,

– WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, EVAN! Stop talking to her! Stop! Stop! Ugh, why didn’t I just let her see meeeeeee?

Lots of talking outloud, sitting on the floor of a van, covered in shopping bags…

After about 6 [SIX] minutes of conversation, Suzie made her way to her car [parked right in front of the van] and I laid flat on the floor of the van, terrified that I would get caught at this point of the debacle and have no idea how to explain myself.

She didn’t. She got in her car and drove off. About 20 seconds after that, Evan opens the van door with a coat in hand. I grab it from him and loudly say,

– What the hell is wrong with you?!

Neighbors a couple doors down are now [of course] outside talking to some seemingly visitors and they look over at us. [awesome.] With no shoes or clothes on, carrying the coat Evan brought me, I make quick, weird, walk of shame into the apartment and Evan sheepishly follows while the young neighbors look at us in complete confusion.

We get inside and I settle down and apologize for getting mad about my own joke gone awry and Evan apologizes for being the nicest person in the world and talking to our neighbor for SIX WHOLE MINUTES while his dear girlfriend froze hiding in a van… and we finally laugh about it all.

And then we went hot springing/camping. And it is wonderful. At one point during hot springing, we went back to the van for what I thought was going to be a hot second and I got in the sliding door to grab my phone and wallet and Evan got in and shut the door behind him…

– What are you doing? I thought we were going inside to change and get a drink?

– I’m gonna eat something real quick.

– Are you kidding me??

– What?

– Nothing. Van me once, shame on you… Van me twice? Shame on me.

1 thought on “van me twice.”

  1. Oh Rachel, this is a great story. 1st I love it cuz I can relive the setting, 2nd cuz I’ve met/heard about Suzie to know she’d be thinking,”oh my, what IS Rachel doing in that bikini” and 3rd visualizing you under those bags. Makes me aware that I should be better about putting those shopping bags back in the car for future use. You just never know when they’ll really be needed!

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