Read Between the Lines: The Good, New Zealand Style

The Good: Fun? Yes. Memorable? Of course. Pious? … What do you think?

There were a few mornings that I woke up not wearing any underwear.

I will admit that it became far too regular an occurrence.

On this particular morning everything else was in order; I had my socks on, an oversize t-shirt (which upon closer inspection wasn’t even mine, but it did smell nice) and my trusty sweat pants.

But I was not alone. There was a boy lying next to me, lightly snoring – well, it was much more of a light wheezing, the kind you hear when a fat kid runs in gym class.

I was in Taupo and the night before had been a fun one. “Singled Out in Taupo”, the biggest bar event I had ever been to (not surprising considering that I was still underage). When you arrived at the bar you were given a name tag with a celebrity name and the idea was you were supposed to find the person with your celebrity match as their nametage and fall madly in love, get married, and make lots of babies. Or, you know, just hook up. Bits and pieces of the evening are still vivid in my mind ten years later: dancing on the bar table, Bundaberg Rum, and more free drinks than my liver has ever forgiven me for.

I even remember meeting my bedmate. Ben. Or, according to his name-tag from the evening which was still on the shirt I wore, Antonio Ben-deras.

I remember looking over at him, still asleep in bed. It had crossed my mind that morning that I could easily get out of the room without waking him up. It would be far less awkward if I did; morning after talks were always so …. Uncomfortable. Both from the awkwardness of hangovers and uneasy intimacy, and because everything in my life ends up awkward and uncomfortable.

It’s the price I pay for being hilarious.

That morning my body was tense. I knew that I needed to get up and get out if I was going to make it back to the my dorm room before Julia woke up (spoiler alert: I didn’t) or she was going to be furious (spoiler alert: she was) but I really didn’t want to leave behind my underwear.

Now this may, and probably will, sound extremely silly to those of you who’ve never backpacked and been strapped for cash before. But things such as underwear are very valuable. One less pair means that you have to either buy a new one (money I was not willing to spend) or suffer by doing your laundry one day earlier (which results in more money spent on laundry soap and washing machine rentals). Besides, it was a nice pair – black and lacy but not frilly.

I scanned the room hoping to notice it, but the room was dark and the panties were black.

It truly seemed hopeless and I was about to give up. I sighed my frustration, which seemed to make Ben stir, and when he shifted his body a bit I saw it. My underwear was lying half beneath him, pinned onto the bed by the solid body of a 22 year old male.

The safe thing to do would’ve been to slowly shift off the bed and make my way to the empty dorm bed across the room where my own shirt was unceremoniously flung, quickly change, and then bolt for my room a few floors up with high hopes that Ben here would remember me only as a good dream – at least I hoped it was a good dream, as long as my drool puddle on the pillow dried before he woke up.

But I didn’t do that.

Instead I slowly reached down and got a firm grip on my panties. Under my breathe I counted backwards from three, and then pulled with all my might.

Unfortunately for me, just as I was pulling Ben was rolling, and I – thanks to the effort of trying to pull out my underwear – did a backwards somersault off the bed. This woke Ben up.

Ben was just as confused as I was, starring down at my body sprawled out on the floor, hair tangled everywhere with one leg still on the bed. I thank his confusion and probably his hangover for his slow reaction time.

I hopped up to my feet ignoring the twinge up my right leg (backwards somersaults should never be attempted without proper stretching, and definitely not while sporting a wicked hangover). I don’t remember exactly what I said, just that I babbled nonsense at him as I grabbed my shirt, quickly switching out his t-shirt for my bar top (which I put on inside out in my haste), not bothering to slow down the stream of words coming out of my mouth the entire time.

A look of extreme discomfort and embarrassment crossed his face as he tried to reconcile my social ineptness with the siren he’d known the night before. (If you are having a hard time picturing his horror try re-reading my encounter with the Leprechaun. That should give you an idea.)

I practically ran out of the room that morning, but I wasn’t fast enough to salvage my dignity.  And it wasn’t until after I reached my dorm room that I made a very important discovery. I had left the blasted underwear behind, still lying on the floor right next to his bed.