It seems like the Yale bubble becomes impermeable and absolutely irritating when the cold closes in. Things like the lack of a grocery store and a place to buy cheap-but-warm clothes make me murderously angry, when before the inconvenience was just a minor annoyance. I will explain.
Monday, during the descent into negative temperatures, this California girl’s immune system rebelled. “Fuck no, I will not go out into the bowels of hell,” it cried. And so me and my little head cold turned up the thermostat and got into our onesie/Snuggie and slept the whole day long — through every meal. Around 11 at night, I was famished and emerged from Swing Space, stumbling toward G-Heav. On the way, I called my mother.
“Mila Bila,” Mommy cooed. “You sound so sad! You should take some vitamin D. You aren’t getting any sun, you sound depressed.” This was true. I compared my legs to a Brit’s the other day. He was darker. I’m half black.
“Where the hell am I supposed to get vitamin D AND food at 11 at night, Ma?”
“Well excuse me! I thought you were going to the grocery store!”
And there it is, here’s the kicker: There is not a grocery store in New Haven. There was — oh Shaw’s, how I miss thee. Your banner hangs on my keys in effigy. I suppose I could have gone to Walgreens but that’s like a billion miles away, and even G-Heav was starting to piss me off with its $1 apples (those expensive motherfucks). I was done. This is the Yale bubble, the complete disconnect to the outside world. I can just imagine that it was the Yale administration that was responsible for the demise of Shaw’s and its Bank of America with extended hours …
“Percival, I hear that some of our students are shopping for groceries!”
“Groceries? Dear God, Reginald. How plebeian! This opiate of the masses must be shut down! The reputation of this beloved institution is at stake.”
“Yes, we must. That will only leave the designer-priced organic foods store. It has a very progressive liberal feel, but that certainly is elitist too. Besides, it is far enough away that the students will only want to purchase food at Au Bon Pain and Gourmet Heaven!”
“How devious, Reginald, how very French. I love it!”
No. This must stop. Contrary to popular belief, Yale students cannot survive on their own egos. Food and cheap clothing are necessary to survival. The bubble must be burst.
Broadway Street had a perfect opportunity to break away from the Ivy feel with the building vacancy next to Trailblazer. There could have been something that college students could actually use, like a medical marijuana dispensary, $5 dollar clothing store or combination Taco Bell/Pizza Hut — but no. There are TWO more preppy boutiques coming our way. Yeah, that’s just what Yale needs, more boat shoes and Longchamp bags.
And honestly, I can’t afford anything in those stores but even if I could, I would spend my money on something much more rewarding like alcohol, cigarettes and inexpensive but delicious snacks, like a normal college student.
That brings me to another way Yale students would benefit from the bubble being burst. After visiting friends a U.C. Santa Barbara, I realized that Yale is in no way like a normal school. This is great most of the time, but at the end of the day, we are completely disconnected from what the majority of the people in our age bracket are experiencing. I propose a short-term student exchange program that will look much like a reverse Q-pac bus. Yalies would have to spend the weekend at Q-pac or Southern Connecticut under the careful guidance of host students. IT WOULD BE PERFECT. We would all reap the benefits of seeing how awkward and esoteric we all are, and our mile-high self-esteem might crash down to a good level of self-awareness.
I believe that my classmates can and will rule the world one day. I just don’t think it’s fair for us to rule a world we know nothing about, right? And nothing could be more universal than shopping for groceries.