Oh my god. Supreme Shop n Bag is freaking NUTS. Word on the street was FroGro was out of water (how does anyone run out of WATER), so my housemates and I were forced to join in the pilgrimage to Supreme, the retro–looking shop stop on 43rd and Walnut shared by Penn students and West Philadelphians alike. And my god, were there Penn students and West Philadelphians alike. Some shopped cautiously and casually, keeping their cool and picking up the essentials while others were freaking the fuck out.
Everyone under the age of 25 was out of their damn minds. There were packs of sorority girls with staggeringly tall armfuls of Chobani, somehow managing to gossip, whine about their hangovers, and look super cute! all at the same time. There were dudes putting their disaster–readiness skills to use as much as they could, loading up carts with haphazard piles of cereal boxes, raw meat and deodorant to weather the days ahead. There were athletes and engineers and couples and GDIs. Everyone was buying fruit snacks. And Doritos. And awe–inspiring amounts of red Solo cups.
I mean, I guess it’s a pretty terrifying thing, having to navigate through teeming masses of ex–hookups, classmates and irritated adults in search of everything from ever–elusive water, to snacks for inevitable bouts of munchies soon to come, to nonperishable goods (wait, are we gonna lose water? I thought you could only lose electricity? What does that have to do with water??? Will my stove work? Can I shower??!? Can I do my hair??).
Within the span of a half hour, I’d been yelled at by a housemate for not understanding the impracticality of purchasing a bevy of cheeses (when there’s no grilled cheese for the next 48 hours, she’ll be sorry), gotten into a semi–aggressive argument with a stranger over frozen meals and almost lost my cart to a pack of vagabond bros in tanks and sunglasses. When I finally met back up with my housemates in the check–out line that stretched through the entirety of the frozen aisle, we all looked haggard and harrowed, as if we’d been through a very short snippet of all–out war. Our collective silence was an acknowledgment of both the exhaustion that was to come and the creeping realization that we were all total idiots.
Look at the grown–up Philadelphian with her modest collection of water and canned goods. The family getting batteries, pasta and flashlights, and laughing along the way. The people from beyond the Penn bubble who are disaster prepared with emphasis on the “prepared”…as opposed to we alarmist college students more focused on the concept of the disaster and less concerned with the actual realities of handling it. As rain starts to trickle down from the sky and my housemates and I stand on the corner, trying to figureout a way to divide the load of Gatorade, Funyons, Ramen, water (finally) and hummus (gotta have hummus) among us for the walk home, panicking about the sudden downpour (the rain was barely trickling), it became pretty apparent how much growing up we kids have to do.
Fortunately, we had two days off from class to do some solid thinking about ourselves and our burgeoning maturity as young students at this prestigious university. In case the power decides to go out after the fact, make sure you put the beer for tonight in the fridge first.