Friday, October 12, 2012

The Day That J Crew Built

This semester, I have been given the lovely blessing of no-class Fridays. While this luxury means different things for different people, today's no-class Friday, in the life of Sarah Cahalan, meant spending the whole day in two places: South Dining Hall and J Crew. 

Now, you may see this and think, "Oh, she must mean she only left her dorm to go to two places all day." You would be wrong in such a thought. When I say I spent my day at J Crew and the dining hall, I mean that I went to the dining hall for lunch, went straight from there to the mall, and came straight back from the mall to the dining hall. This day began at about 12:45, and it ended pretty much just now when I returned from dinner seven hours later. 

How exactly does one spend seven hours in only two places? Well, for starters, you win dining hall. For those non-Notre Dame readers unfamiliar with our campus dining or those Notre Dame readers simply unfamiliar with the most extreme applications of campus dining, winning dining hall means that your group is the last one to leave the dining hall at the end of a meal time. Today, my friends, we won dining hall. Each Friday, a group of my coworkers from this summer eats lunch together at 12:30. I decided on a whim to attend today's Vision lunch, and boy, was this an excellent choice. The earliest among us - just to remind you - showed up at 12:30. The most dedicated diners of our group (including some who had been there from the very beginning) left at 3:00. Three. Two and a half hours in the dining hall. To fill all that time, we, of course, engaged in deep, edifying conversation. 

Note: By "edifying conversation," I mean that, after I made the mistake of bringing up Paul Ryan's workout photos, we talked for the entire lunch about the differences between "hot," "handsome," and "cute," and who among our friends falls into which category. Literally, this is all we did. (Just because we worked at Jesus camp, does not mean we are above "hot or not.") 

Following lunch, the ladies of our group headed over to good ol' University Park Mall for a bit of necessities shopping at J Crew. The concept was simple enough. Our exclusively-J-Crew-wearing friend needed a blazer and heels for her upcoming business boot camp. There was, of course, only one place to go to find them. Once there, however, the cardigans and the trousers and the tweed trapped us. Before we knew it, I had two shirts on hold at the register, and our resident J Crew Princess (known henceforth as JCP) had a dressing room full of clothes and a saleslady turned personal shopper. Our shopping third wheel and I sat on the couch outside the dressing rooms, giving opinions, offering to fetch different sizes, and generally being JCP's collective, female boyfriend. By the personal shopper's third attempt to find the proper size of the Cafe Capri, she knew all of our names, and we all referred to her cordially as Katie. We formed quite the lovely little shopping family. Eventually, as I perused the sparkly jewelry things that keep my simple mind entertained, Katie came up to our boyfriend couch and said, "Would you and Sarah like some waters? We have bottled water!" That's right, folks. We stayed at J Crew for so long that the employees gave us free bottled water. She half-joked that, had we stayed much longer, our next perk would be pretzels. 

After buying our new, offensively preppy clothes, it was basically time for dinner. JCP felt bad for making us sit in J Crew as her boyfriend all afternoon - because, after all, sitting in retail heaven for two hours while kindly salesKaties offer us complimentary refreshments is soooo miserable - so she treated us to froyo, before we headed back to...the dining hall. Again. 

My entire life today was South Dining Hall --> J Crew --> South Dining Hall, and I must say...I'm not ashamed. I spent over three hours in the DH. I got free bottled water as a gift for working so hard at shopping. I earned a compliment from a J Crew employee over my own, not-even-sold-to-me-in-the-store outfit. I got free froyo. I learned all of the differences between smokeshows, pretty girls, and beautiful people. I may have done nothing productive for society all day long, but it was a productive day. J Crew 4eva.

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