My friend Becca brought up a fantastic point this morning as we spent the day the way we always spend our Sunday's here at not-Yale, feverishly studying in one of not-New Haven's fine caffeination stations. As I sipped on my third cup of coffee in as many hours and contemplated the way my hand shakes as caffeine hits my overloaded system (this is my concept of a study break), Becca looked out the window and declared one young lady, who under other circumstances is probably a very nice human being, a struggle. Now, her footless tights, ballet flats, strange 90's style summer dress and general dazed appearance may have had something to do with that, and as our friend Haley pointed out, it looked like a morning after outfit that you had planed carefully the night before, so none of us debated calling this girl strugglesome. However, as Becca pointed out, what is strange about coffee shops is that their large glass windows and proximity to well trafficked areas make them the perfect spots to sit and hate on people. Few other dining establishments offer the fuel to maintain a healthy level of hateraide and the opportunity to exercise it so frequently on absolute strangers, and, more importantly, people you know quite well. It's the perfect marriage of window to coffee ratio.
As I tried to ignore the frantic thrumming of my overly simulated heart, I gazed out the window at the strange mix of oddly dressed youngsters stumbling home from their various nights of debauchery. Of course, here at not-Yale that might mean swigging sherry and discussing the stock market, but, hey, whatever floats your parent's yacht. One of the more interesting affects of attending a university situated in New England is the spectrum of outwear, most of which, should you be hailing from the south or west of the country, is totally useless. I am always amused at the doleful faces of freshman from LA or Georgia who, having assumed it could get no worse then December, are less then thrilled to meet January and February. While they continue to deceive themselves that fashion is more significant then frostbite in the face of a New England winter, those of us who live in places with actual seasons are toasty and smug in our fleece and down. Once the Ivy League has driven all hope and spirit from these natives of warmer climes they begin to create some very interesting combinations of skimpy summer clothing layered with wool and puffy North Face jackets which they throw on as they prepare to stumble back to their dorm rooms on Sunday mornings, blinking like moles in the light and shaking their heads in an attempt to forget the awkwardness of the hook-up they had drunkenly engaged in the night before.
It deeply comforts me to see these young people struggling through the snow and ice as they contemplate whether they are over their hang overs enough to face brunch. As I myself am scrambling to complete the oceans of work my professors hope to drown me in and franticly alternate caffiane and water in an attempt to aleviate my own morning-after pain I want to cry out to these poor, poorly-prepared people, to tell them it's all right. I want to tell them we are all in this together. I want to assure them that by next week that pasty, sweaty young man slobbering over your neck will be a comical story you tell at parties. I want to advise them to go to brunch, there's bacon there. But mostly, I want to take them by the hand and direct them to the fine people of the Columbia Company, who will sell them a coat that actually works.