This is what we envision EcoReps to be. It isn’t.

If you are someone who was not at 1020 last night (or maybe you are someone who was and are just very into those sweet deals), you are probably someone who woke up early for the EcoReps Green Sale. Senior Staff Writer Idris O’Neill is dedicated to making your voices heard and your grievances noted. This is an ode to you.

You wake up at 5 am for this, neglecting to shower or follow other items in your short hygienic routine. You are careful not to make too much of a disturbance in your McBain double. Your roommate sleeps soundly, recovering from yet another night drunkenly dancing to Ed Sheeran and Journey at Mel’s. You give yourself a final once-over, ensuring you have your ID and most importantly: cash.

You stroll over to Amsterdam and 116th, taking your time to admire dawn breaking over Morningside because anyone else up at this time for EcoReps would have to be crazier than you. As you approach Wein, you notice the line is already out of the gates. So much for early birds. The sale does not officially start until 9 am so you watch the sun rise over Amsterdam as you situate yourself near the Law School entrance. Today, you’ve already decided, is a long day.

The doors to Wein open and you slowly crawl forward. You wish you had brought a book or a friend – the temperature is already making your phone overheat. The girl in front of you is cute, you notice. You’ll remember to make a Columbia Crushes post about her later. Though you stand in the line for hours behind her, you can’t seem to progress the conversation past “this heat, huh,” to which she responds with a placative laugh so you stop mentioning it.

Just as you enter the gates of the Wein courtyard, you consider leaving. The only thing keeping you here is dignity. You’re already sweating and having to mentally revise your plans for the rest of the day. No more Trader Joe’s shopping spree or Coney Island. To be fair, you were being overly ambitious when you made plans at all. Just as the heat is about to get to you, the EcoReps themselves come bearing gifts: water bottles with ice cold water. You weren’t planning on buying one but you also didn’t anticipate this heat so you cave and fork over a reluctant $2.

An hour longer and you finally get in! Your hand is stamped by a guy who looks as unenthusiastic about being there as you feel. You flash your hand to the EcoReps sitting in the lobby and are immediately overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff. You have not come with anything particular in mind but you feel you withdrew an appropriate amount of $80. If all goes well, all your cash will have turned into things to spice up your otherwise boring double. Do you need another minifridge? No. Will you consider buying one? Yes.

You’ve circled the area countless times. You should’ve brought a market bag, like those cute Urban Outfitters ones, but you can just buy a storage container with all your stuff. You started a lot more optimistic than you feel right now. You’ve been searching through these standing plastic drawers for half an hour and have not found anything you particularly like, or just vaguely like. It’s starting to get hot. Someone already stole the Keurig you claimed. Claimed, in this sense, meaning it was put in the pile of things you’ve been nesting near the corner. You feel like a vulture with all the circling and snatching. Maybe you’ll write an op-ed about the EcoReps sale being emblematic of regular neoliberal practices exacerbated by stratified class differences of Columbia admissions. Someday.

You stand in the checkout line, neither excited nor disappointed by your haul. It’s nothing to vlog about. The cashier looks into your arms and hums with little consideration. “$5.” You sigh and fork over your smallest bill: a $20. You wait as she counts your change back to you and subsequently stamps you with an “OH YEAH,” but you’re feeling more like “oh, yeah.” You head home, with, at the very least, your dignity.

Time spent waiting: 5 hours

Time spent shopping: 2 hours

Items copped: Tech company-branded water bottle, broken humidifier, wine glasses, a Susan Sontag book you won’t read

Total spent: $7 (+ the $2 ATM fee)

the EcoReps of our dreams via Pixabay