New Bwogger Grace Steele shares her take on the common experience of warily wandering the aisles of Morton Williams, hoping some random item will lift their spirits.
We’ve all been there- it’s 1 am on a Tuesday night and you’re maybe just finishing up in Butler. And by finishing up I mean that you have- say it with me- completely given up. You know skimming the first two lines of the reading doesn’t count as “doing the reading” but you’re too over it to care, and besides that’s a problem for a different you- the one that signed up for an 8:40. But as you begin to haul your tired little ass back home you have a thought that is both dangerous and familiar- what if I just got a little snack? “Nothing too crazy”, you think as you walk to the overpriced time portal that is MoWilly, “I’ll just figure it out when I get there”, you say convincingly to no one. When will you stop lying to yourself?
1. A Fruit Cup
The magnum opus of things that I absolutely love to stare at and not buy at MoWilly are those sealed plastic cups of sliced fruit. Should I get the one with honeydew and cantaloupe, or the one with pineapples- and for some reason- blueberries? Well, this one is $3.47, and that one’s actually $3.28, you think to yourself, like someone who truly believes to their core that these measly four pieces of fruit is going to do anything to their serotonin levels. We would all love to be the kind of person who’s always like “Ugh, I’m actually just so craaaving fruit right now”, but 1:34 AM on a Tuesday is not the ideal time to start.
2. Mini Cupcakes
As you walk dejectedly out of the fruits and vegetables aisle, you are faced head on with a table that solely consists of mini cupcakes stacked precariously on top of each other. Fuck, suddenly you want a mini cupcake so badly. But they only come in dozens. What if you start plotting: “I just bought the whole package, took two, maybe nine, and left the rest for my roommates?” You are grossed out by your own carnal inhibitions and turn away.
To your immediate right you are confronted with the conspicuous container lined with different types of sushi. You ate a full meal in John Jay at 7pm, but you haven’t had anything since, so you’re practically starved. Actually now that you think of it, looking into the mirrors, that for no discernable reason are placed everywhere in the store, you can practically see your skin and bones. You’re getting lightheaded- maybe you do actually need another full entire meal before bed? Public safety is on speed dial- you never know when you might faint- when you remember that the sushi there is twelve dollars. Time to move on.
4. Weird old pastry or bagel
A quick interlude: a Morton Williams bagel at 11 AM is unlike any other. If you get it with just butter it’s heavenly; they put way too much butter on it and you actually kind of like that they’re mean to you. This is New York, you’re supposed to be filled with rage. Another thing, however, is staring into that sad little bagel and pastry container at close to 2 AM. All they have left is an almond croissant, an indiscernible pastry with jam, and a blueberry bagel. You could want nothing less in the world right now.
5. One of those 79 cent Hot Cocoa Packets
Walking towards the dairy aisle, where you are sure you’re going to find the snack that’s right for you, you halt in front of that weird little area that has sprinkles. You’ve stumbled on a MoWilly hidden treasure- those ‘Christmas in Elementary School Gift Bag’ Hot Cocoa Packets. They bring you back to better days, before Columbia, before all this. You think to yourself, who would I be if I got the raspberry one, headed up the concoction in the microwave, and sat in bed and read a book for pleasure for once. Would that person stop going out on Wednesday nights and finish said book, and perhaps even start another? Would they call their mom ‘just to talk?’ Because you draw a line at all pathways toward self improvement, you put the hot cocoa back.
6. Those Prepackaged Snack Packs
There’s no good reason not to get one of those guac & chips or hummus & pita prepackaged snacks. But there’s also no good reason to get one. Sure they’re not that expensive, they’ll fill you up the right amount, and taste good. But is that reason enough? Should we all just do the things that make the most sense? Would Timothee Chalamet have made a movie with Lohanthony if the world worked this way? They go against everything I believe in: chaos, anarchy, Bella Thorne. They are the snacks that Chartwell “small plates create healthier portion sizes” wants me to eat. I barely give it a second thought.
7. The Entire Drinks Section
Annoyed, you’re now thinking just a drink will do. Maybe a Snapple, even though you haven’t thought about having a Snapple since high school lunch. Do people still drink juice every day? Some minimalists cans that say Hey Day (a low calorie coffee drink that you know tastes like wet dirt) and “Recess” (a sparkling water that they claim has CBD in it so they can charge $5) catch your eye. You stand dead-eyed staring at a Soylent that you definitely won’t purchase. Anyone who chooses to purchase a Soylent at this point is lost forever: they will end up rich but an unhappy programmer in Silicon Valley with only a semblance of their former personality and exuberance for life.
8. Halo Top
Halo Top, albeit revolutionary, is actually disgusting. What was once a famously indulgent, special occasion -stuffing your face with Ben and Jerry’s- has now become an activity devoid of all gluttony and splendor. Big Flavored Ice created Halo Top as a means of policing our sheeple bodies and minds. If you’re going to eat ice cream out of a pint the only thing you should be thinking about is what movie you’re going to illegally download. That being said, the Halo Top cookie dough flavor is the best one and it’s only 320 calories.
9. Dried Mango Slices
The most Morton Williams section of Morton Williams is the area where they sell $4.99 plastic containers of various trail mixes. Because I am not a person who “listens to their body,” I have never ever thought to purchase nuts and dried cranberries at 1am. However we don’t gather around the overpriced hiking snacks for the possibility of sustenance. All we can do in this one life is stare at the fluorescent dried mango slices. Why are they that orange? Why are they so incorrectly advertised as ‘dried mango slices’? Has another even had the misfortune to purchase these? Why do I feel like they probably taste like black licorice? Nevertheless, we move on.
10. The Stroopwafel
At this point, you have maybe picked up and held briefly around seven to thirty items only to put them back. The Morton Williams staff thinks you’re high and you keep bumping into someone restocking the dairy aisle. It’s officially time to leave. Some have made up their minds and are going with a prepackaged slice of cake hidden in the deli counter. Others are adrift, still looking for that special someone to take home. As you head towards the checkout you see the box of Stroopwafels. In your eyes, babies are born, animals decompose, your parents get divorced, etc. You smile to yourself, finally at peace. Maybe you’ll even get two little Lindt chocolates for the price of one.