Going to JCPenney was the most exciting part of my year

It is no secret that these past couple of months have been difficult and the ongoing global pandemic is causing most of the world deep fatigue. Luckily, Vassar’s students have had opportunities to have a COVID-safe semester with a closed campus. It’s not an ideal situation, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I, however, was lucky enough to take a little trip off campus in order to get my first dose of the COVID vaccine. Now this was exciting for many reasons. I mean, some are more obvious than others. 

I will admit I was pretty relieved knowing that I probably wouldn’t have any serious side effects and it was exciting to be a part of history. OK, I take that back, we have all lived through enough history in the past year. But, overall the most exciting part of this venture was going into an old JCPenney. While I understand that this sounds like a very odd thing to be excited about, let me set the scene. 

You have waited a year for a shot that will basically cure all of the anxieties you have been dealing with for the past year. You show up to your appointment … and it is in a closed JCPenney. I mean how could you not be excited about that?!?! 

Walking in, my eyes were drawn to the broken clothing racks and abandoned changing rooms. The leftover cash registers were my favorite part. It was amazingly apocalyptic. Watching volunteers doing hard work while wearing shirts that managed to sneak in the JCPenney logo was easily the highlight of my year. 

Now maybe this hyperfixation on JCPenny is due to being stuck on Vassar’s campus for well over two months straight, but I would like to believe this store just has a special connection with me. When it came time to leave, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit melancholic. JCPenney at the Poughkeepsie Galleria and I had spent a very special 20 minutes together. Luckily, this hiatus won’t last too long when I get a second dose. 

Overall, I think we can all learn a good lesson from JCPenney. There are little things in life that you can get excited about … even if it is a closed JCPenney. 

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