Shop responsibly.

So remember last week when I hated death-related social media updates and complained about it on the Interwebs?

I guess I just hadn’t experienced true loss.

The Keg of Evanston is closing.

The Keg of Evanston is closing.

If you have to ask, you will never understand. But since you did,

it’s kind of like that.

Keg Monday is a Northwestern institution, much like nine weeks of midterms or the phrase “I seriously never thought I would go Greek!” A sticky, sweaty haven for the scantily clad, scantily birthday-ed, and socially repressed. I obviously didn’t partake in such shenanigans, because underage drinking is deplorable and I have never in my life owned a fake ID…but if I had, I would have also owned a pair of “Keg shoes” bought for the express purpose of soaking up $4 Big Cup overflow and enough “Keg tops” to dress half of my sorority house (I seriously never thought I would go Greek!).

Remember when we bought clothes solely to destroy them? When we scrambled to take “sexy” dorm room photos before our Forever 21 poly blend had been doused in Natty Light and our artfully teased hair succumbed to Bar Code Bangs Syndrome? For recent grads (and smug fifth-years like myself), The Keg’s closing marks a tangible end to some of the best times we’ll never remember. But it also marks the end of a shopping era—one in which quantity always won out over quality, and avoiding the travesty of being tagged in the same party top two weeks in a row was infinitely more important than investing in clothes we loved.

The tendency toward excess is one of the most frequently cited arguments for a lower drinking age. The forbidden is rarely appealing in moderation, and that’s why so many former nerds go apeshit when they get to college and Europe does everything better. The concept is logical enough. The evidence speaks for itself. We did it to our livers—but did we do it to our closets, too?

After spending years at the mercy of fascist dress codes and mommy’s discretion, we left for school and found ourselves in possession of unchecked sartorial freedom. We could wear whatever we wanted. We could buy as much as we wanted (provided we had enough left over for $4 Big Cups). Cleavage buffet lace corset top covered in rainbow zippers? Hell yeah! I’ll take four. Urban Outfitters doesn’t have a sale section every day!

I treasured the ritual of the Monday afternoon shopping scramble. The adrenaline rush when the stakes of rifling through a friend’s closet for something, anything new to wear seemed unbearably high. But I look at my wardrobe now, devoid of Payless pumps and generic, slinky tank tops, and I couldn’t be happier to own clothes I want to wear to my new rotation of big girl bars over and over again. Clothes I want to hang up properly when I stumble in (legally) drunk. Clothes that are a little more eccentric. A little more well-made. A little more me. I treasure mulling over a purchase for longer than it takes to do a lap around the Keg.

The truth is, both shopping and drinking are vices best enjoyed in moderation. Vices we had to grow into to really appreciate. Cheap thrills and cheap shots have their time and place, but rather than be sad to hang up our pleather spike heels, let’s learn to love the grown-up ones we’re trading them in for. One whiskey in Wang in can be just as satisfying as eight in Express. So can eight whiskeys in Wang. Or so I hear.

So here’s to The Keg of Evanston. Always in our hearts, no longer in our closets. I’ll raise my Big Cup to that.


2 responses to “Shop responsibly.

  1. Love love love this post. Absolutely too true. I distinctly remember going on college visits and seeing a Victoria’s Secret nearby and thinking to myself “I can finally shop at Victoria’s Secret now! I can shop wherever I want! And wear whatever I want!”

  2. Pingback: Dance-perate times. | BITE

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