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Davis, California

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Column: Whole paycheck

Well, I guess I’ll start off by reassuring you that this column will not be about my hemorrhoids (thanks, Dave Karimi). This is primarily because I don’t have them. I can feel the guy’s pain, though. Okay, I can’t literally feel it. But I can imagine and sympathize.

Anyway, hippies, falafel and craft booths. All of these are great on their own, but together, they are AMAZING. Yep, like most Davis residents, I attended Whole Earth Festival last weekend to eat, shop and – most importantly – people watch.

This was the last Whole Earth Festival of my undergraduate career so I figured I had to take full advantage of the opportunity. Plus, I was in dire need of a Mother’s Day gift, and last time I checked my mom was out of olive oil soap bars and linen garments.

The booths were still being set-up when I first arrived on the quad for some gift scavenging. I immediately gravitated toward some stand that was selling some funky colored bags and dresses when the vendor approached me.

“You should probably check back in a bit when I have the rest of my stuff. Are you a vendor?” he asked.

I told him I wasn’t, and Vendor Guy responded with, “Right on. Good for you.”

This statement still puzzles me. Was he commending me for being a big 22-year-old and shopping on my own? Don’t people generally do this at fairs? Do I look so insecure that people assume I need to surround myself with other people all the time? Am I reading way too much into this? Probably.

I eventually came across one of those random olive oil soap booths I mentioned earlier and had some better luck. They were selling bath salts, soap bars (naturally) and some “rejuvenating face cream” for aging skin. Since I imagine giving my mom face lotion for aging skin would be more of a slap in the face than a gift, I stuck to the bath salts and soap.

As I’m sure many of you have noticed, buying sustainable products from the Whole Earth Festival is not conducive to sustaining your bank account. It was like $8 per product, but I could get the third one for half off. What a bargain, right?

The woman kept trying to sell me on some Lemongrass soap bar, but I explained that I only had 19 bucks. Some high-schooler had caught me on the way to the booth and convinced me to buy a raffle ticket from him.

(In retrospect, he didn’t really look like a high-schooler. The scrap of paper I bought for a dollar also didn’t really look like a raffle ticket. Oh well.)

The woman insisted on giving me all three for $19 so I took the deal and ran. Literally, I scurried off. This is because within 20 seconds of the purchase I remembered that I had actually only given her $17. In a not-so-Whole-Earth-friendly move, I had bought some processed snack food on the way to campus and forgot about it.

Anyway, I don’t feel too bad though because like I said, she was charging $8 an item.

My next move was to take out more cash, buy some garlic fries and sit and watch people attempt to dance. Whole Earth Festival always succeeds in making me feel better about my lack of rhythm. From my personal experience, 5-foot-10 white girls look ridiculous on dance floors. That is why I generally refuse to go on them.

After an hour of observing some similar specimens like myself at Whole Earth, however, I felt slightly more confident. Apparently, all I’ve had to do this whole time is stand there and kind of wave my arms in the air with my eyes closed. I’ve got it down now.

All in all, my last Whole Earth Festival experience was a success – even if I did end up buying $5 biodegradable lip balm on the way out. My mom loved her gift, too. I told my dad at dinner it was also like a gift for him, because it insured she’d bathe for the next month. I don’t think she thought that was funny.

AMANDA HARDWICK wants to wish her mom a Happy Mother’s Day yet again! She loves her and can actually attest to her good hygiene practices. Tell her about your Whole Earth experience at aghardwick@ucdavis.edu.


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