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Report: Second Floor Panera Bread Fraught With the Hostile Stares of the Better Adjusted


Photo by Liwa Sun / The Daily Pennsylvanian

It must be said. People on the second floor of Panera Bread on 40th and Walnut, please stop staring at me. 

I feel preemptively terrorized every time I climb the stairs of Panera Bread with my Prickly Pear Hibiscus Fresca Unsweetened Tea in hand, alone or with my bestie Warren or my bestie Emir or my other bestie Isabel. The amount of mental preparation and self-hype that goes through my mind upon ascending those stairs is purely unthinkable

Within the short amount of time that it takes to walk myself up to the second floor, I try really hard to locate five things I can see, four things I can touch, three things I can hear, two things I can smell, and the one thing I can taste, all this just to retain sanity.

But is any of this effort enough to gear me up for the absolute bloodbath on the second floor of Panera Bread? 

As soon as I set foot on the second floor, all the heads are turned. All eyes on me. Eyes that say: “Look at that pathetic bitch with her extra-large pear tea.” Eyes that say: “What a clueless freshman. Fuck off.” Eyes that say: “I came here five minutes ago and succeeded in locating a seat, which is why I’m better than that cunt.” Eyes that say: “I’m sitting, she's standing, this is what separates the haves and the have-nots. To be clear, I have, she has not.” Eyes that say: “Her outfit is ugly, and her skin is bad.” Eyes that say: “Even if she finds a place to sit down, she will not be able to get any work done, and this will drive a wedge between her and her better-looking friend.” Eyes that say: “She is not welcome here, she's unwanted, she's useless, and the various men she has been and will be in love with will never want her in a way that makes her happy. Also, her parents are disappointed in her.

I will not be returning to Panera Bread any time soon. You may find me outside of Greek Lady. The food is good, and the people who sit there are usually too happy and content with their lives to throw hostile stares towards passers-by.