Franz Lino/Photo Editor

The time had come yet again. It was only a few days before Parade Day, and the stores were lined with themed T-shirts and light-up headbands. I promised myself I would go shopping early this year, but instead I had to fight off some wild Bearcats in hope of finding a perfect Parade Day outfit. Armed with a Shamrock Shake (mandatory for your shopping trip) and $20 I probably should have spent on textbooks, I was off to Town Square Mall for my green-filled shopping adventure.

Walking into Wal-Mart, I realized I had to make a game time decision. Did I want to look State Street chic or just straight up festive? I decided to make an attempt at looking cute, combing through the arts and crafts aisles for a bedazzler to spell out “GET WRECKED” on a sweatshirt. With no luck, I considered doing some green and orange tie-dye, but then remembered running out of dye last year and moved on.

I made my way toward the clothing section, and even from a distance I could see it calling my name: the hideous mecca of themed shirts. I felt a slight tinge of hope. I felt my stomach begin to fill with green beer as I skipped toward it, my eyes locking on a shirt with a green skull made out of flowers. What was this? It was hideous. Next to it, I saw another shirt featuring a skull with angel wings and a shamrock hat. When did Parade Day get so dark? A mother and her young daughter walked by me, and I got a disapproving look. Maybe I’ll just wear a plain green shirt after all.

With my dreams beginning to seem more like nightmares, I looked at the accessories section. All I saw was an overpriced flimsy headband and a huge shamrock necklace that I’d never try to pull off. Besides, the packaging said the shamrock was supposed to light up, but the only one left was broken. How would I express my excitement without the proper light show? It seemed like everyone had gotten to the good stuff before me, but I didn’t give up and made my way to Five Below.

Defeat loomed over my head like a gray Binghamton sky, but as I walked into my next destination, a small patch of sunlight seemed to shine down on me. There it was, a whole display of $1 St. Patrick’s Day accessories, and they were all mine for the buying. Does no one shop at Five Below? This place is great! Headbands, shamrock-shaped sunglasses and shot glass necklaces filled my heart with joy. And I needed those shamrock-patterned socks, even if they were only ankle length and no one would see them.

Making my way back to the bus with bags full of more necklaces than I could wear at once, I knew I had won Parade Day. With a shot glass around my neck and a really ugly tiny green hat, how could I lose? I threw out the Shamrock Shake I had forgotten to drink and touched my new green feather boa. This will be the best Parade Day yet.