Thursday, November 15, 2007

An Open Letter to the Person who Broke Into My Car

Dear Thief,

Is it okay if I call you that, thief? I know the term is a little generous, considering that you skipped over the big ticket items in my car (namely the cd player), and opted for a portfolio, UMSL student planner, and a copy of Dave Egger's What is the What, (making you more of a punk or a hoodlum) but you did steal something, so I'm still going to use it. Sure, you may be a novice when it comes to sifting through the contents of my car, but you're also painfully unoriginal. Instead of using your doubtlessly catlike stealth and MacGyver-esque abilities to pick the lock, you utilized the strategy associated with most homeless people and broke my window. Now, I know that you couldn't possibly have known that I had another window repaired on my car just two months ago, or that the first time I went apartment-hunting in the city, someone broke into my car on Washington Ave. and tried to make off with my cds, but would it kill you to exercise a unique approach when it comes to burglarizing my vehicle?

However, despite my anger, I understand.

I understand that maybe this was a crime of passion. Perhaps you saw my black leather portfolio and fell in love with it's versatility and accent stitching. Perhaps you thought of a pair of shoes that you have at home, and imagined how polished and scholarly you would look carrying that portfolio while wearing said shoes. Perhaps you've just always wanted a ladies portfolio because you're gay. Are you gay, thief? I think you are.

I also understand that you were probably pressed for time, hurrying to an important appointment or scheduled engagement; surely a man of your talents had somewhere to be, and would not be roaming the streets searching for kittens to torture or old ladies to beat up. Or maybe you had the opposite dilemma and, finding that most coffee shops were closed for the evening, thought that the extra time on your hands would be best spent breaking into my car.

Regardless of your reasoning, I am still pissed that you took my book. I know that I was only 100 pages in, and that I lazily underlined instead of highlighting, but I was really enjoying What is the What. The novel received rave reviews from friends, and is even a New York Times Bestseller. I'm sure that you know this, being the literate gentleman I know you are, but I don't see why you couldn't just buy a copy. Perhaps you could try Borders, which offers a Rewards card, or Barnes and Noble, which carries Starbucks coffee instead of Seattle's Best. And don't worry thief, if you find that you don't have the $15 for a paperback, you can always just steal it.


Kelly Powers

Thursday, November 01, 2007

My first college roommate was nothing like me.

When we met, she was a Texan who loved the Backstreet Boys, romantic comedies, and the guy with "piercing blue eyes" who lived in the dorm across from ours. She scheduled her classes around Days of Our Lives, was on the pom squad in high school, and sent Justin Timberlake a birthday card, despite the fact that he was obviously aligned with the enemy camp (N'Sync). Essentially, on paper, I should have really disliked this girl. We should've spent the first few weeks of school awkwardly avoiding each other and quietly complaining to the other girls in our hall, but to my surprise, we became fast friends.

We spent nights exchanging stories about our weird PA or comparing notes on the boys in our classes. We shared lecture notes, ate together, and gossiped to an almost obnoxious degree. Throughout all this, I felt myself changing. I gradually started to enjoy Justified (come on, "Cry Me a River" is a great pop song!) and even lingered during my lunch to catch up on Days. (Would Belle ever grow out of her chubby phase? Would Sammy ever stop being such a huge bitch?) Essentially, we became the perfect roommates--different enough to have our own friends, but similar enough to genuinely enjoy each other's company.

This friendship slowly expanded to include other girls in our hall, and before we knew it, there was always a steady group of six of us, usually camped out in someone's room or settled at a table in the dining hall. For the first time, I felt like I had "girls"--a group of female friends that were supportive, yet fun, i.e. *The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. (The idea of "girls" is commonly attached to things such as: Facebook photo captions (i.e., "Me and my girls!" or "A night with the girls!", etc.), a wedding and the events surrounding it, scheduled manicures and/or pedicures, and newfound singledom.)

Unfortunately, after Freshman year, our group had disbanded and we either coupled off, joined a sorority, or both. Sophomore year I met Brandon and had become full-on BFFs with LeeAnne, and my Junior year was spent with my boyfriend (mistake) at the time, Brandon, or Chip. My senior year, I met both Kristin and Megan, who essentially filled the female friend void, and made it fun to go out drinking or eat an entire pizza at Shakespeare's, but I still haven't recaptured the feeling of that first year of college. I can see it in other women, but it seems like something I'll never have, and I don't know why.

* Shut up, it was actually really funny.