Sunday, September 22, 2013

An Open Letter to JHU Undergrads

Welcome back to school!  It's been a few weeks now, which means you're really into the swing of things.  You've gotten a handle on your coursework for the semester, figured out a good shower schedule with the roommate(s), and learned how to not have your cellphone stolen out of your hand while you absentmindedly peruse Facebook at the shuttle stop.

As someone a few years ahead of you in the Game of Life, let me share some knowledge with you.

Thursday is recycling day for the Homewood area, per the Department of Public Work's website.  This means that you put your recyclables outside on Wednesday night or Thursday morning, and they either need to be in a recyclable container (paper bag, box, etc) or a useable container with you address.  A plastic trashbag is not recyclable.  A plastic trashbag full of sneakers without pairs are not recyclable, at least not in the way that a beer can is.  Don't put all your beer cans in a plastic bag to be recycled.  That does nothing for anyone.  Also, why are you buying so much Miller High Life?  This is Baltimore.  Stick to 'Boh.

For the love of all that is good and holy, please eat your pizza crusts so that my dog doesn't.  I've already complained about chicken wings on the sidewalk, along with other things I've taken out of my dog's throat on walks.  Since you've come back to town, though, there are more pizza crusts than pigeons.

Not everything is worthy of a "WOOOOOOO."  Starting around 8:00pm on Thursdays until at least midnight on Sundays, I live in fear of the "WOOOO."  I hear the "WOO" when I shut my windows, run the Roomba, or do countless other things to drown you out.  The other day, I heard a "WOO" over the flushing of my toilet, and wondered if you were cheering me on for my bathroom accomplishments.  I understand that you're excited because you are free of parental supervision, but bring it down a "WOO" or two.

Music can be equally as wonderful without having the bass as high as possible.  I don't need my windows rattling.

There is an unwritten rule here in Adultland (beyond regular vacuuming and being in bed by 11:00pm): if the line that separates your leg from your butt cheek is visible, your skirt/shorts/dress/romper/trashbag/gym sock you oiled yourself into is too short.  This goes for both men and women.  This is not a matter of saying, "You look like a hussy," this is a matter of not everyone wanting to see your butt cheek.  Wear whatever you want, I don't really care.  Just cover up your butt, especially when you're "WOO"ing about how cold it is outside.

You don't need to wear fake eyelashes on a Wednesday.  No one needs to wear fake eyelashes on a Wednesday.  Not even people in fashion shoots.  Their stylists are all, "What? Are you crazy?  It's WEDNESDAY."  You're in your late teens/early 20s!  This is your prime!  Own it, without faking it.  You have no need to!

It's taken me some time to get accustomed to your presence.  It was a rough realization for me for the first two weeks, but I've warmed to you.  You bring dollars for local businesses.  You bring some diversity to the neighborhood.  You raise Bubba's self esteem by regularly telling me that, "WOOO HE'S SO CUTE."  You make me nostalgic for the years when my biggest concern was whether I'd get a burger at the dining hall, or a wrap from the pseudo-health-conscious stand in the gym.  People looking to nab an iPhone from someone's hands will also more likely head towards you, the drunk guy walking into a pole, rather than me, the girl in her pajamas picking up dog poop.

So thank you.  But remember, please bring the "WOO"ing down a notch.  Read the (incredibly simple) recycling rules; you're Hopkins students, you can handle it.  Turn down your bass, cover your butt, and accept that you are beautiful at 20 and don't need any fake eyelashes yet.  Be young and carefree, but not stupid.

Welcome (back) to Baltimore.
Sincerely yours,
Your Neighbor Who Really May Call the Cops if You Don't Turn Down Your Bass