Confession: I Stole from Jane

But I feel really bad about it and I promise never to do it again.

May 19, 2011 at 11:02am | Leave a comment

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Dear Jane,

I’ve been wanting to tell you this for a while, but figured I’d wait until the site went live and it was slightly harder to fire me. Because, well, you see…I think you think you hired a nice, honest girl as your Sports Editor, but in reality, you hired a thief. And even worse? I didn’t steal from just anyone. I stole from you.

The year was 1989. One of my friends had a Sassy magazine on her bedroom floor when I went to her house to guzzle Coke, spray an entire bottle of Sun In in my hair, and watch the MTV Top 20 Countdown with host Adam Curry. My house didn’t have soft drinks or television and it certainly didn’t have super cool cutting-edge magazines like Sassy.

As I flipped through the magazine, I didn’t know who the cute bands were or if I could pull off the looks in “Put It On,” but I did know that Sassy had the potential to change my life. Well maybe not change my life, but at least make it a little better, if only in that I suddenly knew I had to stop wearing matching GAP socks and scrunchies. It was good stuff and I wanted more.

So I did what any girl in my position would do. I filled out the subscription post card, checked “Bill me later” and dropped it in the mailbox on my way home. The wrath of my mother when she saw my newly orange hair was enough to make me forget about what I’d just done, but when Sassy arrived 6-8 weeks later, I was elated.

Three or four scrumptious issues later, I got something else in the mail: a bill. Sassy Magazine needed me to pay $12 for my year subscription. It was a totally reasonable price to pay and yet I just threw the bill in the trash. I wanted to pay, but I was 11 or 12 and it’s not like I had a checkbook. And “cash” wasn’t an option.

Plus, I mean, sure you were sending me a bill in the mail (well maybe not really YOU since you were doing more important things), but how would you actually MAKE me pay? So fine. Maybe I didn’t want to pay because honestly, do you know how many candy bars you could get for 12 dollars back then? A LOT.

But, oddly, throwing the bill in the trash did not make it go away. More bills came with increasing frequency and with really scary threatening messages that kept me up at night and gave me nightmares when I finally slept. It got so bad, that I started to panic that the bill collector was going to show up on my doorstep and demand the $12. I decided my only hope was for him to arrive when my mother wasn’t home because I was pretty sure that if she found out, I’d be grounded forever.

I don’t know why I didn’t just ask my mother to write a check; all I can say is that I’d decided if she knew what I’d done, I’d be in big, big trouble. Big. Trouble. This went on for what felt like years, but was likely only months. Eventually Sassy stopped arriving in my mailbox. The bills kept coming for a while longer, but, who knows how or why, those stopped coming as well.

I don’t know many people who destroy their credit and become a thief before they’re in high school, but there you have it. I risked being thrown in jail and having dessert, the phone and my stereo taken away forever -- all so I could read Sassy. And as amazing and worth-it as risking my opportunity to vote (felons can't vote, you know) in order to read Sassy was, I know now I went about it all wrong.

I should not have stolen from you. I should have paid my bill in a timely manner. I shouldn’t have bought something if I didn’t intend to pay for it. Even if I did really enjoy the magazine. And so I hope you’ll accept my sincere apology and this $12. Let me know if you’d prefer a check. I have those now.

Love, Daisy