I am heated, America.

I am heated because we are living in a world that has decided to throw away all standards of moral integrity. I am heated because we are living on a campus with people who no longer have any respect for other people or their property. I am heated because we are all living among thieves.

Mostly, I am heated because it is no longer safe to return a bra one has borrowed from a friend by hanging it on that friend’s doorknob.

I know, America. It is truly shocking.

What’s happened to this country? Is the doorknob no longer a sacred place? What happened, between my childhood and last weekend, that shifted our culture’s outlook on the sanctity of trust? How could something like this happen?

It all started Friday, Oct. 11. I’d decided to wear a slightly transparent peach shirt with a dark bra to a social gathering because I had heard that style was now culturally acceptable and, according to some sources, “cool.” But there was a problem – I couldn’t find my black bra. I searched my dresser and my mountain of dirty laundry, to no avail. All I could find were useless white and tan bras. But they wouldn’t do. I even tried on a purple bandeau in desperation, but as expected, in the words of my friend (we’ll call her Pam), it looked “really dumb.”

Pam was beginning to sense my panic, but then, she said something to answer my prayers.

“I have a black bra you can borrow if you need one so badly,” she said. My wildest dreams had come true. “But I’m leaving for an alternative Fall Break trip tomorrow, so you need to give it back to me tonight.”

“That’s perfect,” I exclaimed. And it was perfect.

Pam and I had similar-sized chests, and the black bra looked pretty nice (stripper-esque can be nice) with the outfit. I promised to get the bra back to her by the end of the night, and headed out to the festivities with a smile on my face.

I returned to Pam’s door at 2:30 a.m. with the bra. We’d definitely had a good run, but now it was time to say goodbye. But how was I going to get the bra back to Pam? The door was probably locked, and I didn’t want to knock on the door and wake her because she was getting up at 5:30 in the morning for a long car ride. So I took the bra, hung it on her doorknob, and snapped a picture of it because I thought it was funny. So funny, that at 2:46 a.m., I decided to send her a picture of the bra hanging on the doorknob with the caption “lol.” I got into bed, still laughing, and drifted to sleep without a care in my mind.

I woke up in the morning to a completely different world. I had four texts messages waiting to be read: three from Mom, one from Pam.

“It got stolen.”

Someone had stolen the bra.

Somehow, in between the hours of 2:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m., during Fall Break nonetheless, someone lurking around the fifth floor of the Woodruff Residence Hall saw the bra and decided to take it.

These questions are for you, bra thief: what were you looking to gain in this burglary (other than, of course, a bra)? Was it some kind of sick joke? Do you find pleasure in stealing undergarments from innocent girls? Did you somehow think the bra was for you? Was there an invisible “Free, take one!” sign I did not know about? Would things have ended differently if I’d hung a “Not free, please don’t take one!” sign next to it? How can you ever explain what you have done?

Now, before anyone tells me the theft was my own fault for leaving the bra lying around, I’d like you to consider something.

Think about a world where your daughters and granddaughters can return bras to their friends by hanging them on the doorknob without the bras getting stolen. Imagine a world where bras hanging on doorknobs are safe. Don’t you want to live in that world? I do.

We can make a difference, one residence hall at a time. We can change people’s minds about clothing hanging on doorknobs. Spread the word that you are not okay with people who steal other people’s clothing. Let it be known that a doorknob is a safe space. Tell your friends, your family, that guy who always wears oversized football jerseys in your biology lab. We won’t stand for this any longer.

You can make this world a better place, one un-stolen bra at a time.

Also, to the person who took the bra, if it was just a misunderstanding, please email me. Pam would really like it back.

– By Jenna Kingsley 

Photo by Jenna Kingsley