Elbow, elbow

They say all good things must come to end. Nelly Furtado wondered it just last year, and well, the minute Anna Nicole Smith died just a short year ago, I wondered the same thing. And now it’s my turn to say goodbye to this good thing I’ve given to you all my final year at the U.

One question I received frequently was what steps I took to make my life meet style. As homage to the backdrop that led me down this beautiful, maroon-and-gold brick road, here are the things every soul should experience before they graduate. Some are dangerous, some are sentimental, but all, my darling readers, are stylish Ö

Attend a concert at Northrop Auditorium. Lie in the grass in the Mall. Walk from the St. Paul campus to the Minneapolis campus. Ride the Jazz Man’s connector. Have a food fight on Middlebrook Hall’s 12th floor. Duct tape your friend to the floor while she sleeps. Watch the Holidazzle parade from a skyway while eating McDonald’s. Eat at Pizza Luce. Sit in the commuter lounge in Coffman, alone, watching nothing but TV for an entire day. Take shots on a Monday night, toasting to your unique beauty.

Watch the sun set from the bridge over Washington Avenue. Get a massage from the impossibly amazing masseuse at Boynton. Walk to Applebee’s after nine to get half-price appetizers with a group of friends. Attend a frat party in a basement. Live off campus. Order flowers for your mom on her birthday. Walk in the snow while drinking happy hot chocolate. Stay up all night. Start a shouting match out your window with the room below you in a residence hall. Skip class and go to Neiman Marcus downtown to try on a pair of Christian Louboutin heels – because you can. Work on campus. Sunbathe on Lake Calhoun, vowing never to get in the murky water, only to jump in due to the sexiest person being in the water already. Go on a date at Loring Pasta Bar. Take an American Studies course. Go broke and call home for money. Drunk dial a relative. Ask out that guy. Play board games on Friday night. Get a Hennepin County library card. Ride the light rail at midnight. Get fired. Take the 16 bus to downtown St. Paul during the coldest day of the year.

Go to the Walker Art Center for free Thursdays. Go to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts because it’s always free. Stay in town during an entire spring break. Ask a T.A. to happy hour. Fall in love with the guy across 130 Murphy even though you’ll probably never see him again. Disagree with a professor. Eat cheese curds. Watch “Drop Dead Gorgeous” and chuckle at the “Sin Cities” in which you go to college. Live your life. Be yourself. Drop a cell phone in a toilet. And finally, remember me this way.

All these things have made me who I am today, and while most of us will never have the clothing to empower us beyond our current disposition, one thing you can always have, which never requires a credit card, is courage. If you keep that, along with a sparkly smile showing at all times, you’ll always be fully dressed.

The first time I picked up a Daily I did so merely to complete the crossword puzzle. I remember it was September 2004, and Vogue splashed SJP all over the big fall fashion issue. I was hooked, obvi, and knew a similar voice could have a place here, too. Thankfully, due to all your support, the little engine that could finally did and loved every minute of it. Where Life Meets Style was always for those who were counted out but never knocked out, put down but not shut down – and of course, the awesome, blossom, fabulous and fantastic.

I wish you all long, happy and stylish lives.

Elbow, elbow; wrist, wrist.