A few months after getting left on read by the frontman of her favorite band, Staff Writer Victoria Borlando’s open letter contemplates the emotional repercussions of ghosting, philanthropy, and the doubt of Ezra Koenig’s relationship with his alma mater.
To Famous Columbia Alum and Musical Genius Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend,
“Hey, Ezra! I really want to go to your concert in NYC in September, but I’m going to Columbia for college, so I’m not going to have enough money to go to MSQ* (or anything else tbh; you get it). Is there any way I can see the Vampire Weekend concert that won’t make my parents mad for spending too much money? I really want to support the band that I loved since the 8th grade…”
Do you remember these words, Mr. Koenig? Does your Instagram DM inbox ring a little bell for you? Because I know for a fact that you’ve definitely seen this paragraph before – on April 24th, 9:31 PM, to be exact. What happened there, pal? You…you want to say something? Clearly nothing at all because you left me on read!
I’ve been a Vampire Weekend fan since…basically the invention of the lightbulb. You might even say I was, in fact, the kid who didn’t stand a chance in your debut, self-titled album. I loved you from the zesty beats of “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” (my room does have a giant “Is your bed made?” sign) to the gentle, dreamy guitar strums of “Harmony Hall”. I’ve cried to “Hannah Hunt”, screamed to “Diplomat’s Son”, and yes, my soul HAS grown old and rusty, burnt beneath the rising sun! I hope “you know I love you” because at this point, you’re really making me ask myself if there really is a “little drop, little drop” of spare holy water for me, or for this institution that made Vampire Weekend.
I honestly don’t know how to feel except disappointment. A Columbia student, a member of your alma mater’s family, a person taking the same exact Lit Hum class you took back in 2005…betrayed. Granted, I went to your MSG concert anyway – and it was super dope (I cried during every song) – but I’m still mad about the whole principle of the thing! I get ignored, I have to wait until the month of to get reasonably priced tickets, and then you say on your Instagram that your two favorite shows were the ones that either I went to OR happened while you were still a student! If you really loved Columbia so much, why didn’t you step up and be a real one? What happened to the eternal bond between alum and alma mater? Do you no longer wake the echoes of the Hudson Valley?
I memorized “Oxford Comma”; to quote yourself, “Why would you speak to me that way?” (Or…not speak, in this case…) I know your self-titled album’s theme of critiquing capitalism and shallow, rich people in general. When I asked for a pity discount, a small relief from my troubles, why did you turn your cheek away from your neighbor? What happened to your promise of holding me now?
Please, Ezra, I’m not asking for a refund – it was money well-spent, and I got a cool T-shirt and bracelet. I’m not asking you to pay for the $2.75 for the subway home; I’m not even asking for another T-shirt! (unless you feel moved to send me one…then that’d be super dope – you know my Insta) I’m just asking for proper acknowledgment. A simple, “That sucks, but thanks for being a fan!” would have sufficed! I still love you and your band to death, but…don’t leave me on read! I thought you promised to wear the crown with honor!
Genuinely hurt but still begrudgingly in love,
Your one fan that has every song memorized down to the beat
*Yes, I did, in fact, make a typo. I had one shot at a first impression with my idol, and…well, you know how that happened by now.
Shooting My Shot and then Failing via Victoria Borlando