In Leman’s Terms: The beginning

Rachel Leman

I suppose I’ll start by introducing myself. My name is Rachel Leman, pronounced LAY-men, hence the punny title. I’m the Opinions Editor at the Observer, but as of today, I’m also a regular columnist.
I’ve been wanting to start a column for a while but there have been two things holding me back. One, I had a lot of homework. I feel like we all should be able to relate to that. And two, I didn’t know how to start a column. Truth be told, I still don’t know how to start a column, but I’m just going for it. You can’t get anything done by not doing it.
Since this is the beginning of this column, I figured I’d explain my goals and plans, so y’all can decide right away if this is going to be something you’ll follow. To preface, I’d appreciate it a lot if you did follow this column, since readership is sort of the point, but it’s ultimately your choice.
Anyway, like I’ve already said, my name is Rachel. I’m intensely loyal to logical thinking which will be the basis for whatever arguments I end up making throughout this series. Topics that I’ll cover could come anywhere from the obvious topics like religion and politics to random statistics or television. Sometimes, I’ll even just discuss the way I perceive society. However, I also am a fan of fun and ridiculousness, so expect plenty of that too. Maybe not on a publish-my-thoughts-on-Chrissy-Teigen’s-latest-tweet level like a certain website we college kids are pretty familiar with, but I’ll sprinkle in some humor and lightheartedness when I can.
To get the ball rolling, I’d like to conclude this introductory piece by briefly talking about one of the first college parties I ever went to.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a great drunk. I haven’t been blackout drunk ever, nor have I ever been drunk enough to get hungover. I haven’t really been drunk very many times, but I’ve been an angry drunk, the only drunk in the room and a sleepy, weepy drunk, but I’m sure I have never been a fun drunk. This particular party included the Mean!Drunk version of myself, where I essentially told a guy he was fat and wasn’t cool enough to be on Gossip Girl. This statement is especially golden when you realize that I’m a fat girl myself who couldn’t even make it past the second season of GG.
I remember most details from that night, including my constant thoughts of “I must prove myself to be awesome” and my ultimate disappointment upon waking the next day. I’m not the kind of person to think “I wish I hadn’t done that,” but I have on several occasions had the thought “I shouldn’t have done that.” This party caused me to think that about several things.
Without getting into all the heavy details the whole story carries, I should say that that night I went several places I shouldn’t have, I drank something I shouldn’t have, I hung out with people I shouldn’t have and I said things I shouldn’t have. It could be argued I even saw things I shouldn’t have. That being said, I’m satisfied with the fact that I did all those things I shouldn’t have.
If I hadn’t gone, drunk, said, seen and done the things I did, I wouldn’t know now not to do them. That sounds like a cheesy lesson to get from going to a college party, but once you’ve seen a grown man climb through a window and spent a night trying to help a friend who, turns out, didn’t even like you to make out with a stranger you realize you might not be properly organizing your priorities in life.
I’m not trying to bash on people who enjoy college parties. I did enjoy them, and I will likely go to more during my time. The only message I’m spreading is that alcohol, mixed with irresponsibility and immaturity make for a life that I will look back on and say “I shouldn’t have done that.”
Like I said, I remember most details from that night, but there is one specifically that I can’t remember at all. I can’t remember where the house was, and, I have to be honest, it haunts me, in a way. I know what direction and what street it was on, and I remember what the window that dude climbed through looked like, but there isn’t the vaugest hue of what house it was left in my memory. This fact hasn’t had much effect on my day-to-day life, but it wrecks my emotions every now and then. I pass that section of houses almost every day, and I can’t point to the one and say “that’s where I started to lose my mind.” I can only vaguely gesture and hope that someone else later doesn’t find themselves in that house filled with a stranger’s Schnapps and shrouded in vape smoke when they’ll later realize it’s not what they wanted.
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of what this column will be, I hope you’ll return for future issues. If you have suggestions of topics you’d like me to discuss, email them with “Leman’s Terms request” in the subject line to [email protected]