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Sunday, June 23, 2024
The Observer

To my letter writers

Dear Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross community members, The time has finally come for my inside column, and while I’ve been reading these for almost three years as an Observer employee, I’ve felt stumped this week. My peers have written about the everyday, the extraordinary and their pet peeves, but the most excited I got in considering these categories was a cry for help in figuring out how to eat properly while living off campus. I even consulted inside column queen Maria Leontaras for inspiration, and she suggested I follow along with a Food Network episode. (Maria, no offense, but if I just told you my stomach has been growling eight hours a day, does it really sound like I’m spending a lot of time on meal prep?) But you know what she did make me realize? I’m avoiding the inevitable. Some will call it self-centered, and others vengeance, but either way this is my moment to throw a taste of the wackiest, rudest letters to the editor* back at you (*names changed to protect you, even though you sent me much of this nonsense with a signature). For example:

  • Just this Sunday I got to my Observer desk only to find this anonymous note written on a paper towel. While I respect that horoscopes are not loved by all, I am curious what the writer expected as the end result. What it really did make me question, I must admit, is who has access to the Observer office.
  • Near the end of last semester, I received an email — not even an email really, as all of the content was in the subject line — that said “Whoever [a treasured columnist of mine] is, he has a very good grasp of the obvious from Jim in Dallas.” OK, Jim. Burn! I’ll be sure to let him know.
  • I also need to offer a shoutout to the absurd number of emails I have received about a condo association fight in London. We are not The Observer, but The Observer. And even if we were The Observer, do you think Boris Johnson really cares about your mean neighbors and reads The Observer opinion section, Karen?
  • As you might have guessed, the hottest Viewpoint letter of last semester (which I will not hyperlink) brought a lot of disturbing content to my inbox: Grown men confessing they have had to cancel gym memberships, way too many pictures of “the revealing nature of leggings” and even a Columbus mural x leggings controversy mashup sent from the email of “Christopher O’Leggings.”
  • Approximately once a month I receive an email that ends with some variation of “You need to get a life!” Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me, Tim.
Having said all of this, dear letter writers, I do want to end my coveted spot on a gentler note. I am your biggest fan. I am impressed so often by the courage you all have to articulate arguments and opinions you know will be immediate dining hall conversations. I, after all, took one of the few jobs on campus that comes with the perfect excuse not to publish my name and opinions. To those of you who haven’t written in (yet), I also want to say thank you for reading and sharing our content. While it takes writing to fill these pages, it wouldn’t mean much without the engagement and reflection of the audience. Please don’t forget that there is someone on the other end of the Viewpoint email, and also that your mom might read The Observer. And that your professors almost definitely do. But please keep sending me those hot takes. I love my job.

With gratitude,

Evy Stein


Sept. 3

Contact Evy at The views expressed in this Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.