Why Does "So Long" Mean "Goodbye" Anyway?

Illustration for article titled Why Does So Long Mean Goodbye Anyway?

It turns out that I'm nearly as terrible at goodbyes as I am at singing. But, terrible or not, it's time to say one.


It was almost exactly 3 years ago that then-Wonkette editor Alex Pareene published my first-ever "Ask A Lobbyist" column, based on nothing more than a funny email that read:

Though not a Hill staffer, I am a terribly jaded (though not underpaid) lobbyist, willing to belittle questions/their authors/politicians/my chosen profession in print, preferably with liberal use of the phrase "ass fucking."

By way of reference, when my parents' friends ask me about the libidinous Washington politicos, I always report that I've never been hit on by a Democrat- but only because the Republicans prefer the big boobies and the Dems like the skinnier ones/boys. My parents don't let me talk to their friends anymore, particularly when I'm drinking (which is always, when I'm visiting my parents).

Surprisingly, one of my jobs in this nameless firm in which I labor is to write a snarky, cynical review of trade negotiations for clients/the world, and apparently (if the emails to the boss that claims credit for my writing are anything to judge by) random Aussies think my work is pretty funny. I'd send you a link, but I'd be waaay less anonymous then, and this is sort of a random blogging offer. Let's just say I've quoted Samuel Beckett, Top Gun and Bette Davis Eyes in my writing, to great effect.


I'll admit, I probably didn't use the phrase "ass fucking" as much as I promised.

At the time, I was working in a profession I'd grown to increasingly dislike for a boss my friend Jason and I took to referring to as The Bitch From Hell. She once asked me if I was lazy or just stupid, to which I responded, "Actually, I'm apparently just pretty stupid." Then I went home and drank until I didn't remember going to bed.

I did eventually get a new job that I hated less, working for people not quite as mean to me (with one exception), but I kept on with the Wonkette column as Anna launched Jezebel with Moe Tkacik and Jennifer Gerson, and I became a regular reader and even — big surprise — a commenter. Alex arranged an email introduction to Moe and we started chatting. I contributed to her 2007 VMAs liveblog, and she asked me to take over That's So Jane's!. My first piece was published 9 days before I was laid off from my day job.


At that point, I'd had 6 lobbying jobs in 6 years, and I'd liked my work less than half the time. I was unemployed, emotionally exhausted, about to turn 30 and had no fucking clue what my next step should be. And then Alex announced he was leaving Wonkette, Nick Denton announced he wanted to make some changes, Anna hired me to guest blog while she was away and suddenly I found myself an unmasked editor at Wonkette. That ended interestingly.


That day, my first two calls were to Anna and Moe, asking if they would keep me on doing Crappy Hour and the occasional other piece, and they said yes. As the election cycle kicked into high gear, Anna had me on more and more often, eventually hired me as a contributor and then an editor. Which is where I find myself now, saying goodbye to her, my other colleagues, and you guys.

Monday, I'm starting at Air America, where I'll be the Editor of News & Politics — an opportunity I never would have had but that I worked for a great boss (Anna) who always pushed me, backed me, encouraged me, and supported me in writing the things I wanted to write about in the ways I wanted to write them. So I want to say is that it was a great privilege working for Anna (and for and with Alex), and with Moe, Dodai, Jess, Jen, Sadie, Jenna, Tracie, Maria, Margaret, Anna North, Lizzie and Katy — as well as with all the other writers that did me the privilege of volunteering their time, intellects and efforts to Crappy Hour — not the least of which were Spencer Ackerman, Jason Linkins and Latoya Peterson, who did me that solid over and over again.


And, too, I should thank the readers, who kept reading after the elections despite all predictions that no one would care about politics anymore and who proved wrong all the naysayers who thought that women don't really care about politics or feminism or "hard" news (and thus don't try to give us any). You guys proved as much as Anna has in her stewardship of this site that there's a voracious audience for these stories, and that women can — big surprise — be interested in reading about fashion, celebrities, relationships and still want to read about Big Serious Things. And now there's practically a cottage industry of publications trying to catch up.


Oh, right, goodbyes. Well, in German, they don't really say goodbye as much as they say Auf wiedersehen, or "untill we see one another again." And I very much hope that's the case here as well.

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Jenna Sauers

Oh, Megan, I swore I wouldn't, but now I'm getting teary. You were, are, and will remain an inspiration to me as a writer. I wish you every success at Air America! Also, let's get drunk uptown soon.