Like an emotionally stunted side character in a 1980's family comedy about a SUMMER CAMP THAT NO ONE WILL EVER FORGET, I don't like goodbyes. So the goodbye part of this post will be short: Today is my last day at Jezebel. Goodbye.
I've been a reader of this website since the summer of 2008; I found it after one of those tempest-in-teapot mini-controversies where two staff writers of the fledgling ladyblog made some jokes about rape at a forum called "Thinking and Drinking." Bored at my awful Chicago finance job, I clicked over from the Huffington Post piece about the mini-debacle to this "JEZEBEL" website only to find that, holy shit, these funny, brash, opinionated, loudmouthed self-proclaimed feminazi bonerkillers — these were my people.
So for months, I lurked, reading every article, reading every comment. Everyone was so smart and funny and cool and intimidating. There's no way I could possibly hang with these broads, I thought. I am but a panty hose-wearing lame-o sell out, and these women are fierce and amazing.
Finally, one day, I worked up the courage to comment on an article about Amy Winehouse (to paraphrase the comment: LOL! DRUGS!). And thus began what would be fair to call a pathological Jezebel commenting habit. As "MorningGloria" (a name I picked because one of my friends used to open emails to me with "Morning, Gloria!" and I wasn't creative enough to come up with anything better on that particular boring, beige day), I opined about every damn thing under the sun. Eventually, with all this extra time I had at this stupid job I hated, I began moderating comments, which was fun.
Two years and change ago, I wrote my first post, a riff on a PR email about Pornaments, which are exactly what they sound like: Christmas ornaments with gingercocks and stuff, so filled with holiday cheer that they can't help but copulate. Look, mom! I'VE TAKEN EVERYTHING YOU TAUGHT ME AND MADE IT INTO A BIG VEINY DICK JOKE.
I never thought I would be a writer, like, as my job. I never thought I'd leave the financial services industry. Never thought I'd move to New York. Never thought leaving this job — where I basically get paid to insult politicians I don't like — would be such a bummer. Never thought I'd write so many fucking words about my spiritual journey away from having a superficial TV crush on Ryan Lochte. (After awhile, I started feeling embarrassed by all of the Lochte-related stuff that was coming into my inbox. I never wanted to be on this beat!)
But apart from the silliness and dick jokes, a lot of what I was privileged to write about here really fucking mattered to me, and will continue to matter. It felt incredible to know that during some of the political moments in this past year that made me want to put my head in an oven (HI, TODD AKIN. GOOD TO SEE YOU, RICK SANTORUM. THERE'S ROOM FOR YOU TO SIT DOWN, TOO, ENTIRE STATE OF ARIZONA), many of you were there with me, considering whether the smell of your oven-burned hair would set off the smoke alarm and annoy your neighbors. The ones that weren't there with me were furiously writing me emails about how I needed to lose weight or put some Jesus in my face, or silently clucking their tongues and vowing to NEVER AGAIN read any of the totally biased tripe I write. That part was cool, too, in a now-I-can't-feel-feelings sort of way.
Even the shitty parts of this job taught me important lessons about human nature. Did you know, for example, that there's a huge, huge gap between the insult-dishing and giving-a-shit gap between certain portions of society? For example, there are literally hundreds of men who have wasted probably hundreds of minutes composing tweets and Facebook messages and emails about how I make their boners unhappy, and how that should sufficiently cut me down to size. Meanwhile, I don't care about strangers' boners. I also don't care about going to hell. And yes, my parents know about what I write. And no, I don't make them angry. They're raging liberals, too. But I digress.
Before I revert into my emotional defense mechanism goofing around, I'd like to thank — sincerely and without cynicism or sarcasm — the other Jezebel folk. Anna Holmes, for being someone I continue to look up to, and for driving me back from Providence after Netroots this year rather than forcing me to take the train back. The comment moderators, tirelessly fighting on the front lines in the War on Nincompoopery. The brilliant Anna North, who doesn't work here anymore, either but who taught me a ton about How To Writer when I first came on full time last fall. Hortense, Cassie Murdoch, Doug Barry, Lauri Apple, Anna Breslaw, Margaret Hartmann, Lane Moore, and Laura Hooper Beck, who manned the dreaded evening and weekend shifts like champions. Tracie, Dodai, Maddie, Lindy, Jenna, and Katie, who have made working here the most fun I've ever had at any job, ever, and that includes the summer that my middle school crush Jesse and I both worked as locker room attendants at our town's swimming pool. If Jezebel had a yearbook, I'd take up half a page with inside jokes on each of you. I'd make up inside jokes that didn't exist so we could make them up at a time TBD. I'd like to thank Gawker Media's owner Nick Denton for only engaging me in conversation three times during my entire tenure here, even though I can see him from my desk. (Hi, Nick. I'm Erin, the wavy-haired bespectacled brunette who you sometimes frown at. I work for you. Well, worked.)
And I'm incredibly grateful for being lucky enough to work with the savvy, tough-as-nails, scarily competent, hilarious, kind, formidable, caring, and incredible Jessica Coen, the best boss I've ever had and who pushed me, diplomatically, to suck less at writing.
Finally, I'd also like to thank God, for not striking me down. I wouldn't be here without Your awesome power to ignore blasphemy.
I thought that I could make this post funny, but I really have not succeeded. I'm genuinely sad to be leaving (crying into a glass of red wine while a DVR'ed episode of Glee is playing in the background sad), but excited for what comes next. I've been hired to write jokes for VH1, on a revamping of a weekly pop culture show called Best Week Ever that will start airing on Fridays in January — but I'll still be contributing the occasional political goof-off bit around here, because I'll always love making fun of Michele Bachmann.
Until then, readers, thank you all for reading, for your insightful commentary, and for your hilarious hatemail. I'll miss you.