>As some of you know, in 2006, I sent the editor of the alt-weekly Nashville Scene a link to my blog, which led to me writing a Suburban Turmoil newspaper column for the Scene and subsequently outing myself on this blog.
Writing for the Scene was nothing short of awesome. Spurred on by the paper’s stellar writing staff (not to mention the fact that pretty much everyone I knew in town seemed to be reading), I was inspired to raise the bar on my own work. The Scene’s editor, Liz Garrigan, taught me to be bold and take chances and the e-mails I received from readers let me know there were thousands of women and men out there who felt, as I did, that parenthood didn’t have to change all of us into sexless, mindless, Barney-watching drones.
That said, this week marks my last column for the Scene. I have included the full text below. Read it and weep…
Goodbye to All That
I’ve always been good at goodbyes.
Take the time years ago when I broke up with a longtime boyfriend. I’ll never forget driving away after we’d bid our ﬁnal adieus and glancing in my rearview mirror to see him standing slumped and forlorn in the middle of the road. Despite myself, I laughed. I was profoundly relieved, you see, to be the dumper instead of the dumpee.
And on that note, after two years of writing Suburban Turmoil for the Scene, I’ll cut right to the chase. I’m dumping you, dear readers. It’s not you. It’s me. The fact is, our relationship mirrors the one with my ex-boyfriend in more ways than one: I got a better offer. I don’t doubt that thousands of you are storming the State Capitol now in response to my announcement, looting Mapcos and ﬁghting each other in the streets. But my departure from the Scene likely will upset no one more than loyal reader, Henrietta Percy, who once wrote “I look forward to your next trashy article from Ms. Ferrier, as my cat needs something to catch his urinated litter granules as he exits his cat box.” Sorry, Henri. I hope you’ll consider making Matt Pulle my successor. I’ve heard he’s quite fond of cats, especially Abyssinians.
Of course, not everyone found my column so useful. I had one or two detractors, including the Green Hills MOMS Club, unschoolers, talent producers, pageant moms, intactivists (don’t ask), stay-at-home dads, public library patrons, NBC, Martina McBride, my mother and everyone in Los Angeles.
On the other hand, I also received hundreds of emails from women (and a few men), who read the column and became convinced that we should be BFFs, or at least Fs. I’ve yet to meet any of these people in person (the restraining orders actually prohibit that), but I deeply appreciated the sentiment. They let me know I was on the right track, a track I started chugging down when I was merely a beer-guzzling college coed in the Broadcast News program at the University of Georgia.
“Think network,” my favorite professor told me back then. “I don’t care if you’re one-man-banding for the morning show in Glendive, Mont. Think network. Act network. Dress network. That’s the only way you’re going to get to network.”
I always tried to take his advice to heart, never more so than when I landed this writing gig. Whether I was interviewing a Rockette or asking tough questions of doll collectors at Centennial Park, I kept a hairdresser and makeup person with me at all times and bought my work clothes at The French Shoppe. It wasn’t easy, particularly when Liz refused to reimburse me, but she’ll get hers some day when I’m co-hosting The Today Show and she’s standing outside the studio window with a sign that reads, “Garth fan from Music City!”
Oh, don’t think I harbor grudges. Thanks to Liz and the rest of the gang (excluding Walter Jowers, who I think may have ﬂipped me the bird once when I saw him on West End—I didn’t have my glasses on, so I can’t say for sure), I learned a great deal during my time at the Scene. I learned that P.J. Tobia has a tongue stud. I learned the identity of The Fabricator (but I’ll go to jail before I tell you). And I learned that some people don’t like it when I start sentences with ‘And.’
I learned even more from you, fair denizens of Nashville. You taught me that swingers look just like everyone else, and that they hang out at South Street. You proved that I could take my children to an East Nashville playground without getting shot at or stepping on a used syringe. You whispered that the pregnancy tests at Dollar Tree really do work as well as their $15 counterparts, saving me all kinds of money. You even physically demonstrated that playgroups are always more fun when there’s hard liquor involved.
You taught me, in short, that parents here and the world over often are crazy and irritating and desperately in need of meds. But they also are the keepers of an intense and unwavering ﬂame called unconditional love (at least until their kids hit puberty—then all bets are off), and they will defend their progeny with the intensity of a Southern Baptist preacher doing “outreach” at Hooters. Seeing that kind of devotion has made this long, wild ride worthwhile.
That said, I leave you now with the thoughtful words of Scene reader Donnie Pennington. “Thank God for Lindsay Ferrier,” he writes. “You go, girl! I mean now! Go!”Thanks, Donnie. I think I will.