June 19, 2008 posted by Lindsay

>This is the End. Sort of. But Not Really.

>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.



  • >Dude. Tell us more.

  • >Good for you. I think. I never really read the Nashville Scene column anyway (because I’m not from Nashville; purely a geographic prejudice), so I won’t be missing it, but maybe I’ll pick up the feed from wherever it goes now.Because I’m assuming that it’s going to be “Suburban Turmoil: The Wall Street Journal Column”.

  • >Good luck!

  • >Ok so the Scene thinks … well who cares what the scene thinks I love your blogs,letters,stories what ever this world wants to lable them as I am not into lables .. is’nt that the correct way .. the scene has lost a great writer. You can write bathroom stories of martina and her flushing i ment blushing face anywhere.

  • >Good Luck!!

  • >The Scene, fortunately, wishes me well. The timing of the offer I received was perfect because the current editor is leaving for another job at the end of the month, and I was, after all, her discovery. So no hard feelings on either end.

  • >Are you going to write for USA Today? Because I love USA Today.

  • >Liz Garrigan is leaving the Scene? Ooh, juicy.

  • >Blog tease you big ol’ blog tease. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

  • >You go girl. Looking forward to hearing about your new gig.

  • JLP

    >Oh man I will miss you in the Scene. Your column was the only reason I read it.

  • Sue

    >I’m guessing that the irritable bowel syndrome/diarrhea ad placement was just a coincidence? I thought for a minute you were shutting down your blog. Wheeeww… so how long do we have to wait for a big announcement?

  • >Oooh… can’t wait to hear what’s next!

  • >Oooh, please tell us you are doing a gig with Ira Glass!

  • >Aww, this is crazy! What’s there to read in The Scene w/o Suburban Turmoil?

  • >oh man I loved your column!!!! i was always writing imaginary fan mail in my head to you (but never got it sent because i’m a work at home mother of toddler also) and I can’t believe the one i’m sending is to say goodby. Sure I can still read the blog but heck it was one of the things i looked forward to in the Scene. Now that they’ve lost you and the Advice Goddess what’s next? chopping Tom Tomorrow?… it really will be practically a Gannet publication then.

  • >You’re co-hosting the Today Show? Fuck yeah.

  • >REALLY???!!! THE TODAY SHOW! Please tell me you are replacing Kathie Lee. Did you give any thought to Good Morning America? I definitely like it a teensy bit better… I’m just sayin.

  • >Congrats! I’ll miss the Scene column… there were some excellent gems in there. But there are just as many in this blog and surely more to come with the exciting new offer, whatever it is. (Seriously… tell us soon!)PS. Your arms look amazing in that picture you posted the other day.PS again. Laughing at the ex you just dumped… I love it.

  • >I have the patience of an oyster, so I’ll await your great announcement on better things coming 😉

  • >Nooooooo. What will I read now during my lunch hour?

  • >Your column will be sorely missed. It was 90% of why I read the scene (every other week). I will just have to live vicariously through Carrington Fox’s food reviews.Good luck with all things new. I promise to continue being your favorite snark re: your blog.Warmest Regards

  • >Oh man, you’re leaving us on a cliffhanger. Tease. 🙂 Becky

  • >I can’t believe this is your last Scene Column. That’s it. I’ll never pick up another Scene again—-!! (sobbing)

  • >You really are a mover and a shaker for bloomin’ where you’re planted. I’m inspired by your energy and pizazz! Can’t wait to hear your new news!!!

  • >Lindsay –Your column in the scene was always bold, provocative, and a source of stimulating amusement. I’m glad for you that you’re on to bigger and better things, but The Scene just took a major step down in the ‘cool’ rankings (as far as I’M concerned, anyhow). We stick your review in every package we mail out, for which I thank you and thank you again. I’ll certainly keep checking your blog for the latest and greatest.Happy Fishmas Day, and our best…Adam +t.c.p.

  • >Tell us where you’re going and soon! I need my (every other) weekly Suburban Turmoil FIX!!

  • >Soooo exciting! I also read this and thought, “Oh, so that’s what the WSJ stuff was about.” I swear I’m not stalking you, though- it’s just that damn Twitter!

  • >I will miss you in the Nashville Scene.

  • >Congrats on shutting one door only to open another. We expect nothing short of brilliance, wherever we’re reading you.No pressure.