I'm not good with goodbyes.
I attempt to bypass them at all costs. And when I can't, I go into full denial mode.
When close co-workers leave, I have a whole avoidance ritual. I email them I can't cope with finality and warn them that when I stop at their desk, I won't bid them farewell.
"I'll see you Monday!" I'll say instead. And then just pretend they're on a fabulous extended vacation.
But this time the goodbye is inevitable.
It's my own.
Friday is my last day working at the Democrat-Gazette!
I'm not leaving the state, Little Rock or even print media. I'm excited to have accepted a position at another proud Arkansas institution with a rich history: I'll be editing and writing for Arkansas Living, the monthly magazine of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas (arkansaslivingmagazine.com and facebook.com/ArkansasLivingMagazine/).
Oh, and the big news doesn't end there. I'm also ... engaged! In God's amazing timing, I received a double-portion blessing: a marriage proposal followed by a job offer in less than 24 hours.
See, so now you're ecstatic I'm leaving! You won't have to endure my boring flowers-and-cake babbling in the foreseeable future!
It's been a joy and honor sharing life and laughs with you the last two-plus decades — and yes, really, it has been that long since I arrived in 1996 as an East Coaster who knew everything and nothing.
Over the years we've done a lot together. We played with Tamagotchi virtual pets and collected Beanie Babies. We did Tae Bo and we went to Lilith Fair. We experienced four presidential administrations and 9/11. We met everyone from Quiet Riot at Little Rock's late Shogun Japanese Steakhouse and Lindsay Lohan during the Parent Trap press junket, to Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond in Oklahoma.
We successfully rallied for Arkansan Kris Allen to win American Idol and Searcy to be featured on Hulu's Small Business Revolution — Main Street. We interviewed everyone from Gene Simmons to Bow Wow to Corey Feldman to Jamie Lee Curtis to Bret Michaels to Britney Spears (OK, so we only got one question in a 2000 phone conference with her, but still).
We also navigated the bold new world called social media. We Netflixed. We reviewed no fewer than three R. Kelly shows and — great role model that we are — even took our "Little Sister" to them (thankfully she left with us). We've gone to every concert from Justin Timberlake — when he was in 'NSYNC — to, well, Justin Timberlake yet again this year.
Mostly, we watched way too many reality shows. OK, we're still watching way too many reality shows. (Ya'll ... when Colton jumped the fence on The Bachelor last week! I can't even!)
You've gotten to know that picky, particular Diet-Pepsi-swilling Yankee I call Dad (who still drinks Miller Lite out of a bottle and — bless his heart — eats ketchup on barbecue). And you grieved with me when I lost my Mom.
You were there for many of my life milestones: Relationships. Homes. Cars. Hair colors. Hair and eyelash extensions. Helping to pass a voyeurism law. Attempting stand-up comedy. Adopting and losing pets. Stints with a radio station's morning show.
And you've been there for many of my ridiculous moments. That time I crashed a high school prom. When I flooded the neighborhood turning the sprinkler all the way on instead of off. When, by one mere vote, I won the People's Choice award at the 2008 YMCA's Dancing With YStars event where I managed to "overcompensate and mug like a mime on caffeine pills" and even "woo-ed" during my own performance.
Woo! It really has been a "crizazy" (I actually used that cringe-worthy word in print — and more than once) fun career.
So I guess now there's only one thing left to say.
"I'll see you next Tuesday!"
Email (but only until Friday!):
Style on 03/12/2019
Print Headline: WHAT'S IN A DAME: It's not a goodbye column!