This is it! My last Gawker dance. And, in the immortal words of Denise Huxtable, I.. I... I don't know what to say. So I'll leave the goodbyes up to an old friend, dearest socialite Tinsley Mortimer, my original muse.
"When I think about leaving, about people going, I think about the day of the trucks. The Day of the Trucks was when everything changed and I think even my hair turned into a new blonde and none of my clothes fit. Because everything was different. The Day of the Trucks was when a bunch of men with fat bellies and smelly skin walked up into my house and into my maidfriend Guadalupe's room and started taking all of her stuff. They had boxes and belts and weird little cupboards on wheels and they took everything away. Guadalupe's red lady lamp. Guadalupe's little beady rugs. Guadalupe's sad purple clothes. I was very confused and, because I was running around in my socks, I slipped and fell down. So I lay on the kitchen floor and made cries and whimpers until finally, hours and maybe days later, Guadalupe appeared in front of my eyes and said 'Meez Teenz, ju haff to gait up. Is no good to be lying on de floor like dat.' And my face was pink and puffy I think and I couldn't hear my favorite pigeons cooing on the window ledge and I told Guadalupe about the men with the trucks and she smiled or frowned or maybe something in between, a look like Mama gets when she talks about the 1970s and her friend Dill, and she said 'Oh Meez Teenzlee. I wanted to wait to tell ju mahself. Ju see... My daughter, she has baby now. So I move home. Back to my house in the yungle.'
And suddenly I was warm and cold, all at the same time. And I said No, No, Guadalupe. You can't go. Who will iron my dresses in the morningtime so they're warm when I'm eating my cereal? Who will take me in taxicabs to my clothes appointments and the handbags meetings? Who will test my perfume and braid my hair and sing her back home songs while we sit on the deck and watch the city be the city, the way we like to do? Who will do all those things? And Guadalupe's eyes started to look like rainy puddles and she said 'Meez Tinsley, ju can do all those things, for ju self!' And then she smiled and patted my head and made me some oatmeal. And for the next few days things were regular again. We went to see the ducks in the morning and looked at pretty pictures in the big stony building by the park in the afternoons and on the underground choo-choo which Guadalupe liked to ride she would sit with her ankles crossed and her purse in her lap and she would hum a song I knew I'd heard before but couldn't quite remember and she smelled like fruit and soap, but not fruity soap, like two different things, together on one Guadalupe.
The day before she left, Guadalupe was humming and doing her dusting and polishing and I was going to go to a party. And suddenly I had an idea that I'd never had before! Guadalupe!, I yelled in her ear. And she seemed scared but then she smiled and she said 'What ees it, Meez Teenz?' And I said I am going to a party and would you like to come. And then she got that smile/frown face again and her eyes were puddly and finally she said, like a frog was ribbiting in her throat, 'Jais. Jais, I would like that very much. But I mus get dressed.' After a while she came out of her little room that was mostly empty and she was wearing a long blue dress with sequins and little jewels hanging off it and her hair was big and sprayed and sort of purple but she looked very pretty in her Guadalupe way. I told her she looked nice and she smiled and said, quiet like a little breeze that comes in through the window, 'I haff been saving it.'
When we left we walked and walked and walked down the street with the cars beeping and the kids and the people in the street saying 'excuse me excuse me excuse me' over and over and over again. When we got tired of walking we got in a taxicab and told the driverman to keep going and going. Finally we got to a boat and we got on the boat and it went 'hoooo Hoooooooooo' and it splashed out into the water and then the captain said 'Gubbernors Island, everyone! Gubbernors Island.' So we got off to go talk to the gubbernor, but he wasn't there. Instead there was a concert. We were supposed to be at a party but the concert seemed nice and Guadalupe was clapping to the music so we decided to stay. And we watched the band play by the water until it got dark and above our heads there was a thicket of starlight and it was very pretty.
At the end there were fireworks, and everyone oohed and ahhed. Guadalupe was there in her nice blue dress smiling and clapping and she turned to me and she grabbed my hand and she said 'It ees a wonnerful thing, Meez Teenz. To be a person. It ees the mos wonnerful thing.' And even though sometimes I don't understand what she says because her accent is funny or she just says weird things, that night I knew exactly what she meant.
And the next day I woke up and the house was quiet and there was no smell of cakes or candies or warm dresses on the ironing board and I wore my slippers with the rubber bottoms into the kitchen so I wouldn't fall like Guadalupe had told me and on the counter there was a little envelope. I picked it up and it was addressed to me! My first mail! It said in big letters on the front 'For Miss Tinsley.' And when I opened it, a little locket fell out and there was a note. It was from Guadalupe. It said some nice things that are special and private and I won't tell you, but mostly it said goodbye and I Love You. And, I Will Miss You. And inside the locket was a picture of me and Guadalupe, smiling and waving, from the Day of the Zoo, when I'd met some gorillas and she'd told me about all the different kinds of animals they have where she is from. So I put the locket on and I thought about "I Will Miss You." And that morning I thought that maybe I'd never miss anyone so much.
But maybe you don't really need to miss anyone, hardly ever. Because I think about Guadalupe and I look at her locket, now that she has been gone for so long, and it is almost like she is here.
There aren't her smells and there aren't her little songs, but there is still my memory. Still my mind's pictures of a nice lady I knew once. A lady who was warm and kind. And that is a good thing to know. To know that you knew. This feeling of Guadalupe.
It is mine to know, forever."
Well, OK, I guess I have a few things to say, mostly by way of thanks and so longs. And what better way to end a Gawker career but with a listicle!
- Thanks to Chris Batty and the rest of the crack sales team who graciously invited me to the Gawker party way back in April of 2007, and didn't get mad when I eventually left them to sit at the editors' table. Special thanks to sales associate Nell Lawson, who happens to be my sister.
- Thanks to Alex and Hamilton and Sheila and Moe and Brett and Foster and Ian and Richard and Mike and Owen and John and Ryan and Anna and Dodai and Seth (and everyone else! the fleet of interns!) for being such capable and helpful colleagues. The amount of times I IMed Pareene alone when I first started, saying "I have no idea what I'm doing, please help," qualifies him for a teaching certificate, I'm fairly certain.
- Thanks to commenters! Omigosh, commenters! So fun, so smart, so annoying, so angry, so everything. Clearly my short time here has been shaped and defined by the commentariat, and I'll always wear that badge of dishonor proudly. A grateful individual nod to erstwhile KarenUhOh, who was an early advocate.
- Grazies to Emily Gould and Choire Sicha, who helped nudge me out of the commenter closet and into STARDOM.
- Gabriel Snyder is a great boss and editor—supportive and wise, quick with proper edits and just as quick to let 4,000 word television recaps actually get posted, untouched.
- And, yes, thanks to Nick Denton. For taking a chance on an unknown kid one rainy February day. Quite dramatically, but truthfully, he handed me a new life. So, thanks is maybe too small a word for that.
I love everyone else, too. Absolutely everyone! (Except you, you know who you are.) Fortunately I don't really have anything big or sweeping or conclusive to say about What Gawker Is or How We Blog Now. Really it's just been a fantastic (and fantastically weird) experience. To end it is the height of bittersweet. But, as Tony Kushner might say, the world only spins forward.
If you are still interested in reading what I have to say, specifically about television, you can find me on the gradually-revamping TV.com starting next Monday. Hope you'll come check it out when you're bored at work.
Thanks, sincerely, for spending some time with me. It's been a treat.