This week, now that I’m finally home from the tour and well rested, is the week of shifts in the APW staff. On Tuesday we brought on the APW Writing Interns for 2012, and all was joyful. Today is a little sadder because my very first hire ever for APW, Alyssa, is leaving us as the writer of Ask Team Practical today. She’s not leaving-leaving. She promised me she’d stay on as APW Emeritus Staff, haunt the halls like Moaning Myrtle, occasionally moderate, and send us funny emails. But she is leaving us as our Friday columnist. I’m not supposed to be crying today because Alyssa tells me that if I cry, then she’ll cry, and then everyone will be crying. But I’m not going to lie. I cried a little.
But! I only cried a little because I’m so excited about the new writer of Ask Team Practical: Liz! The thing about Liz is that she and Alyssa started at APW in a semi-official capacity at exactly the same time. They were co-moderators when I went to Italy, but back then, Liz was pregnant, and I was bringing on a writer on a volunteer basis, and I know that you ALWAYS pay pregnant ladies (my mamma raised me right). So, ever since then, I’ve been desperate to hire Liz to join the APW team. And now, in a funny moment of symmetry, Alyssa is pregnant, and it’s time to pass the baton. So, without further ado, I bring you the ladies themselves:
If you were expecting a tearful goodbye, you’ll have to mosey on elsewhere. Oh, there were tears, but they were tears in response to change, no matter how good. There were also tears because I happen to be a giant bawl-baby and lose it over the slightest things anyway. And I’m not leaving in a flounce and I haven’t been fired, so there’s no good internetz-drama to be had either. My apologies if either disappointment ruined your day.
I’m leaving ATP because I’m currently scaling down a big part of my life just to make room for work, school, and baby so I can be present in each one and try my best not to suck at any of them. And actually, this started because of work and school. Baby just wandered into the picture, as they are wont to do, and suddenly made sh*t get very real. And as fun as it wold have been to juggle everything on my plate and prove to the world that I am, in fact, amazing, I’m going re-prioritize rather than hang on and be generally mediocre. Which is completely different than the specific mediocrity I normally produce. (HA! See what I did there? I insulted myself before y’all could. I’m wily, like a duck.)
So, this is basically just a changing of the guard because, um…I don’t plan on going anywhere. I may not write Ask Team Practical anymore, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be a part of the site. I started as a reader and, like all the other readers, I’m built into the bones of this place and just because I’m not a weekly feature doesn’t mean I’m not around. I promised Maddie I’d be the Moaning Myrtle of APW, wandering the hallways and popping in occasionally to be annoying, helpful, or sometimes both. Plus, Meg is letting me stay blue in the comments, so I’ll have to comment just to see that occasionally because it’s SO PRETTY.
Also? YOU GUYS GET LIZ. I’d be jealous, but I’ve already had Liz for a while. Know who advice columnists go to for advice? Liz. She’s funny, cool-headed, points out all those little nuances that you forget in your panic-induced haze of “OMG,OMG,OMG,OMG; FML,FML,FML…” and will offer to do bodily harm to people who make you cry but is so nice you know she’d never ACTUALLY set someone on fire for you. (Maybe.) Liz is not new around these parts and she’s had her hand in so much of the site that it already feels like she’s been staff for a while. Her maturity and wisdom, plus her ability to make me giggle, make me incredibly happy to be leaving ATP in her hands. Hell, I might even write in with my own questions.
So whatever this is, this ain’t goodbye. It’s a “See ya’ll later”, “Peace out,” and “So long and thanks for all the fish.” And it’s also a “Welcome Liz!,” “Yay for change,” and a big “Allons-y!” into ATP 2.0 tomorrow. I’ll see y’all in the comments!
I might be the saddest to see Alyssa go. I don’t want to make this a competition or anything, but if it were, I would win. I even offered the girl a retainer to stay on as my personal consultant. But she made some excuse about having a life and a baby or something?
It’s pretty clear that I won’t be able to replace Alyssa. Really, I won’t. But that’s fine because I’ve been told that I won’t need to fill her shoes (fabulous, really, considering I don’t look so great in cowboy boots). So instead of trying to be The New Alyssa, I’m just going to be Liz. Whereas Alyssa would offer BBQ scented hugs, kindly meant “sweeties” and “darlins,” and loads and loads of funny, I’ll be bringing the smackdown and the Teacher Voice (ask anyone from the DC book talk).
I’ve been milling around APW since Meg was a newlywed. During that stretch, I’ve spouted off more opinions than should’ve been allowed (Meg is very generous). Opinions on being a wedding graduate, on DIY wedding food, on married sexytimes, on woman-being lessons, and on babies and marriage. I’ve also been lucky enough to guest moderate while Meg takes the rare vacation. But, let’s be honest. If you recognize me, it’s probably not for any of those reasons. You probably recognize me as the mom who brought her moon-faced baby son into a Brooklyn bar for the NYC book talk.
This whole thing is sort of bittersweet. Alyssa promises she’ll be around (SHE BETTER), but I’ll certainly miss her sweet and frank Friday posts. At the same time, I’m so so excited to be able to contribute to an awesome community.
And with that, I’ll let you say your “Goodbye for nows” to Alyssa, and “Hello and welcome homes” to Liz. Let’s do this up right. Pretend I snuck booze into the punch, and there is stale cake, and we’re having a not-going-away-forever party for Alyssa. Here is my toast:
Alyssa, you were my number one reader back when you were Lysachelle in the comments, and I thought that was your name. You made me laugh when people were making me cry. And as the first staff member of APW ever (other than me), you made me see that it was ok to ask for help. Better than ok, really. That asking for help is what made this project great instead of just good. Thank you for that, and even though you handpicked the best non-replacement in the whole world, we’ll still miss you. Cheers to you, and tiny cheers for the tiny baby too!
Now have some punch, y’all.