I heard about you in grad school. You were whispered about by the other grad students- no one wants to be overheard talking about you- and I had to find you ASAP. A place where people in my exact position, my exact place in life, engage in gossip about jobs, journals, and senior scholars? Whoever gave birth to you was a genius.
And in our first days together, I was so in love. I compulsively checked in with you every morning, to see if a job I’d applied for was mentioned. You are where I find out about Michael LaCour, where I learned that supposedly Yale isn’t that good (it really isn’t), where I consoled myself after interviews gone bad. Even after I began my full time tenure track job, I still hit you up, because you can be a really good time!
But, as in all toxic relationships, the cracks that I had always known about but tried to pretend didn’t exist grew too large to ignore. You tend to spend a lot of time on Nazi talk. You are also extremely sexist, which is a big problem for me. A lot of your more terrible discussions end up deleted by the mods, but then your other friends complain about how aggressive and mean the mods are. It’s like the third most popular thing to post about (dear God, leave the poor mods alone- they’re doing this for FREE).
So even though I know you’re terrible, I just can’t close the door on you. If I have the time to sift through all your garbage, I can sometimes find a really useful thread I can totally relate to, because the exact same issue has occurred to me. I want to leave you for good, but then I remember the good times we used to have and I grow nostalgic. (This happens a lot after I’ve been drinking wine and grading papers, and want to know I’m not alone.) What if you’ve changed for the better? What if you teach me something new? I can’t miss that!