Well THAT was totally overwhelming.
The long and the short of it is that I’m still trying to piece together what all happened on Saturday, as BlogHer was very cool but also OH MY GOD. SO many women! Who are smart! And BLOG! And nice! And pretty! And smart! SO MANY OF THEM.
And basically, I was totally unprepared. But live and learn, right? Or is that now: “live and learn and blog”? Whatever.
I did manage to do the few things I most wanted to do.
I knew Whinger was going, and I got to spend a sufficient amount of time with her being appropriately snarky. I say “appropriately snarky” because much of the event left little to be snarky about. Only occasionally did a corporate sponsor get up and “present” something that seemed out of place (and slightly condescending).
I also got to meet two of my no-longer invisible Internet friends and that is always cool. Shawn lives locally to the conference and was amazingly diligent in providing rum and (diet) cokes for the occasion. She’s fun and enthusiastic and…I dunno, it makes it special to meet people you only otherwise know virtually. Likewise, I got to meet Jenny, who’s another reader and commenter I’ve corresponded with for months. She’s adorable and glamorous, which is probably why SHE knew what to do when in the presence of greatness...
Right. So here is the part of the post where I mention all the ridiculous things I did to embarrass myself at this conference.
For one thing, I didn’t charge my phone and...uh...well YOU try and coordinate where you’ll meet up with your friends when the hotel is spread out over roughly 3 million acres and 283 break-out rooms with a pool somewhere in the middle but you can’t get to it because where was it again? And tell me, where exactly is room 9122? WHERE??? Because up the stairs where you told me to go? All those rooms are in the 2200s.
Oh? What’s that you say, amazing blogger who founded a Katrina rescue operation out of your home, who I stopped to ask directions from before realizing I was in the presence of greatness? What’s that? I’m holding the envelope with my room key upside down? And maybe it’s room 2216? Oh, thank you.
Also, I need to not talk.
I hate to admit this even to myself, but everyone who knows me in real life knows that I am quite possibly the LEAST ARTICULATE woman on the face of the planet. Writing? That’s awesome because of this here EDIT screen and also backspace and my best friend, CTRL+Z.
But my inarticulateness zooms up a few notches when I’m meeting people for the first time (which would explain probably why I think I frightened many, many women away) but even more so – apparently – when I’m meeting “famous” people. For example.
Whinger and I selected our first session and entered the conference room somewhat early. It was hot and it was going to be crowded, since the topic of Mommy Blogging is rather central to the BlogHer world. So as we’re sitting watching the room fill up and feeling the temperature rise, Whinger leans over to me and, in a quiet voice, sort of nods her head backwards and says “look behind you.”
I did not in any way understand what this – the UNIVERSAL CODE for I DON’T WANT TO DRAW ATTENTION TO MYSELF – meant, so I had to ask her to repeat herself roughly five times. What? Who? Someone’s here? What are you doing? What are you pointing at? This eventually devolved into a muffled near-shout of “KRISTY. HEATHER. BEHIND YOU.” Which started me thinking that maybe I should turn around, but I still was a little unclear so finally Whinger just gave up, straightened up, and in a plain voice just said, “DOOCE.”
Sure enough, Dooce was sitting two rows behind me, all of three feet away. I sprang from my chair and almost collapsed with excitement. I watched first, as Whinger elegantly introduced herself and said something brief and articulate, like, “You are amazing.”
And then I walked up to her and fell completely apart. I basically hurled verbal vomit onto the woman I consider one of the greatest bloggers who has ever lived.
What did I say exactly? Oh, I have no idea. I was just hearing words come out of my mouth and couldn’t figure out a way to make them stop and kept trying to make it better by saying more, which of course only made it worse. And it kept going and going until at some point, I may have just walked away. I don’t even know.
But THEN I realized I had a camera with me and that Whinger had to take a picture of me with Heather and that began a whole new awkward series of exchanges.
I re-approached Heather who probably just wanted to be left alone by Crazy me, and she agreed to a photo but then Whinger couldn’t get my camera to work because it had been set* to some incomprehensible mode and so she had to try about three different times. This resulted in one “successful” photo: an image of me looking imploringly at Whinger, clearly wondering why she can’t get the camera to work, and Heather looking like she needs to move far, far away from Crazy and Crazy’s “special” camera. As soon as possible.
Of course, I cannot post this either because my camera batteries died. But it’s FABULOUS.
At least I learned** that I should PREPARE what I’m going to say before approaching someone I admire. Otherwise I might repeat that sort of embarrassment and do something stupid like walk right up to Arianna Huffington and ask to shake her hand and look her right in the eye and say…
...ohfuck...say something...don’t say anything like what you said to Dooce...say something nice...
Perhaps an improvement, but perhaps not so much.
Anyway, there are about a million more things I could relate about the event, but it’s a little overwhelming to try and do at once. Overall it was pretty cool, and I will try and be prepared if I go again next time.
**clearly I did not “learn” fast enough