For days there’s been a big pink elephant in the room and I’ve sort of ignored it on these here pages.
Its name is BlogHer.
I’ve avoided posting much about the conference because I’m sensitive to the fact that 90% of you are not going–either you’re not really bloggers, you’re caught up with other more important obligations like jobs and kids and So You Think You Can Dance, or maybe you’re just like thankyouverymuchSOnotinterested. Geek.
But my last post sort of opened the floodgates. So now I feel like for me not to mention all the things on my mind about BlogHer would sort of be disingenuous. I mean, I pretty much say anything else that’s on my mind here. I don’t worry about whether 90% of you are interested in reading about evangelical ice cream truck drivers or lame LA celebrity sightings or significant others who fart on cue, and I write about that, right?
But still, I don’t want anyone feeling bad. I’m soft that way.
So for those of you not going – IT WILL SUCK! BORING! SEMINARS ON HTML PROGRAMMING AND SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION! RUBBER CHICKEN FOR DINNER! MATTRESSES STUFFED WITH SAWDUST! WATERED-DOWN DRINKS! AN OUTBREAK OF IMPETIGO! SURPRISE ENTERTAINMENT: CARROT TOP!
I give you all permission to check out of here right now, click on one of the brilliantly written blogs at right instead, shop at Cool Mom Picks, hug your kids, do your thing.
But for those of you going:
(because I’ve been dying to say)
Wheeeee! So fun! I’m going to meet you all and wheeeeeee! Whooo!!! I’m seriously, ridiculously, disproportionately excited. I swear, everyone I run into it’s like the first thing out of my mouth. My neighbors, my neighbors’ kids, the Greek waiter in the corner diner, the Korean deli guy who speaks like no English–they all know where I’ll be next weekend.
And, I think, they’re happy I’m going. So they won’t have to hear me mention it for four whole days.
As for Nate, well he thinks I’m one ticket to Vegas away from being the keynote speaker at a Trekkie convention.
Anyhow, in no particular order, here are some of the things that have been floating around the old grey matter about the conference. Because you people, you lovely BlogHer-going friends, I think you want to talk about the same thing too (unlike Caesar in the diner, who just wants me to shut up and eat my grilled cheese). Fair warning: It’s entirely rambly, and there are definitely typos.
If brevity is the soul of wit then…well, I’m shit out of luck.
Writers are, by nature, misfits. As my mom always says, there aren’t too many white, midwestern, Protestant, upscale, happy men who become famous novelists. Unless they’re secretly gay. In other words, we are all uncool in some way almost by definition. Let’s face it, the cool kids are not writers. They’re certainly not online writers. They will not be at a blogging conference in San Jose next weekend, but thousands of miles east of there, sipping appletinis in the Hamptons with Steven Spielberg.
Of course you’re cool. I mean those other people.
Stop stressing about what to wear, gals, you’re not going to dinner at Graydon Carter’s house. You’re going to the Hyatt San Jose, where you will spend hours in meeting rooms named the San Jose Room or the Haiawatha Sweet Northwest, surrounded by a bunch of postpartum women with flabby bellies–some 16 years postpartum, granted, but postpartum just the same.
Besides? There will be nametags. You just can’t be cool in a nametag, no matter how un-mom your jeans are.
(Okay, that’s the party line. But seriously? What are you wearing? I’m a skirt and tee gal myself.)
Having been through the match.com years (another hiLARious post for another day) I’ve learned that people are not always in real life the same as they are in writing. There are no awkwards ums and ers in writing. There are far more adverbs. And there is no one who can catch you picking your nose or speaking with your mouth full. Which means I’m a little worried about disappointing people.
I have done my best to be honest here. I really do talk too much with a glass of wine in me, and have pathetic taste in music— if Journey comes on during cocktails, I’ll have a chance to prove it to you with my interpretive dance moves to Don’t Stop Believin’. Perhaps it’s all charming here but tedious in person? You’ll have to be the judge of that.
Using first names in the recaps: Tacky? Ginga (that’s GingaJOY to you) mentioned it in my comments yesterday which, funny enough, has been on my mind. I can’t help calling Kristen Kristen; or Her Bad Mother, Catherine; or Mother Goosemouse, Julie. It’s just how I know them. But I do remember reading blogs for the first time and seeing all these first names and feeling totally left out for not knowing that Dooce wasn’t really named Dooce.
It reminds me of how you’ll overhear some Hollywood blowhard in LA be all, “yeah, so Angie and I were lunching last week at Ago–that’s Angie Jolie–and discussing Phil’s star turn in Capote, and how he really could be the next Dick Burton.”
I don’t want to be that guy. Tell me I’m not that guy.
Then again, if I were that guy I’d have a way shorter plane ride next week and would definitely pay for everyone’s drinks.
I have a great visual memory. Not so much with the names though. Which means by far my biggest fear is that someone’s going to come up to me and be like,
“Hey Liz, I’m Jen!”
(smile, blank stare)
(smile, eyebrows raised – not ringing a bell)
“My blog is called “Mom’s Manic Madness?”
(I’m starting to sweat. Sweating a lot. Should have worked out my triceps maybe once over the last four years so I could be wearing sleeveless.)
“You know…Manic Madness? It’s got the huge pink banner on top with the purple stripes, and a picture of my kid riding the elephant on the side? My tag line is a quote from Mallrats written in 20 point helvetica?”
“Oh JENNNNNNN! I love you! I’ve read every thing you’ve ever written! How’s your uncle doing, by the way? Still touring with Dokken? “
I am totally freaked about offending someone by not “knowing” her right away from her name and/or face.
Therefore I propose that we all print out our headers and wrap them around our foreheads, indian princess style, to stave off any uncomfortable introduction moments. It won’t be nearly as obvious as staring down at the right boob to check out the name tag. The geeky, horrible name tag.
(Helpful hint of the day: Wear your nametag on your right boob. It’s instinctive to attach it to the left side with your right hand, but if you do it on the right side, the eye then naturally follows the line from the handshake…to the right side of the chest. That’s what I paid $80,000 to learn at BU by the way. Worth every penny.)
I’m thinking about doing a nametag that says, “Hi, I’m Heather Armstrong. Buy me a drink?”
What is the etiquette about blogging people you meet and the things they do? I mean, you know someone is going to end up being That Girl Who Drank Too Much, or That Mom Who Sat in the Font Row and asked 477 questions.
Also, how about pictures? Do we need some kind of pinky swear the first night about this kind of thing? Do we need a BlogHer code of loyalty?
What happens at BlogHer stays at BlogHer.
Or maybe we just need legal wavers, like they sign at the end of Taxicab Confessions. Someone want to get to work on those? Any lawyers in the house?
What else is on your mind? Let me know. Ask me anything. Tell me anything. This is the people’s blog now, comrades.