Recent Posts

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Two Conclusions

I have realized (particularly this past week) two things: 1) that my inspiration to blog comes in the feast or famine variety (all at once or none at all) and 2) that I think I was a man in a previous life.

I shall begin by apologizing for the recent famine portion of You Must Take Your Chance. Yes, first I was busy getting ready to go to Blissdom '10 (bloggers conference this past weekend). Then, I was busy at Blissdom '10. Then, I was exhausted after returning home from Blissdom '10. And finally, I think I was a little "tweaked" out by Blissdom '10.

Let me say it was an amazing experience.

Andi of Misadventures With Andi and Alisa of Project Happily Ever After and I were the three amigos at Blissdom '10. Andi and Alisa being infinitely more knowledgeable than me, way more "connected" than me, and inexplicably kind and patient with me. Here's a cute example of what I'm talking about: one of the first things you do upon arriving at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville is to toddle over to the Blissdom '10 registration counter to register that you have arrived. Upon registering you receive I swear the nicest canvas bag Land's End has to offer (which is going to become my favorite beach bag this summer) filled to the brim with stuff! Make-up, bags of chips & candy (Bliss Chocolates, of course), a sweet necklace with a freshwater pearl & a silver charm embossed with "bliss", facial products from my super-fave facial products company, Bliss! A pair of nice socks, an aluminum water bottle, etc. You get the idea. The bag was overflowing with cool stuff. Swag. So I exclaim to A & A, "It's like a swag bag!!!" And A & A who did not flinch and were sweet as could be said, "Yes Laurie IS a swag bag". In my defense, I was referring to The Night At The Oscars-variety of swag bag because, until now, I didn't know people besides celebrities ever received such things. Ultimately I had to leave half of the swag there because I couldn't fit it all in my suitcase. But that's ok because I left the baby pacifiers and the salty onion strings that give me canker sores and other swag that I wouldn't use anyway. Hopefully the hotel cleaning staff can use such swag.

My emptied out swag bag--nice huh?

But I obsess. Here's something else at the conference I obsessed about--the attendees and their laptops. Ok it's a bloggers conference. There are going to be lots of laptops. There were. At one point during a session with distinguished panelists blathering on helpfully informing us about successful blogging technique (which btw includes consistent, predictable posting), I was drifting a bit and I began to count how many laptops were in my range of vision--I'm assuming these people are taking notes. By the time I got to thirty-eight, I finally realize that every single laptop in my view (and I wasn't done counting yet) had the same exact screen open--Twitter!!! (Y-e-s ....I kind-of tweet. In the one-way announcing what I'm doing at that moment manner. You can imagine how many re-tweets I get)  But even though I was a bit bored at this particular juncture, I didn't have to remind myself that I was paying for this advice! I'm not going to sit there and monitor the thousands of people I follow (in actuality I follow 12) on Twitter. It's rude! It's living in an alternate universe. It's kind of creepy. And I feel about one hundred and fifty years-old. Like what it must have felt like to be sitting up high on your rather elegant horse-pulled buggy as the smoke-belching, ear-splitting cacophony of the first Model A's jalopied by.

Eventually I counted sixty-seven laptops in view; fifty-five on Twitter and the remaining twelve appeared to be shopping. Nobody was blogging. And apparently no one was listening. Including me (too busy counting and getting creeped out, imagining if I peel back their skin, I will discover androids as in the "Ash"-variety from Alien).

At one point, in the throes of all this, both Andi and Alisa agree that there are far fewer laptops than they've encountered at previous bloggers conferences!!!!!!! I'm speechless. Up on my buggy.

There is more to tell which I will elaborate on in future posts: my moment with Harry Connick Jr. in which he has his arm around me (of which there is a picture and of which I'm only one of the five hundred or so attendees of the conference that he (poor guy) eventually had his arm around for what must have seemed like ten-thousand pictures); my night out on the town in Nashville; the best southern food ever eaten at what must be the best southern fried food restaurant in the world after what must be the most nerve-wracking and expensive ride around the Tennessee countryside after dark ever; and the pièce de résistance ......the fact that during the entire weekend of the conference I shared a hotel with the First Annual National Tea Party Convention where the keynote speaker was Sarah Palin!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keeping my snarky comments and opinions about this fascinating "opportunity" all weekend long was a study in serious self-control.
But finally, I must comment on why I believe I may have a been a man in a previous life.

This conference conjured up a number of past experiences, none of which I count as I my favorite ones, and none of which I've lumped together until now. And let me say first that I'm the weird one here--but there is something about a bunch of frenzied, weepy women all obsessed on the same thing that makes me very uncomfortable. (As in how I imagine a man might feel in similar circumstances) My dear sorority sisters can attest to this. I always had one foot in and one foot out of that sorority house never quite completely committing to the Tri-Delta way-to-live-college-life pledge. My dear PTA friends will concur. Once I received Volunteer of the Year, they never saw me again! (my kids were literally begging me to "not do PTA"). And my friend Lisa who's helmed a very successful scrapbooking business for at least the past fifteen years knows by now that I will almost always say I'm going to attend the next big scrapbooking bonanza, I always pay for it, and I almost always never show up!! (I'm sorry Lisa)

So what is it about a mob of super-organized, super-estrogened women all focused on one common goal that freaks me out? I don't know. You can't complain about the literally "excessive" organization--it's WAY better than a strictly male-organized conference which would likely be a mess of monumental proportions. I'm more of a girly-girl than a not-girly-girl god knows I can be emotional. I don't know. I just wish this conference wasn't so strictly a woman's conference. It's not the sexual tension that would probably exist in a conference attended equally by men & women that I miss. I think it's just a balance I'm craving--not too much estrogen. Not too much frenzy. Not too much weeping. (Yes there was a fair amount of weeping!) Not too much female point-of-view? Ugh. I don't know. Girls’ rock! Maybe it was just my first bloggers conference and I felt a sense of being an outsider looking-in? Or being a man in a previous life?? What? Ok this post is getting ridiculous and making no sense.

I shall wrap up by reiterating (just ignore previous negatively-toned paragraphs) that the conference couldn't possibly have been lovelier. Or better organized. It was fantastic. I learned a lot. I had so much fun with Andi and Alisa. I met a lot of other great women too. Harry Connick Jr. had his arm around me (for a millisecond). And I got to see that Sarah Palin supporters are people too (people who wear baseball caps with white George Washington ponytails attached to the back and who carry around giant head-shot posters--of the ex-presidential candidate and the ex-Alaskan governor and the ex-mother-in-law-to-be to Levi Johnston--on sticks.)

As for my conclusions, I will just have to stick to blogging when I'm inspired and hope that I'm inspired on a fairly regular basis; and I'll bet that I was a man in a previous life who got stuck at an all-female bloggers conference and hope that I can get past this odd sentiment to completely enjoy myself as a female in this life at the next one.

Cute Picture of cute friends who are NOT the weepy females 
I was referrring to!

PS--be sure to check out Andi's and Alisa's blogs.  They are both very smart girls with very cool blogs who couldn't possibly be nicer.  Andi's blog Misadventures With Andi is simply fun and topical and very professional.  And Alisa's Project Happily Ever After is a wicked, laser-insightful blog on making marriages/relationships work (her book Project Happily Ever After will be out later this year!).


Delana said...

Welcome back, Laurie. I truly missed your posts! Oh, I laughed as you were writing about this all women gathering. I feel exactly as you. There have been so many times during the last few years when I wondered what exactly is the reason for the existence of men. And as I pondered that, I surrounded myself with "my girls". Thank God for them. But as time moved on I realized that too just too much. I needed the balance back as well. So here's to balance. Such a marvelously complex... and amazingly simple idea.

Alisa Bowman said...

Awww, love you. I always feel a little out of place at conferences, too. I think it's just that "feels almost like high school" effect. I rarely experience crowds and have to socialize for any length of time anymore, so when I'm thrust back into it, it feels awkward.

Bossy Betty said...

I enjoyed your comments about laptops. I've noticed them at gatherings more and more and they are bugging me! I think this may be one thing I just have to get used to.

Andi said...

Ditto to what you and Alisa said. I take what I want from the conference and leave the rest. As an introvert I cannot deal with all that in large doses, but I think we made a good balance and I am glad we met so that we could see that yay, IRL (in real life) we like each other! I ALSO think I was a man - how funny, I am definitely the man in my house! Not that my husband isn't all man, but I know you get what I mean. You think I am more connected, but it if you actually peel back the layer, it is more like this: Each conference I meet a few people which I spend time with, and that is all I can handle, but as I go to more and more conferences, that little group becomes larger. First it was Paula and Jody, then I added Alisa and Julie, now I have added you. There are others I know because we have crossed paths at various conferences, but as you observed I did not spend a ton of time with them. It is a strategy for me to be able to be sane with my introversion while at an event like that. Again, I take what I want. And in this conference, I took you! I know that sharing those days with you will make us lifelong friends! I hope you will come again next year? Please? We have to get Delicate Flower there as well! Ok, I have rambled on enough - thanks for the shout out and you blog the way you want - one last thing. Last year there was one huge thing I took away from Blissdom and that was Megan Jordan of Velveteen Mind who said: YOU own your blog, no one else. You do what you feel is right and people will stay or they won't, but YOU own it. Blog once a week, once a month, once a year, but I will be here to read it!

Anonymous said...

Come to Austin for SXSW ... your niece and nephew would love to see you too! Bloggie awards, music and film. Plus a free place to stay. What more could you want? Well besides a free airplane ticket. --jenn

Laura aka Delicate Flower said...

Hey, Admittedly one of the reasons I didn't try too hard to make either of those was the very 'chick' kinda group you confirmed.. Though I'm jealous as I would have loved being in Andi's company.
As for the laptops... I wouldn't have done that, but I am in the midst of a bit of an internet addiction myself!

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

Ooooh, your description (sans the laptops!!) makes me so envious! Wish I could've been there with all of you! I REALLY want to try to make the next one!

Will you be blogging about other things you learned at the conference? Incidentally, I definitely posses some of those same "man qualities" as well!

Post a Comment