I'm Naming This Post Shut Up Because...You'll See
Blogher wrap-up posts must be so boring to read if you weren’t there. They’re kind of boring even when you were. Especially when this year they all seem to share the same sentiment “It’s fine to like free stuff, but don’t be an ass about it”.
But, this post will be superior because it involves a butler and dinosaurs. Beat that, internet.
First off, you’ll be happy to know that I did not in fact perish on the flight to Chicago. Although at one point I did say “Oh, God save me” out loud and reached out for the lady next to me.
In a nutshell (doesn't that phrase always make you think of Austin Powers? "Help! I'm in a nutshell!") my experience at Blogher was that it was probably one of the best weekends of my life.
I wasn’t sure what to expect this year seeing as I’ve missed the last two Bloghers. I wasn’t sure if anyone would know me anymore or even care to, especially considering my spotty posting. I thought I knew for a fact that none of my loyal readers could possibly be there. I based this on insecurity and sense of doom rather than actual research. (small voice) Also, my sitemeter.
But, I didn’t really care. I was going with someone who I love and adore in real life and was fortunate enough to be involved in three kickass parties, so I was happy to come as The Help.
Imagine my surprise when I spent the entire time being punched in the face with love and support from brilliant and funny people.
Yes, what you read is true. There were total swag hags (credit: Lindsay) and they were pretty intent on getting their lip glosses and kiwis. I was even chastised by one woman when I picked up a keychain out of curiosity and was frantically told “I was reaching for that!”. I put the keychain back down in shock and made it a point not to look at her Blogher badge. I didn’t want to know who she was. What if I loved her blog? I didn’t want to know who she was. Awesome.
It’s true that some people were grabby and greedy and downright criminal about the...things. And you know what? I feel bad for them. I feel bad that they will never know what Blogher used to be, and what Blogher still is to those of us that have been here awhile. Blogher was an extension of the blogosphere, a continuing conversation. Not a vulture fest.
I feel bad that they will never know the feeling of walking away from Blogher with a fistful of new blogs to read, a camera full of memories, your mouth aching from all the smiling, your voice hoarse from all the laughing. I pity those that think Blogher is about free detergent. But, I comfort myself with the knowledge that I can choose MY Blogher experience. I refuse to let the swag hags take that from me.
Pretty much any swag I received had my name on it. I never felt entitled and I honestly would not have minded if those bags intended for me went to someone else. I got what I wanted: friendship. I can’t begin to tell you how overwhelming it was to have people tell me that I’m the reason they started blogging, to have people whom I admire and respect the hell out of tell me that I have talent, to laugh until I cried with Yvonne and Amy and Lindsay and Isabel and Jenny just to name A FEW and all of these you-just-had-to-be-there-funny people.
I left Chicago thinking “How lucky am I?”. How fortunate am I that I get to leave Orange County with no money in the bank and spend four days being ME. How fortunate am I that I can meet someone who reads my blog and know immediately that I don’t have to pretend. They already know. They know I rent. They know we struggle. They know my failures. They already know me.
I can’t tell you how many people came up to me and whispered “We were almost in foreclosure too” or “My dad died of cancer too” or “I can’t have another child either”.
Where else do you have conversations like this within minutes of meeting each other?
I know I’m being self-indulgent and cheesy, but I don’t care. This weekend was a life-saver. It was an ego-saver. It was emotional salve for my battered spirit.
People who elbowed babies in the head for stickers will never understand that. And I pity them.
I pity them with humor.
Blogher is about supporting each others’ writing. And for most of us it still is.
As I told Chris in comments, the good writers will win out. They have to.
Now a word about sponsors. I L-O-V-E that there are big name sponsors at Blogher now. I am so freaking appreciative that huge brands have realized what a valuable market we can be and are willing to trust us with thousands of dollars to have a good time with our friends while incorporating their brand into our warm memories, NOT our conversations.
I’m so appreciative that major brands are willing to trust their reputation with our vision to create top notch events like this:
The CheeseburgHer Party
(How many brands should be OK with me riding an invisible horse across the dance floor clutching a string of drink tickets in my teeth? All of them.)
And may I also mention, the parties I was a part of had zero swag. The wave of the future? We shall see in New York 2010. Because I will so be there.
*Pic credit: Angella (thanks yous!)
Update: Telling Dad is my new hero.