BlogHer was amazing, as I expected. I know tons of people are going to write posts about it, far more eloquently than I can – although, let’s be fair, I’m at a bit of a disadvantage since I’m pounding this out on the airplane with the most epic hangover I’ve had in years. (Typing blog posts in MS Word to copy & paste later, can I get an amen?)
(Also: the last time I had to get on a plane while hungover-or-possibly-still-drunk-from-the-night-before was when my cousin Teresa passed away in 2004. And even though the circumstances around last night’s alcohol consumption were much more joyous this time [celebrating new friendships rather than mourning a horrible loss], flying with a hangover sucks exactly as much as I remember.)
(Also also: hi parentheses! Prepare to be overused. My brain is basically one giant non-sequitur today.)
So, yes. I met tons of bloggers that I adore. The few “rock star” bloggers that I got the nerve to talk to were all lovely and sweet and completely gracious. Some were a little shy and awkward (which, yeah ok, I sort of forget that we’re all basically nerds; I keep thinking that I’m the only one), and some were a lot warmer than I expected and gave me big hugs. I was surprised at how many people knew my name – or rather, my Twitter handle. (Another parenthetical aside: it was VERY weird to introduce myself as PooBou for 3 days. No one actually calls me that in real life, but after a while I just kind of got used to it.)
Then, of course, there are the bloggers who I talk online with a lot, and I was worried that our online connection wouldn’t translate to real life. And you know? It totally translated. From the second I met them in person, it felt like I was just hanging out with old friends who I’ve known for years. Like there’s already an established history, it was totally comfortable and easy. I loved that.
I didn’t attend as many sessions as I wanted. Some I intentionally skipped because they just didn’t apply to me, or because I needed a nap, or because I went wandering through downtown Chicago to go meet up with an old friend (who I’ve known literally since the day my parents brought me home from the hospital, and who I hadn’t seen in over a decade). (Hi, Dendy!) Then there were a few sessions that I really wanted to attend, but they were in tiny conference rooms that I couldn’t get into. People were lined up in the hallways trying to cram themselves in, and just couldn’t. (So, if any BlogHer people read this: bigger conference rooms for the Room of Your Own sessions next year, please!) The best part of the sessions by far was the Community Keynote speeches at the end of the first day. I’ll post a link when it’s online, but seriously, I was doing the full-on ugly cry during a few of them, and almost peeing myself laughing during the others. Anyone who says that bloggers aren’t really writers should watch those.
Of course, you can’t get 1,400 women together without some drama. There were rumors about some illicit affairs happening between bloggers (which I’m 99.9% sure were all b.s.), and there were some women there who got nicknamed “swag whores” because they were literally shoving people out of the way to grab all the free stuff they could. Fortunately for me, I didn’t witness any of that, I just heard about it from other people. I’m generally not a fan of drama, so I’m honestly relieved that I missed all of that and it didn’t put a damper on the experience for me.
Overall, it was great. The swag is nice, sure. I got some cool toys to bring home to Catie. (And some for myself – ahem *thank you room 704 ladies, mwah!* cough cough.) And I got to meet Tim Gunn and have my picture taken with him, which was awesome. (And I’m waiting for the Tide people to post the picture so I can nab it, but they haven’t yet. Argh!) I was in head-to-toe Old Navy, I felt totally unfashionable, but he was so kind and funny and wonderful that I didn’t even care. Plus I made him laugh, and I didn’t accidentally say the f-word in front of him or anything, so bonus points for me.
But the whole point of going to BlogHer for me was to learn more about great writing in this space, to meet the other bloggers that I love, to hang out, and to have fun. So really, the highlight of the weekend was just sitting around a hotel with some insanely talented, hilarious, smart and just effing fantastic people who I absolutely adore, and who I am so proud to call my friends.
So, thank you so much. To Greis, Krystle, Jen, Dawn, VDog, Mrs. Flinger, BJ, Maura, Meghan, Heather, and soooo many other people I can’t even name them all, who made this weekend so completely wonderful and fun. I love y’all, and can’t wait to see you next year!