BlogHer. (P.S. THANK YOU VistaPrint for free t-shirts!)
It actually comes in handy... my first one was for San Francisco a couple years ago, and to my great good fortune I was spotted by Schmutzie and she was my very first blogger contact in SFO.
She is beautiful and delightful and brainy and I was so so so glad to connect with her in the airport! Together we found our way to a shuttle and to the hotel and 2 years later I still think she is totally ginchy. <3
So if you are in an airport or on a shuttle bus or in a taxi on your way to New York City next month and you see the chubby lady with (lots and lots and lots of) "laugh lines" wearing this shirt, PLEASE COME TALK TO ME.
As BlogHer '10 creeps closer every day
at the speed of light ...well, I have mixed emotions about it.
Don't get me wrong - I LOVE going. I love almost everything about it: I love renewing friendships, spending time with people I adore but only get to be with once a year, meeting many blog-pals in person AT LAST... I love the swag, I love the awesome meals... I love the topics and the speakers and of course all of the people who work so hard every year to make BlogHer a success. I love visiting cities to which I've never been, seeing sights I've never seen, eating food (like my first attempt at sushi in San Francisco with Fausta, Mamacita, and Kimberly!) that I've never eaten...smooching Karl (don't be hatin' because you're jealous).
But if you truly know the real me then you're aware of one of my biggest secrets: I. Am. Painfully. Shy.
In fact, my first experience at a BlogHer conference was as a speaker on this very topic.
My online self, while it is totally real and completely me, is also much braver about "speaking up and speaking out".
My online self doesn't hesitate to type what I might only THINK in the "real" world for fear of embarrassment or a joke that falls flat or a reference that no one gets.
On the other hand...
My offline self does not go out of her way to avoid confrontation, but she is somewhat more tactful and more hesitant to speak up and out.
My offline self is shy.
My offline self is cursed with incredibly low self esteem and wonders why anyone would possibly want to be around her.
My offline self hangs on the fringes of the groups for fear of being thought too pushy, or too loud, or too TOO.
My offline self is envious that she is not more of a joiner and doesn't get the "cool" party invitations... although she'd probably be too shy to go anyway. MAYBE.
My offline self is currently suffering anxiety at the thought of the crowds and the people and the cliques and the groups of friends to which I long to belong.
I only remind you of all these things so that if you recognize me at BlogHer and I do not speak or return your wave, it's only because I was busy looking at my feet or the ground and I didn't see you, or there was so much noise that I didn't hear you.
It's only because I tend to freeze up with the pressure.
But once you get to know me? Well, I am at least somewhat likeable.
Or so people tell me.
If you're desperate for friends I mean.
Unless of course you LOATHE me online, then you will also most likely loathe me in person.
Just know that I am DYING to talk to you.
And all my misanthropic tendencies will be carefully put away until I get back home.