Sunday, August 8, 2010
in the flesh!
on friday night, genie, known to many as the inadvertent gardener was kind enough to plus one me at a blogher event--monster blogging convention in nyc. i have kept this little blogspot for four years, compelled mostly by having kept journals for twenty-three years prior to that. yet i have never attended a blogher coference.
being someone who exists on the fringes of the blogging community--actually, not even on the fringes, but really quite invisible to the blogging community, this was a total and complete oddity to me.
in addition to the prohibitive expense of the conferences, i've just never been much of a belonger. (isn't that a word, yet?). i've always tried to look on the bright side of my ostracize-inducing upbringing as a jehovah's witness by recognizing that being forced from day one to stand on the outside (no pledge of allegience, no eating of other kids' birthday cupcakes, no making of construction paper santas or valentines), i never struggled with the painful goal of fitting in. hell, i didn't even fit in with the jehovah's witnesses, being a non-believer, wanting to wear combat boots from age eleven, having an agnostic father, and a believer of a mother who extended her worship to boy george (oh, i'm getting in trouble right now) and let--no--encouraged me go to school dressed like him (is there a label for a girl who dresses as a man dressing as a woman?).
so i keep this little blog here without much ceremony. my peeps in california have a way to feel connected to me (shut up, facebook), and i continue some sense of journaling (no matter how unfortunately censored by your complaints and judgments it may be). but it's small. i can't and refuse to twitter or tweet or understand what tumblr is and how it's different from blogging. i don't make money on ads, or hold giveaways from companies desperate to influence my vast readership. i just do my best to keep posting, and delight when one of my handful of commenters joins in with my words.
so the blogher party was such a mixed up experience for me. it was at once business (the nyc hilton catering to us, the keynote speakers were awesome and inspiring), and high school reunion (or what i imagine a high school reunion would feel like), and prom (helium balloons!) and project graduation (take a polaroid with props!). there were activities to entertain us, drinks to loosen us, the popular girls walking around like celebrities--which leads me to the other twilight zone aspect of blogging that i'm still trying to digest.
you read people's daily journals. every now and then you hang out with them in a small group of other bloggers . they feel like old friends because you share in their daily thoughts, but so do thousands of others, so they feel like celebrities too. so when you see them at the conference, you default to that 'i don't want to be a groupie' feeling and avoid them. and you feel like a jerk for that because you like them and would love to say hello. and when one of them recognizes you (not for your fairly inconsequential blogging voice, but for your stripes and polka dots, tattoos and loud stories) you feel so happy, as though they aren't normal people with the capacity to remember human interaction. these basics of the blogging world still mess with my mind.
but then i run into danielle, who rocks my world and actually does feel like a friend, and i marvel that i am spending a very normal friend hang with genie, a woman i'd only met in the flesh for about 2 minutes previously, yet feel is a friend via our online friendship. and we run off with a group of women whom i'd never met, yet share a passion for photography and also happen to post random strings of words on this intenet thing. and we take pictures in times square, as if i haven't lived here for 14 years, and i delight in the fresh eye their excitement at being here brings to me, and all in all, it's pretty damn awesome.