Tuesday, July 30, 2013

BlogHer For Introverts.

I attended this year's BlogHer conference in Chicago. As one of the Voices of the Year, I thought I should go despite my acute introversion. I thought being named one of the Voices of the Year would propel me out of my shyness. In hindsight, that makes me laugh.

My husband and I drove from Detroit to Chicago and enjoyed the sights along the way.




We contemplated doing some Christmas shopping at the numerous retail outlets along the way. 

The Lion's Den seemed nice.




I especially liked the logo.




We stayed at the Radisson Blu which I insisted on calling the Radisson Bleu with a French accent filled with ennui. I should have called it the Radisson Bleh. Or the Radisson Meh. It was clean and modern yet soulless. I should offer to write their advertising copy.




It wouldn't be a blogging conference without taking some selfies so I did that in the hotel mirror. This strapless top was in danger of falling down all night. But I think that added to the thrill of being in the big city.




It wouldn't be Chicago without taking a picture of my husband in a bib. I made him wear it and nothing else later on at the Radisson Bleu. Me-ow.



Since I don't have a decent full-length mirror at home, I checked out my ass in all my pants and skirts. Don't lie. You do this too. You just have the good sense not to take a picture of it and post it on the internet.




Later, I wore a Jockey Fit Kit cup on my head and sang "Hello, My Baby" like that ragtime frog on Looney Toons. I regret not making a Vine video of this. For that, I apologize.




Once I established that meeting new people amongst the throngs of bloggers at the conference still gave me hives, I ditched the Saturday sessions and went sightseeing with my husband.




We took edgy photos in front of the art museum and felt like Bonnie and Clyde without the guns or the bags of cash. Okay, maybe I wasn't being "edgy" so much as "hungover." I shared a bottle of wine with this lady the night before:

The beautiful and witty Lexa of Lemmonex.

If you don't know Lemmonex you should get yourself over to her blog and introduce yourself. She's one of my best blogger buddies and this is our third tour of BlogHer together.

I also had the good fortune to spend time with the adorable and charming Sara of Animal Crackers. 


Sara taunting me with a picture of Sparty. Go Blue.

My husband was particularly excited to get photo evidence of me Instagramming during lunch. 




Mark my words, this photo will turn up as Exhibit A the next time I tell him to put away his phone at the table. Aren't lawyers precious? Don't ever argue with one. Trust me. Now you know why I wear tops that look as though they're about to fall down. It's the only way I can win an argument.

We also went out to dinner with my beloved Turhan, one of my best friends since middle school. 


Imagine us with stringed instruments and braces.


Turhan and I met in orchestra. He was last chair of violas and I was last chair of the violins. It was screechy kismet. He was kind enough to drag me out of my introverted shell and insisted that we be friends. I never knew what this terribly handsome and popular boy ever saw in me, but I was grateful for a friend.

I still am.

I also remain the same introverted dork who's not particularly good at meeting new people unless they drag me out of my shell by force, preferably in an orchestra pit. Thus I'm still not great at blogging conferences. I accept this as something that is not going to change anytime soon. And this is exactly why I brought my husband and made plans to meet up with wonderful friends who don't terrify me.

Thank you, friends.

Thank you, husband.

I will say the one event at BlogHer that you can't miss, even if you are paralyzed by introversion, is the Voices of the Year readings. Hearing these talented women read their work aloud for an enormous crowd is both mind-boggling and inspirational. They absolutely rocked it. They made those of us in the audience laugh until we were doubled over. They made us cry. They lifted us up and inspired us to keep on doing what we love. Even if we look like fools in the process.

Or at least they did that for me. Which is why I'm here blogging again, trying to come out of my introverted shell and write a bit more. If you'd like to read some of the amazing Voices of the Year posts, I recommend these: 


Zakary Watson from Raising Colorado read her hilarious post:



JC Little from The Animated Woman read her disturbing and funny post:


Shannon Bradley-Colleary from The Woman Formerly Known As Beautiful:


Ann Imig of Ann's Rants inspirational and also funny post:



There were some others I enjoyed as well but I haven't been able to locate them yet. As soon as I do, I'll post them. Enjoy!


32 comments:

  1. Really sorry I didn't see you. I would have loved to have just said a hello, and to thank you , for the depth of your posts.

    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was too busy hiding in my hotel room.

      ;-)

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  2. You are far too kind. Seeing you was the bestest part of my trip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DON'T MAKE ME USE AN EMOTICON LEXA!

      I loved seeing you and Frederick loved meeting you. Can't wait to see you again.

      *Resisting use of heart emoticon*

      Delete
  3. Good read, as always and hard to see you as an introverted person, but in writing sure is easier. In any case, introverted or not, you are still hilarious.

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  4. Mandy, I never knew you as so shy...and you have been making me laugh till I cry (and now that I've had kids, wee a little) since 1995! Congrats on your honors...you deserve it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should ask Bridget about how nervous I was asking her out on our first lunch date. As a matter of fact, she might have had to ask first!

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  5. Thank you for making me laugh out loud with your old timey bra cup hat. Totally made my morning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that's right up your alley, based on your most recent comment. Ha!

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  6. One of my favorite "adult" stores is in FL. Not that I'd ever been in there, but with a name like "Pandora's Box"...

    I used to wear my nursing bra on my head. There are no pictures. :-)

    Band buddies are the best. I still have one in reserve...

    Now off to visit your links. :-)

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have to stop by the Pandora's Box the next time I'm in Florida...

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  7. Our adult store has a boring name and boring logo, BUT it does have a drive thru.

    Excellent recap!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Drive thru? So I could wear sunglasses and speed through incognito? Love it.

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  8. I am so glad you enjoyed my reading, my biggest fear was nobody would laugh (with me or at me).

    xx-Z

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How could no one laugh with you? Your story was hilarious and your delivery was perfect!

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  9. Nashville boasts of having The World's Largest Adult Book Store. There's a hideous sign right on I-40 as you drive the downtown loop. But sadly, we have no fornicating animals on our sign. I feel very deprived now... or depraved for wanting animals on our sign.

    I'm glad you had a good trip! I love all your photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing says loving like fornicating animals. <--- Tagline. Bingo. This is why I'm a copywriter. Zing!

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  10. Thank you for your comment on my blog. Hell, I should try blogging again too.

    Nice to meet you, gorgeous funny person. Yeah, can't imagine what Turhan saw in you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for inspiring me to write more! You were hilarious and inspirational all in one!

      Delete
  11. Looks like you had a good time at BlogHer. Sorry about the parking rates.

    As a fellow introvert, I'm going to recommend a book: 'Quiet' by Susan Cain.

    It is enormously rewarding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. The parking rates were a bit ... aggressive. Sheesh.

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  12. you went?! you did it?!?! and you are an introvert too?!?!?! i find all of these things shocking! but you must be quite a bit less socially awkward than i am! lol. glad you went, and glad you had a good time. i will check out your recommendations, too.

    p.s. you are beautiful. and you can wear strapless clothes. and you can post pics of your ass. lol. i am officially jealous of you! I AM NOT KIDDING!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not only did I go, it was my third time! I'm not socially awkward around people I know or small groups of people. So yes, I can adapt to social situations.

      P.S. I can do all of those things, but that isn't to say I don't feel squeamish about doing them....

      Delete
  13. I wore my boob cups on my head, too! We are sisters!

    I love the picture of your husband in the bib. I also love that you used the word "ennui."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boob cups as headwear should be a rite of passage for potential friends.

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  14. Your outfit was amazing! I want! :o)

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  15. Once upon a time, I used to spend a lot of conference time in my room, tho eventually I got a bit better at finding kindred spirits. I like your method of lining up friends to socialize with, and bringing your husband along.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I've at least learned that much. ;-)

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  16. How wonderful! I will have to go check out those posts.

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    Replies
    1. You won't regret it. They are hilarious!

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