Last month I attended BlogHer. Those of you who didn’t go probably think it took place in Chicago. Those of us who did go, know that it actually took place in the tundra. It’s been said that Chicago is the windy city, and up until a few weeks ago, I thought the wind being referred to was that thing produced by nature. Now I know that wind is the thing the McCormick Place blows into its conference center for reasons that I can only assume are meant to KILL ALL THE PEOPLE.
My friend Coffee Lovin’ Mom pointed out this indoor wind phenomenon as we were waiting for Queen Latifah to show up for Voices of the Year. We were told she was an HOUR late due to the Chicago traffic but when she got there she was all “I was eating pizza!” And I was all, “Well of course you were, because showing up on time for a speaking engagement? F*ck that!”
I know I sound bitter, but I think I have a right to be, because while Her Majesty was sampling Chicago’s finest in deep dish, I was slowly and painfully freezing my ass off. Thanks to her tardiness, I’ve spent the last three weeks in traction in order to return my shoulders below my ears and my knees to their rightful place below my waist. It’s amazing the positions a human body will contort itself into in an effort to extract every molecule of heat from itself. At one point, I think I was actually trying to crawl up inside myself. (Don’t try to imagine that. It will traumatize you.)
As soon as the last voice was spoken, I bolted from the room with a mission to get back to my hotel and into the shower as soon as possible.
But before I could make it to my sanctuary of warmth, I was stopped by an Irishman who had arrived in the city four hours ago and just had to run across the street and nearly get hit by a bus to tell me how
beautiful I look. Love at first sight
followed by near death in an effort to express said love sounds like the
makings of romantic comedy, but it wasn’t nearly as wistful-sigh worthy (or funny) as it
sounds, especially since Irishman and I then went forty-two rounds of “Where
are you going?” “I’m not telling you.” “Take me with you.” “No.”
Irishman proceeded to ask me 14,000 personal questions, and, like a good little victim, I answered every one truthfully. It was somewhere between question 972, “What is your blood type?” and question 1,057 “What is your social security number?” that I realized I was going to end up on Dateline. All I could hear in my head as I continued to spew forth the intimate details of my life was Keith Morrison narrating my fate.
“All she wanted was to get warm. But she met an Irishman on the street and was never seen again.”
More than anything, I just wanted to walk to my hotel, but Irishman as all, “I WILL FOLLOW YOU EVERYWHERE.” And I couldn’t just hail a cab because he, no doubt, would have climbed in with me.
If there’s anything we ladies have learned from Taken it’s, don’t get in a cab with strange men.
Actually, if there’s anything we’ve learned from Taken it’s, have Liam Neeson as your father, but biology failed me on that one, so it was extra important to me that I didn’t get sold into the sex slave trade.
Finally, Irishman grew bored (or maybe he decided this kidnapping was taking way too much effort) and wished me farewell, but not before offering a few parting words of comfort, “I will be watching you from my hotel.”
To further solidify his creep factor, he gave me a hug... and naturally I thought of Copernicus the Monkey.
"A hug is like a strangle you haven't finished yet."
Lest you think my first blogging conference was all hypothermia and near kidnapping, here are a few highlights of awesome:
- Rooming with Coffee Lovin’ Mom.
- Seeing Guy Kawasaki at The People’s Party and wondering why they would ask an actor to be a keynote speaker at a blogging conference.
- Googling Guy Kawasaki and realizing he’s not an actor but the dude who invented the internet, or something.
- Saying, “I don’t know, but he’s definitely not an actor!” the rest of the conference any time someone said, “Who is Guy Kawasaki?”
- Huddling by an electrical outlet with Coffee Lovin’ Mom, Laughing Abi and She’sWrite outside the McCormick Center, hoping to get warm.
- Being told by random blogging dude that electrical outlets don’t produce heat.
- Screaming at random blogging dude, “So! Cold! All we have left is hope! Don’t take away our hope!”
- Having a blogasm* when I met The Suniverse.
I don’t know when I’ll be going to the next blogging conference or where it will be, but one thing I know for sure, I’ll be packing my parka and pepper spray. And maybe a ski mask. And some Chinese throwing stars.
And Liam Neeson. Just in case.
*That thing that happens when you meet a blogger you seriously love for the first time.