I guess it’s time to talk about the lost weekend that was BlogHer. Many people have already posted about it and I would feel remiss if I didn’t write a little bit about my experience. Let’s start with the most cliche thing: there was some good, some bad and a lot of in between. I definitely think I’d built it up to be more bonding and summer campy than it turned out to be for me.
I got to the hotel, checked in and headed to my room. On the elevator, I stepped into a gaggle of women, one of whom had the badge “Sweetney.” Hey, Sweetney! I’d heard of that blog! It was to be my first chance to make a friend, introduce myself to the world of bloggers-in-person. So I said, “Hey, Sweetney, I know your blog! I’m Stefanie from Baby On Bored.” Sweetney looked at me as if I smelled like a garlic clove and didn’t know it. She sort of nodded, then went back to her friends. Then before I got off the elevator, she let me know that I had a black smudge on my face. It was quite the “I rushed the sorority and didn’t get in” moment. So, I guess I started on a bad note. On the other hand, this whole exchange was surely mostly in my mind. Sweetney probably wouldn’t even remember meeting me. And to be fair, I’m sure that a few people probably introduced themselves to me and got a similar response if I was in a conversation or hung-over or picking lint on my jeans…
On Friday night (the night I got in) I hung out with Heather and we went to the grand ballroom where we listened to bloggers read posts that were chosen by someone who put the evening together for no real rhyme or reason that I could fathom. But…some of them were amazing. Stand outs included Y from Joy Unexpected who read about hating her body but not wanting her daughter to feel the same way – of course, it left me in a puddle of tears. She’s an amazing writer and she looked radiant and beautiful and so small standing on that big stage, speaking in her vulnerable voice. I wanted to hug her and thank her immediately. I also cried with a mom who read about trying to kill herself when she was 7 months pregnant, and then I laughed my ass off hearing the Bloggess (in a blond wig) say the word cunt a half dozen times.
After the reading we went to a few parties where I drank many lemon drop martinis. At one point, Heather introduced me to a woman she said was her friend that read earlier that night. Assuming it was the Bloggess, sans wig, I told her she was “HILARIOUS!!!” And that’s when I noticed a look of alarm on Heather’s face. “What?” I asked her. “Stef, that’s my friend who talked about trying to kill herself!” she stage whispered over the techno. SHIT. “I’m so so sorry” I told her friend. I thought you were the Bloggess with no wig, we were really far back, I didn’t know, I am humiliated, I’m just so so sorry, you were not funny at all, no no, not at all, I mean, I cried, honestly, no laughing here, crying, only crying!”
Saturday morning I woke up with a hang over, but much much worse than that, I had a migraine. Not just any migraine but a monster rip your brain out of your head – can’t function, think, eat, talk, see migraine. I get one of these about once a year or less – sometimes brought on by drinking copious amounts of wine but more often due to hormones, cheese, wind etc. so I hadn’t thought ahead to bring my medication with me. Big mistake. By 7:30 I was crying and trying to figure out how I would even dial the phone to find someone to help me. I called my husband at home in LA because that would be helpful, right? But he was feeding a baby or crying or cursing me for leaving or something because he didn’t answer. Then I called the hotel operator and asked for the nearest pharmacy (thinking I’d call in a script from my pharmacy for Imitrex) but it didn’t open until 9. I knew I wouldn’t live that long. And if you’ve ever had a migraine like this, you know what I’m talking about. An hour and half seemed like a lifetime. Five minutes seemed like an eternity. So I went downstairs and asked the concierge to hail me a cab to the ER. Yeah, good times. And, I had to ask the cabbie to pull over so I could puke next to a trash bin in an alley. Stay classy, Stef.
The ER was fun. All alone with puke on my sweater being asked by a nurse if I was homeless, had HIV, was a victim of domestic violence, wore a lot of pink and was one side of my body weak?
Then I was medicated with compazine, fluids, magnesium and NO MORPHINE because the dr. had read some dumb ass study that migraine pain can be fixed with magnesium. So, it did fix it but it took about an hour, which is like five days in migraine years.
Back at the hotel, I went and signed books at noon and met some of my favorite readers and blog writers. Too many to mention but hi to all of you who were nice enough to introduce yourselves to my post migraine self. If I seemed less than the friendliest, that is why.
Saturday night I went out briefly but my heart wasn’t really in it. I wanted to go home and see my family at that point. I was overstimulated, overestrogenated (new word – look it up, bitches) and tiiiiired. I did have some really great conversations with a few bloggers who I hadn’t known before but, like I said, not summercamp. But seriously, I’m 42, I’ve had my share of camp and I really didn’t need to sit around a campfire and listen to Dooce strum out an Indigo Girls song on her twelve string guitar while all the campers hovered around her with their cider and candles hanging on her every lilty little girl voiced lyric.
I’m so glad to be home.