The BlogHer 2010 Post that was Hard to Write

I can still remember the first time I went in public after my Dad died.  It was a hard day.  I didn’t want to do it.  I was anxious and still quite raw from losing him way before a girl should lose her Dad.  See, I had this feeling that everyone knew my father had died.  Because in my mind they all knew this just by looking at me, like it was written on my forehead or something.  I was nervous and pissed.  Nervous of what they might say to me.  Pissed because they were smiling and laughing and just living
Living as if nothing had happened.
Mind you, many of these people didn’t even know me and certainly they didn’t know the devastation my family had just endured and the pain in my heart.  For me, though, they just had to know.  How could they not?
This is sort of what I felt like when I walked into BlogHer (you know, that *little* conference that was held in New York City last weekend?).  In my head I thought, at least some of these people must recognize me!  Let me explain because that sounded like I have an ego the size of my ass.  For the record, I have a really big ass.  Just ask my family.  It’s hereditary.  I blame my great great great grandmother, whom I have never met so I’m not really sure if she had a big ass or not, but there is probably nobody else still alive that could confirm or deny my claim, so I think I’m safe from legal action or being shunned at the next family gathering.
Now that you have a good visual of my ego, or lack there of, my point is that there were many people who I interacted with on a daily basis via Twitter or Facebook and, HELLO, I have flaming red hair.  Like REAL red hair.  None of that fake, purple-ish looking stuff (which is fine and cute for some, but it’s NOT my hair) so I’d like to think I am a little easy to recognize.  Actually, I know it’s true because at least a couple of my Twitter stalkers, I mean friends, told me so.  Right down to every last freckle on my face.
So I truly thought if I came face-to-face with someone who I recognized then surely they must recognize me, too, right?  Not so much. Not so much at all.  Or maybe they did notice and recognize me and that’s why they didn’t approach me. 
There was that one amazing moment walking in the hall of my hotel (all alone as was the case much of the time) and coming toward me were Daisy (@DrMommy on Twitter) and Molly (@MyGoMom on Twitter).  Now, I was easily 20 to 30 feet from them when Molly exclaimed “It’s Cathy or maybe It’s CathyIsReal” (as a side note, Molly wears glasses and SHE recognized me from a distance, so there!).  It was the most brief encounter, but I don’t think those two ladies will ever get the gravity of their smiles and what their warmth meant to me, especially at that moment.
More simple smiles would have made such a difference during this conference.  I get that we are all stressed and often racing to get from one thing to another, but it was hard.  And it was emotional.  I can’t count how many times I walked into a room by myself trying to appear like I was looking for someone when really there was noone waiting for me.  I didn’t have any invitations to dinner or to chat over coffee or just plain hang out.  Well, that’s only mostly true.  My super awesome pal Colette (@Cecedon on Twitter) saw my really pathetic and sad tweet about walking into a party alone and walking back out because I had nobody waiting for me, and she tweeted me back with her room number inviting me to come for a glass bottle of wine.  Although I was feeling tired and emotionally drained, I went.  I am so glad that I did.  We chatted for hours and it was a time I won’t forget. She is simply great and I am glad we connected in person.
I have to be honest, in the future I don’t think I will jump at RSVP’ing for private invites.  I mean I attended private parties, but the ones I got actual invites to weren’t at all what I hoped for, unfortunately.  There was one really awesome and amazing one, which will get a post all to itself.  I can’t wait to share that one with all of you. 
I mean I was excited for all of the parties, but two parties in particular because I felt they were right up my green alley and I was excited to meet others, but neither went all that well.  First, I went in through the wrong entrance for the first one.  Luckily the hostess of the restaurant was kind enough to walk me to where the party was happening.  Now, I’d like to think when you come in to a party through the wrong entrance one of the hosts will surely come and welcome you and show you to the table where your name tag is waiting, right? Nope, it didn’t happen and I’m sorry, but a packed party wasn’t the reason because at the moment I arrived there were only about 20 to 25 people there, four of them being the hosts for the night.  I did have one really great conversation with another guest that evening, so the night was not all lost.  When I made my escape exit, through the right door, there was my name tag, sitting on the table, but I never actually got to wear it.  The other not-so-great party went pretty much the same.  Me walking in alone and wandering around the room like an awkward girl in junior high who nobody wants to talk to.  I ate a couple of snacks, drank a glass of wine, and texted with my husband while sitting on a park bench.  Sounds fun, right?  Not really.  Finally, the awesome Christine (@ChristineMoers on Twitter) approached me because, if I remember correctly, she recognized me.  Yes, that’s right…..she knew who I was.  If there is something I tried to do before leaving for BlogHer, it was to have an avatar on Twitter that people would recognize and I think I accomplished that, for the most part.
I can’t finish this downer of a post without mentioning the absolutely adorable Crystal (@EwokMama on Twitter) whom I met thanks to my super great roomie Nona (@NonaNelson on Twitter).  We ended up leaving together and heading to some really fun and awesome parties!  I drank a little, nibbled on some appetizers, and danced like a fool for the rest of that night.  I needed to dance. 
Basically, what it comes down to is that even though you are sure you recognize people and you think they should also recognize you, that might not always be the case, but it also could be the case.  It’s the wondering and never knowing for sure that really just sucks.  I know you are thinking that I could have approached more people myself.  I could have definitely done that, but it was hard and the fear of rejection is an awful and gripping feeling.  Sadly, I know I am not the only one who had some of these really rough moments.  I have already read a few other posts where others went through the conference with similar experiences to mine and I hate that……almost more for them than for myself. I cried many tears, laughed a lot, and came away with some new friendships that I hope will last a really long time.  There is so much more I want to share about this experience, but I know not everyone wants to read BlogHer post after BlogHer post so I promise to space them out a bit.

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