Sunday, July 20, 2008

Just to see you in the flesh

I don't quite fit in.

My mother agrees. Neither of us have ever quite fit into a group. We have friends, but not a group of friends. In fact, our friends tend to have their own groups, and then us. There must be some explanation for it.

It's not that I don't like my friends' friends. I do. They have lovely friends. It seems though, that I'm just not thought of in a group situation like that.

I'm not a joiner I guess. I don't get asked to join, and I don't seek out joining. I'm happy with my friends from all different groups. I wonder some times why I am that way, but I don't worry. Wonder, not worry.

This quirk of mine makes attending something like BlogHer a little tricky.

Last year, I let it stress me out. It bothered me that I didn't know where to sit for lunch because the 10 people I wanted to talk to were all at 10 different tables talking to several other women that I didn't really know. I didn't know how to handle it.

This year, I chose to not let it stress me out. I ran into people I knew and chatted with them when I could. I sat with people I didn't know and worked on getting to know them.

I chilled out.

It was so much better.

I think I had expectations last year that were unreasonable. I thought that these online relationships that I cherish so would blossom into real life relationships with honest to goodness friends who chat on the phone and what not.

Really, though, I don't think that is what BlogHer was all about. It didn't create stronger bonds with these women who I read and adore. It didn't turn my online friends into real life girlfriends like Susan.

What it did was give me an opportunity to simply bask in the realness of these women who are already an important part of my life.

I got to see Kristen's beautiful baby bump for myself.

I got to watch Slouching Mom hold my son and make him coo and giggle.

I got to skip a session with Kristie again.

I got to snark snark with my favorite angel, Mamma.

I got to share a smile in person with Jennifer who always makes me smile online.

I got to hug Jenny's neck and tell her I was so glad the seal lived.

I got to hang with a gaggle of DC Moms who I have fallen hard for because of their writing, but also because of their friendship with my friend.

I got to just mention to Amy that I saw her post about her flight and was sorry she had such a hard time. I didn't even need to introduce myself; it was just nice to say in person that I was glad she had made it.

I enjoyed just flitting around with Christopher, seeing whomever I happened to see.

I skipped a lot of the parties, wandered around alone a lot, and actually? Had a marvelous time, and am feeling quite recharged about blogging. I believe, that is the point of attending a conference in the long run, isn't it? The recharging?

Edited to add:
Once again, I hear in my head what I'm saying without having actually said it. My point should have been that getting to see the bloggers who I read and care about is a bonus. But blogging is an actual form of communication. I didn't start emailing personal notes to a bunch of people I met, nor did my phone bills go through the roof. I just kept blogging. Reading and writing.

So what I meant was that the friendships I've created have tended to stay online with the exception of getting to see people at BlogHer. Real life was just in contrast to online.

This of course does not apply to anyone whose house I have attended a BBQ at or whose daughter I have shared ice cream with.

I hope I got that right this time. I so loved seeing everyone. That is really the main point.