I last went to New York City about twenty years ago. My father took me there for a weekend; I was still, in my teenage wisdom, planning to become the next Meryl Streep, and needed to go to an audition in Manhattan to secure a spot in a prestigious summer theater program. (I was accepted and went and had a great time and went on to win several Oscars. Well, maybe not that last part.) We ate a lot of good food and I spent a couple of hours sitting slack-jawed with wonder at a Broadway show, and best of all, I had my Daddy to protect me from the vermin of the city.
(Oh, I kid. Chris would make a for a rather unwieldy talisman, though I’ve already threatened to put her in my purse for safekeeping owing to her recent spate of woes. She was a little too enthusiastic about the idea, too, if you ask me.)
Anyway, we already know that I’m a nervous traveler under the best of circumstances. I don’t know why. Oh, wait. That’s a lie. I actually DO know why. It might be because I’m an anal-retentive control freak and change makes me weepy. But that’s just a guess.
After living in the sticks for so many years (and not exactly being a big city sort, prior to that), I feel certain that native New Yorkers will take one look at me and laugh themselves silly at my bewilderment, pausing only to steal my shoes. Can you ride on the subway barefoot?
Chris and I will be doing the BlogHer Business conference, and while there are a handful of folks I’m really looking forward to seeing, I expect this conference to be really different from the one this past summer. For one thing, I don’t anticipate bone-crushing jetlag because this time I get to stay in my own time zone. Woo! For another, I suspect this will be a very different audience and a different tone… it will feel less like I fell through a wormhole and emerged at the world’s largest sorority party and more like actual work.
And then of course there will be my continuing undercurrent of anxiety about getting lost, being mugged, or having a large building fall on me. So that should keep it all interesting.
In preparation for having to take off my pajamas and interact with people face-to-face, I went and had my hair cut and colored today. The trip was, perhaps, the universe’s way of trying to make me feel a bit more open to change; I’ve come to realize that if I wasn’t already moving, I’d have to break up with my stylist. Consider the facts:
1) Last time she did my color, I still had a lot of grey. I mentioned that and she modified accordingly, putting me under a dryer with the color on. The result was superior grey coverage… for my roots. Now the only grey I have is on the ends of my hair. How very… geriatric punk rock.
2) I asked her not to layer the back and she layered the back. Does she think that because she’s standing behind me I cannot see her? I’m facing a GIGANTIC MIRROR, after all.
3) She has gone from gently teasing me (“Oh, you always say it’s bushy in the back”) to outright heckling me (“You just want what you want and I feel very sorry for whoever you go to in Georgia, with your ‘I want to grow it but cut it’ requests!”). Now, I’ll admit to being a bit particular and also being something of a moron when it comes to trying to describe what I’m after, but I’m pretty flexible (I almost always end whatever I’m asking for with “but you do what works, I trust you”), I’m polite, and HELLO, I’m paying. If I want abuse, I can get it at home for free.
4) She put a handful of goop into my hair that gave me helmet head, then said “Now tomorrow you can just spritz it with water, re-scrunch it, and you’ll be good to go!” Yes, I COULD do that, or—here’s an idea—I could wash all that crap out and have hair that feels like hair. Because I’m crazy that way.
So. That didn’t seem like the best possible trip omen, truthfully, but there it is.
And then tonight Chickadee was seven different kinds of bratty, culminating in a spectacular meltdown where she clung to me and cried, “I don’t want you to go, you are my Mama and your job is to be here with MEEEEEEEE!” and part of me wanted to cry right along next to her and say, “You’re right, I should never disrupt your schedule, plus those pants I packed make my ass look huge and I may as well just stay here.” I didn’t do that, of course. We snuggled and talked and I assured her that it’d just be a few days and that this was good for Mama’s work and eventually she felt better and went to sleep, and I went and marinated in guilt for an hour and made a mental note to pick her up a little souvenir, like maybe a pony.
If you’re going to be at the conference, come on over and say hi. Chris will be the one eating nothing but delicious, hypoallergenic fruit, and I will be the one with mostly-brown hair and a death grip on my shoes.