Wild and crazy (but mostly crazy) in NYC

By Mir
April 4, 2008

Do you know what I am? I am a small town girl. I like small town things. Like grass! And trees! And fluffy bunnies! And periodic silence!

We are not having much of any of those things here in Manhattan. Go figure.

And so I am trying very hard to find my moments of sanity amidst a very exciting, yes, but also very LOUD and BUSTLING and CLOSE environment.

There are the people you don’t want close to you who seem to always be right up in your face, of course, or banging into you on the street, or lurching drunkenly down the street (Dear UMass boys: You have alcohol back at school. Don’t come to Manhattan to get trashed, you idiots. Love, Mir), or asking you if you want a cheese stick (if I have refused your cheese sticks the last fifteen times you walked past me, WHY DO YOU KEEP OFFERING?). And then there’s the people you DO want close to you, but you practically have to mate to get close enough to hear one another speaking.

Anyway, I feel that last night I really got to have the Consummate New York Experience in a couple of different ways, and I need to share, because I am ALL ABOUT the sharing.

First of all, there was the cocktail party which was just for conference folks. Theoretically you had to be attending the conference to get into the cocktail party—which is why most of us were wearing our name tags like idiots—but I strongly suspect that a few non-conference folks had snuck in.

Why do I think this? Well, consider the following:

There absolutely ARE men here attending the BlogHer conference, yes. But not very many. And my experience PRIOR to last night was that any man here is really on his very best behavior with all of these women. Duh.

Okay. So! I am standing at the cocktail party last night with Nataly, who just happens to be drop-dead gorgeous. She is going to get annoyed with me for saying that, I’m sure, but she is strikingly gorgeous and I SWEAR this information is relevant to the story.

Nataly and I are standing there talking, and a man walks up to her.

Man: Are you Christina?
Nataly: Nope, sorry. I’m Nataly.
Man: Really? You look like a Christina.

*he continues to look at her expectantly*

Nataly: Yeah. Um, nope, pretty sure I’m Nataly. *she waved her hand in a Vanna-like manner underneath her name on her nametag, WHICH HE COULD SEE, which clearly said NATALY*
Man: Well where do I know you from?
Nataly: I don’t think I know you.
Man: No, no, you’re very familiar. Oh, I know! I met you at South By Southwest!
Nataly: Nope, I wasn’t there.
Man: Blog Expo?
Nataly: Nope. Sorry.

*By this time, Nataly is waggling her eyebrows at me, I’m trying hard not to laugh (and mostly not succeeding), and this guy is not taking the clue.*

Man: Well, okay, do you blog? Where do you blog?
Nataly: Work It, Mom.
Man: Oh yeah? That’s a popular one! I know that one, yeah, sure, I love Work At Home Mom!
Nataly: Work. IT. Mom. Not Work At Home Mom.
Man: Oh. Well you know, there IS a blog called Work At Home Mom!
Nataly: I’m sure there is.
Man: It’s really great. You know. For working at home moms.
Nataly: I’m sure.

*At this point I was choking. Nataly retained complete composure through the entire exchange, and by now this poor man was completely flustered.*

Man: *turning to me for help* So! Do you blog in her… ummm… community?
Me: Yep. I blog for her. She’s my boss.
Nataly: Oh no, no, Mir’s MY boss.
Man: *pauses, then his head explodes*
Nataly: *to me* So, anyway….

The man finally wandered away. THANK GOD.

Me: Nataly, that guy was totally hitting on you!
Nataly: That guy was totally annoying.

I suspect that sort of thing happens to Nataly a lot. That sort of thing never happens to ME, of course, both because I am not striking and because I emit a vibe that says I AM MARRIED AND SURLY.

So that was the first thing.

Later in the evening, a large group of us went to go find some food, and ended up at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Someone whipped out a camera and was trying to take a picture of all of us, and then we said No, wait, have someone else take a picture of ALL of us so that you can be in it, too!

So we turned to the next table where two men were sitting, and asked one of the gentlemen if he would please take our picture. He was non-plussed but agreed. We assembled, and he took the picture.

Now, on the OTHER side of the guys’ table was a table with four young ladies who watched this happen, and one of the women stood up and sort of snapped her head and said, “You shouldn’t be asking HIM to take your picture. HE should be asking YOU to take HIS picture!”

We all sort of looked at each other. Was this guy famous? Had we offended this woman somehow? The group of women continued to glare at us, and then the ringleader did another head snap and finished up with “Here’s MY camera to take a picture of US. And it’s MY BIRTHDAY!”

So someone went and took a picture for them, and then when we ordered our food we sent their table a round of pink drinks. When the waiter dropped their drinks off they waved and we all shouted HAPPY BIRTHDAY and lord we are geeks but the entire surreal experience really capped off the night for me. I mean, that NEVER happens to me in Georgia.


  1. Leandra

    WTH? WAS the guy famous?

  2. MomCat

    I can totally picture it all! Glad you are having fun (or something like it) and thanks for the mental trip. :)

  3. The Mom Bomb

    I can’t remember the last time I was hit on. Oh wait! Yesterday I was hit on for Girl Scout Cookies. And the day before that I was hit on to volunteer at the school science fair. Am I HOT or what!???

  4. Blondie

    And THAT is exactly why I left Chicago. Same story. People EVERYWHERE. All the time. In your face. Touching. Wanting things. I just had flashbacks to riding the El. Oh, I’m so happy to be OUT of the Concrete Jungle. Thank you for this reminder. Oh, and be sure to sleep butt to butt with Dorothy cause that’s how we do it when we sleep in the same bed. Go ahead. Get in her bed. Put your butt on hers. It’s comforting. ;)

  5. Flea

    Oh what fun! I love that kind of experience if I can be totally anonymous. When I lived and worked in D.C., the subway was my favorite mode of transportation, being in the crush of people, watching everyone, never having to talk, being completely anonymous. Then giving my snacks to the homeless guys on the way to work. No one ever tried to give me a cheese stick, though. How very sad.

  6. Megan

    You know what? If I were there, and male (which I wasn’t. And am not) I would totally have hit on you because you’re pretty and have nice shoes. Well, I would if I were the sort of person who would go around hitting on people.

  7. ImpostorMom

    I must emit that married and surly vibe as well. I KNOW I emit the surly vibe, i’m quite practiced at that.

    The women at the other table, what was that about? Weird.

  8. Bob

    hell, that never happened to me in NY. maybe I give off married and surly vibes too?

  9. tori

    I must be old or not very cool because I don’t get what the other table was all about? Did it make any more sense to you than it does to me? Do I need more coffee to understand this?

    I get hit on a medium amount of times, but it is almost always when my 4 kids are with me, which baffles me because what guy in his right mind would want a woman with 4 kids? I mean a woman he doesn’t know yet with 4 kids, obviously I can understand if he already knew my stunning personality (Kidding!) Wouldn’t it be easier to just find someone else who might be less complicated than I am? Besides the fact that I am married, which almost feels like a nonissue compared to how mind boggling I find it that any guy would want to take on 4 kids enough to go out of their way to hit on me.

  10. Michele

    OMG. I’m cracking up. This is the kind of thing that happens to me nearly every time I leave the house! (um. The crazy people saying the crazy things not the getting hit on part.)
    I always feel like I’m being punk’d or something.

  11. All Adither

    It was Ben Affleck wasn’t it? I know it was. He makes the rounds of all the bloggy conferences.

  12. Sharkey

    I AM MARRIED AND SURLY. Ha! I love that line. Perhaps because I identify with it so much.

  13. Janssen

    Oh dear, that guy was just making it worse by the second, what with his “I love Work at Home Mom!” I would have paid money to watch that scene unfold.

  14. Ben

    It was George Clooney, and you’re keeping the picture to yourself. Admit it.

    (surly, my ass. I sleep with surly)

  15. Law Student Hot Mama

    Welcome to the big city life. Trust me, if you had to be in such close quarters with the kind of freaks that we have roaming around my major metropolitan city on a regular basis, you’d be surly and irrationally angry, too. Especially when weird men with pregnancy fetishes hit on you on the subway.

    Good times.

    Enjoy your stay!

  16. arduous

    Haha! I really would love if you had accidentally asked some B-list actor to take a picture of you.

  17. Nataly

    Mir, you’re too kind — and can I just say how happy I am that you were standing there when the GUY walked up. I think if I were alone the fun would have ended too soon (after the second you look like a Christina comment, I am guessing).

    By the way, you emit the I am fabulous vibe all right — you just don’t look like a Christina:)

  18. Tootsie Farklepants

    WHO was the GUY?!?! And why was that girl so cranky on her birthday?

  19. Zuska

    …and you NEVER found out if the guy was famous (even if only marginally famous)???? Me, I would have had to surreptitiously snap a picture of him so I could eventually figure out who he was!!!

    I guess I’m just so used to Manhattan, the crowds don’t phase me and I can tune out the lunacy all around me. Then again, I DO get on a comfy commuter train at the end of the day and get whisked away to someplace with ample supplies of grass and trees and bunnies.

  20. saucygrrl

    Oh yes, now I remember the reason I left New York. The people can be total pricks! LOL!

  21. Heather

    We must know if he’s famous or not ;-) And married and surly was the best line evah ;-)

  22. dorothy

    Perhaps I shall have to come visit you in Georgia. Then it will happen there. :)

  23. Jenny Ryan

    Ooh, I have that exact same vibe! Especially when people come to my door and ask me for money.

  24. Delancy

    Hmmm. I just stumbled upon this blog. Funny and well-written. If only periodic silence were available on demand.

  25. Shannon

    Wild times, I tell you.

  26. Little Bird

    Somehow a doubt it was her birthday. And anyway, how were YOU supposed to know that? Was she wearing a button that said “Today I am 3”? ’cause that’s about how old she was acting. And yeah, who was the guy?
    I love the city, I live in Chicago. But I also love the country. It’s that neither one nor the other that I can’t stand. The suburbs make my skin itch. But like I said, I love the country. I like to be able to see the stars.

  27. Brigitte

    I think I’d need special medication to get through a visit to NYC, I feel like there are way too many people around everytime I step outside and even HEAR one.

    Nataly was pretty nice to the guy, back in my (very young) cute days, I’d have to resort to chilling-total-bitch mode before they’d get it and leave. Now I don’t have to worry about getting hit on anymore!

  28. barb

    I’m a small town girl, raised on a farm and currently living in a town of less than 3,000. Three years ago I “won” a trip to NYC to attend a teaching conference. OH MY GOD! How anyone lives there is beyond me! How you can go day after day without seeing a tree or blade of grass, why they can’t drive without honking incessantly at each other, how anyone ever figures out those subway maps…. it was just too much. I was never so glad to get back to my very green, very quiet, very unpopulated corner of Missouri in my LIFE! As we flew back in to St. Louis I actually turned to the woman next to me (a fellow teacher) and said with great enthusiasm “Look! Look at all the green! Grass, trees, it’s just so GREEN!” I’m sure she thought I was an utter nut, but I didn’t care!!

    Don’t get me wrong, I completely enjoyed the experience – saw the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Lion King, stayed on Times Square, etc – total tourist inbetween conferences sessions. And I wouldn’t mind going back someday with the hubs, so he could see it too. But it’s completely one of those “nice place to visit, wouldn’t want to live there” places for me!

  29. Pave.Gurl

    Y’know, these are the things I love about Southern cities – we keep our trees ‘n things scattered all over ev’rthin’.

    I recenty had a job offer to move out to LA, and I thought about all that concrete, and I just couldn’t bear the thought.

    YAY Southern cities! Yay trees!

  30. Amy-Go

    Methinks the lady at the other table had already had enough Pink Drinks. Just sayin’.

  31. Scottsdale Girl

    A round of Pink Drinks…how very fitting.

    I would have told the wench to SHUT IT and ignored her the rest of the night.

  32. Mom101

    I’m with Natalie – I think you were swanky and hot in your shapely little dress. I bet he was using (the strikingly attractive) Natalie to get to you.

    Or Christina.

    One or the other.

    Glad you are home in your happy place with no loud karaoke-rs to spill drinks on you and make you deaf.

  33. Cele

    I love this story, love it. And not all of us fall over mute for someone with a bigger name and ego. As my mother always says, “They put their pants on one leg at a time just like us.”

  34. Aimee

    Dear Mir,

    I would like to enroll in your “Emitting the Vibes of Married and Surly” workship. Currently I seem to be emitting vibes of Oh How I Do Love The Crazy People, I Hope All The Crazy People Come And Talk To Me And Then Don’t Take No For An Answer. I prefer your vibes.



  35. Catherine

    I’m just really, really hoping that GUY wasn’t my husband.

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