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.