Thursday, August 18, 2011

What Not to Do With Your Underwear

I walked into my hotel room and stopped short. The maid had been there.. The wastebasket had been emptied, the sink was wiped down and the beds had been made. Housekeeping had made another discovery, as well. How embarrassing. My turquoise boy-cut Hanes underwear were on top of my pillow, staring at me.

I was in town for the womens' blogging convention, Blogher. Leaving my hotel room bright and early, I was rushing to get to breakfast and then my next session. That's how Blogher is..there is always somewhere to be, and always five minutes ago. Or maybe that's just me.

I have a terrible habit of leaving my underwear under my pillow at home. My giant dog, who can put her head upon my higher-than-normal bed, has a tendency to steal underwear that are left at the foot of the bed at night. After a few mornings of waking up to find my unmentionables had become a snack, I took aversive action. Into the hamper with those skivvies. She found them there, too. Yum yum. Munch, munch, munch, she said. That's when my underwear ended up under my pillow when I sleep.

So here I was, at the Marriott, 5-star resort, and the housekeeper thinks I am

1) a pig.
2) so drunk I either
A) forgot where I put my underwear
B) got lucky and was so carried away I didn't think about where my underwear were

Unfortunately, the truth is a lot more boring. I didn't get drunk. I certainly didn't have sex with anyone. I simply went on auto-pilot without thinking. It's like when you drive the kids to school everyday and then forget that it's a weekend and you are going to the grocery store and you drive there only you end up halfway to school? Again, just me?

It seems silly, I won't ever see the housekeeping staff again. But I realize...I am so boring. I can't help wishing I had at least had sexier, more interesting underwear. Something hot pink, lacy, racy and thongy? I have those, I just didn't wear them. When you get to be my age, sometimes comfort wins over sex appeal. And since I knew no one would be seeing my underwear but me, I didn't really worry about it. (What comes to mind is the age-old momism, "Did you put on clean underwear? What if you get in an accident??") Instead, the maid not only saw my underwear, she had to touch them.

When I left the hotel room, I cleaned up after myself, picking up trash, making my bed, rinsing out the sink. I checked under the pillow twice. And I left a big tip.

My check-in tip on foursquare: "Check under your pillow so you find your underwear before the maid does," Social media for the win. Don't say you haven't been warned.

Monday, August 08, 2011

My Blogher Recap: The Third Time was the Charm, Four Balls, That's a Walk

This is not the popular opinion, and I feel the need to write a disclaimer. This is my fourth Blogher, and it has treated me well, for the most part, but this year the star didn't shine nearly as brightly as it has in the past..

Back from BlogHer and there is one word that comes to mind for my experience: disconnected. I know, sounds like I had an awful time, but that's not true. What is true is that there were a lot of people at BlogHer, which, at times made it very difficult to find my people. It is true that the first night I came this-close to heading back to my room after cruising The People's Party, saying hi to the scant number of people I recognized, and a few I didn't. Then, feeling like a fish out of water, I flopped on to a nearby bench,where I had a great conversation with someone I had never met. Later I went back to the party, and found people I knew. And it was good.

It's true I spent sessions mostly alone or with new people. It's true that I ate lunch, again, mostly by myself, or with new people. I headed into parties and saw a sea of unfamiliar faces, all of whom were already attached. My wing-woman friends didn't make it this year, so I was on my own to find companionship.. It proved to be a challenge. Because, really, how long can you hang out in a cocktail circle of people you know in real life (but better online) without seeming like some sort of creepy stalkerish person? I can tell you. Exactly ten minutes. Beep. Time to find a new circle. Ever wonder how you can be lonely in a sea of 3000? I do. Everyone is very friendly; but where are your friends? Hopefully, you brought those with you. That sounds pathetic. I don't mean to complain.

I don't want you to feel sorry for me. In some respects, I had a great time. There were high points. I did a lot of dancing with friends, (When I could find them) and hung out in hotel rooms for great conversations with both old friends and at 2 a.m. in the lobby, as well. I had some nice meals with people I basically foisted myself upon (thank you to you, by the way). In outward appearance, I am sure it looked like I was having a grand old time. I did have fun, in snippets. It was just the overall package that didn't work for me. At some point, you get tired of inviting yourself along and just want to be included by someone who wants you there. You want to be expressly invited to dinner, to the party, to wherever, instead of just...tagging along.

On the way home, I had a lot of time to ruminate and I have decided that as much as I like Blogher, that ship has sailed. That martini has been shaken. That blog has been posted. This was Blogher #4 for me, and I think I am just done. I am at that awkward stage: I am too old to drink 'til distraction, but I still like to stay up until the wee hours. I just feel like I have no business there, with the cool kids. I love almost everyone at Blogher, but am a friend to few. I enjoyed seeing people, but as far as deep connections? Few and far between. I felt in the way, a lot. If you fall off the face of social media and no one is there to see it, do you even make a sound? That's where I am right now.

I will continue to blog, and to tweet, but think during the week of Blogher, I will take a sabbatical. I am too old to feel "in the way." High school was a long, long time ago, and wasn't much fun; I really don't cherish reliving it. So I won't be doing that again.

Ever want to feel like the only girl in the room? Go to Blogher by yourself. The experience will trigger every insecurity you have ever felt. And you will find just how far you have yet to go in order to feel accepted.

Friday, August 05, 2011

So Blocked This Post Has NO Title

It's like when you get constipated. You have the urge, but can't do the purge. The problem is not that I don't have ideas. I am so clogged up with ideas that one can't make it through the pipeline. I can't seems to narrow my focus or lessen my stress enough to actually get something of *import down on paper. I read others' blog posts and think, "I could have written that! I had that thought, I just didn't take it to fruition.

I think I need my Eighth grade english teacher. She is the one who taught me to write. She gave me permission to develop my voice; I believed that what I had to say was important, and it was. Of course, later that year, she leaned over me, took a big sniff, smelled the acrid second-hand smoke that I was marinated in from my mother smoking in the house and said, with disdain: "Do you smoke?" She was loud enough for some of my classmates to hear, and they snickered. Yes, she wasn't named Mrs. Dick for nothing. True story. But the damage was done; I believed I could write. It was in my blood.

My daughter is also a writer, and a more prolific one than I was at her age. I would write what I called "story starters," pen several tens of pages of my "novel", then either get stuck or bored and intend to go back and add to it. Sometimes I actually did. My daughter, on the other hand, has done a program for writers called, NoNoWriMo, which is simply National Novel Writing Month. In one month, she has written 50,000 words. And not only has she done this once, but twice. I could only hope to have that kind of commitment.

Why is it that when you are young, with nary a story to tell, the pen flows freely, almost on it's own, but once older and with more experience, it is much harder to find the time to tell the story? I consider this God's cosmic joke. I know I have a story to tell. I just can't FIND it.

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