But, I had gotten to know 2 other bloggers really well over the past year or so (or at least as well as you could over the internet) and really wanted to meet them in person. Couple that with the fact that I love to travel and see new cities and The Blathering was in New Orleans, a city I'd yet to visit, and the fact that I really have never done anything for JUST ME, and I was in. I told myself, "I'm just going to do this." And I did.
|I stole this picture from another attendee. I never even took my real camera out of my suitcase the entire weekend.|
First things first though. So, besides going to meet Heather and Laura, there were going to be 57 other people there that I should probably get to know as well. No problem since they were all bloggers and I most likely read all of their blogs, right? Um, no. I read exactly zero of their blogs when I signed up for this. So I had about 10 months to get to e-know 57 people. And I tried, I really did.
But, I pretty much failed. Turns out that yes, all of them started as bloggers, but apparently blogging is falling by the wayside* and Twitter is where it's at these days. Most of them tweeted way more often than blogged so if I wanted to get to know them I'd have to join Twitter too. I love social media, so even though I had plenty on my social media plate I added a helping of Twitter in too. I didn't want to be the only stranger girl in New Orleans in November.
Without drawing this out much further, I hate Twitter. It's basically a bunch of private chats, only they aren't private and can be between multiple people at once, and they are all listed BACKWARDS. So a normal conversation between people I was trying to get to know looked like this:
Twitter Person 1: Good night! Bye!! @xoiufg @orwelktj #somethingwittywrittenwithoutspaces
Twitter Person 2: Thank you so much for laughing at my jokes. I'm going to bed now. @xoiufg @orwelktj #somethingwittywrittenwithoutspaces
Twitter Person 1: HAHAHAHAHAHA! YOU ARE SO FUNNY! @xoiufg @orwelktj #somethingwittywrittenwithoutspaces
Twitter Person 2: Dumbbell didn't work so I had to knock. @xoiufg @orwelktj #somethingwittywrittenwithoutspaces
Twitter Person 1: Dumbbell who? @xoiufg @orwelktj #somethingwittywrittenwithoutspaces
Twitter Person 2: Dumbbell. @xoiufg @orwelktj #somethingwittywrittenwithoutspaces
Twitter Person 3: Who's There? @xoiufg @orwelktj #somethingwittywrittenwithoutspaces
Twitter Person 2: Knock Knock. @xoiufg @orwelktj #somethingwittywrittenwithoutspaces
Dumb I tell you. Dumb. But apparently I'm the minority on this because all of the rest of them love it. And love it so much that on our name tags for a BLOG get together they included our twitter names instead of our blog names! Crazy, right? I think they should rename this gathering from The Blathering (Blog Gathering) to the Twithering.
|Another stolen picture. Thanks Laura. I didn't even ask if it was okay!|
I get there, find my e-friends and we go downstairs to the hotel bar to meet others and decide what to do about dinner. I am SUPER overwhelmed when we get there. I can usually fake it 'til I make it, but there was very limited personal space, very loud volumes, and very many people I did not know. I tried though, really. And then, Laura, Heather and I broke off from the group to go to dinner on our own to get to know each other better before we dove in headfirst to all of the group stuff the next day. It was lovely. I love them even more in real life than through the internet, if that was even possible.
|We had just officially "met" hours before this. Don't we look like friends from way way back? No awkward spaces between us or anything!|
And speaking of sleeping...I did not do too much of that. You see, our hotel was at the corner of loud and louder streets, meaning there were drums, (YES DRUMS), tubas, car horns and sirens outside of our hotel window at all times. And the hotel is well aware of this as they issue ear plugs to all of their guests. Obviously, the appeal of this hotel was their location. The ear plugs helped, but I still struggled to fall asleep each night. And those ear plugs? They didn't drown out the sound of my phone ringing at 7:30 Saturday morning! JOHN!!
I'm doing a terrible job of explaining all of this. I make it sound like it was awful. No sleep. Strangers. Crazy city.
But it was far from all of that. In fact, it was extremely fun. And even though I may not remember that I met you or what we talked about (again, information/faces overload) I enjoyed meeting every single person and chatting with you. I couldn't believe how pretty Arwen was. Or how Maggie and Megan weren't vegetable lovers either! And Sheila was so funny. And there were so many more that I talked to, but I was too ashamed to re-ask their name. I am so terrible with names that half of the time I don't bother to re-ask because chances are, I won't remember the second time either. So, all of you nameless people, I loved meeting you too!
|Hey look! All people on the internet aren't creepy and/or weird. There are actually beautiful and nice people on the scary internet, too! But yes, we can be weird too.|
But most of all, I made new friends. Well, I already considered them friends, but my Mama insists that they were strangers until we met face to face. So now, I can officially call them friends. My Mama says so.
And if life doesn't get in the way, I may even go back next year. It's in Charleston, SC next year which is driving distance for me. Plus, I have a whole year to prepare this time. I could make flashcards to learn people's names and stats. That's not creepy at all, right?
*Here is the list of things I had to Google while writing this post:
Falling off the wayside. Apparently it's falling by the wayside.