Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Blathering

Hey! So, a lot of my (few) readers know me in real life. Mainly because I share my blog posts over on my personal Facebook page because my Mom wants me to. It's how she knows there is something new to read, and who am I to not do as my Mama told me? Anyways, so yes. Many of you know me from school, friends, work, or whatever. So, you will totally not be surprised when I tell you I flew away for the weekend to meet 50 something strangers of which I had met exactly ZERO in person before. Yeah, that's totally the Lacey you know, right? [If you don't know me, then I'll spell it out for you...that is definitely not something I would normally do.]

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.

The Blathering
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'm basically failing at getting to "know" anyone before we go. And then life happens and it goes by so fast and then it's the day before I leave and I know nothing about no one except for a few of them that still blogged. But don't ask me their names or what they did or looked like. My memory was definitely on overload. MAX CAPACITY.

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 now, it would seem appropriate that I do a rundown of where we went and what we ate and what we saw. But, I feel so incredibly repetitive doing this because Heather already did it for me. And you know what? I did not leave her side the entire weekend so everything she did, I did. Except for sleeping in until 9 on Saturday morning. I woke up at 7:30 due to a phone call from my lovely husband who didn't know I was in a different time zone.

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.
I ate gumbo and liked it. I even had shrimp and wasn't totally grossed out by it's texture. I tried new beers and drinks and beignets. Twice.


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.


A'Dell said...

I tried shrimp too! And while I didn't LIKE it, I didn't VOMIT IT UP, so perhaps we shall call that a win?

And you're right, it should be called The Twithering. It should. I wish people blogged more too. WORDS ARE NICE!

Was lovely to meet you in person, if only for a few moments. I'm really looking forward to getting to know you even BETTER over this next year so in Charleston I can run straight up to you with a big hug and a cocktail, no nametags required.

Laura Diniwilk said...

I have been sad all day that I failed to hug you goodbye. Must plan trip before Charleston to remedy this. Miss you already!!!

Jessica said...

It was lovely to meet you! I wish I'd had more time to get to know you:)

Also, I had no idea that was where the term blathering came about. I thought it was like: we're all bloggers, we're wordy and like to blather on, hence we shall get together and do a lot of


Erica said...

I hate twitter. There is definitely a big twitter faction at the blathering. I don't hate people who tweet but I will just never get on that bandwagon.

Diana said...

What's up with the shrimp dislike?! First vegetables, now shrimp. Oy!
I am so glad I avoided twitter, reading the small paragraph made my head hurt.

MillerMama said...

I am sad that two of the nametags are my first name but neither belonged to me. Or DID it?!?...mwahaha!

And no big surprise bc we are the same person but I don't understand Twitter and hate the texture of shrimp.

Lacey said...

Well, I can't be sure if that's what the Blathering means, but it's what my mind came up with. Maybe I'm making stuff up and everyone is too sweet to tell me! :)

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Wait, Blathering is a mash up of Blog Gathering?! My mind is blown as well, Jessica!

I loved meeting you Lacey, my fellow newbie! Thanks for letting me crash your table at Cafe Du Monde and I'll pay you folding dollars for a set of those flashcards for next year!

-R- said...

Erica Huff made a spreadsheet of all the attendees before the Austin Blathering, so you would only be a little bit creepy if you made flashcards. =)

I loved meeting you! (And Heather, obviously)

Megan said...

I am so glad I am not the only one who is weird about food. It's a wonder we've survived until adulthood! I am delighted I got to spend some time with you talking at dinner. I was so happy to meet you! You're so tall and so gorgeous! I hope I see you next year!

Shalini said...

This is news to me TOO. I had no idea. Also, I don't think I even got to say HELLO to you. But you looked very sweet and pretty, from afar!

Arwen said...

Gah! I am catching up on recaps and now I'm bright pink because you called me pretty! Someone called me pretty!

(Also: I'm not a vegetable lover either, so I'll happily join that club.)

My first (and only other) Blathering was in 2010, when it was only 20 people, and I remember being nervous before that. I can't imagine coming to your first one, hardly knowing anyone, when there were 60 new faces! You've got guts.

I'm bummed I didn't get to talk to you more! You seem so down to earth and funny. Also your clothes are super cute, and I'm always looking for another tall girl to hang with and hope her fashion sense will rub off on me.

I'm not very good at commenting on blogs since I read them all on my phone, but I've got yours in my reader now and am really enjoying all your updates and pictures of your adorable Charley. Blogging rocks! Bring back blogging!

Marie Green said...

Ok, so here's what I have been wondering, at least once per day since returning home: HOW IS YOUR PHONE?? I almost DIED when it fell in that black puddle of doooooooooom. *SHUDDER*

I'm glad you came, even though you didn't know any of us! I hadn't met most of these ladies in person before either (this was my first Blathering as well), but I DID read and twitter with over half of them...

Anyway, it was great to meet you. Like Arwen, I'm terrible at blog commenting, but I've added you to my reader. Also... (DID WE ALREADY DISCUSS THIS?) I need to figure out how old your baby is. I think she's close to MY baby's age (14mos).

CharlieSue said...

I BARELY got to talk to you (did I even DO more than nod awkwardly? I GET NERVOUS meeting new people), BUT I'm stoked that NEXT time you'll not be new! And we will talk more! And in the meantime, I know what you look like and how you might say things and I'm EXCITED to catch up on more you. YAY!