AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape TITLE: Just to see you in the flesh DATE: 7/20/2008 10:06:00 PM ----- BODY:
I don't quite fit in.

My mother agrees. Neither of us have ever quite fit into a group. We have friends, but not a group of friends. In fact, our friends tend to have their own groups, and then us. There must be some explanation for it.

It's not that I don't like my friends' friends. I do. They have lovely friends. It seems though, that I'm just not thought of in a group situation like that.

I'm not a joiner I guess. I don't get asked to join, and I don't seek out joining. I'm happy with my friends from all different groups. I wonder some times why I am that way, but I don't worry. Wonder, not worry.

This quirk of mine makes attending something like BlogHer a little tricky.

Last year, I let it stress me out. It bothered me that I didn't know where to sit for lunch because the 10 people I wanted to talk to were all at 10 different tables talking to several other women that I didn't really know. I didn't know how to handle it.

This year, I chose to not let it stress me out. I ran into people I knew and chatted with them when I could. I sat with people I didn't know and worked on getting to know them.

I chilled out.

It was so much better.

I think I had expectations last year that were unreasonable. I thought that these online relationships that I cherish so would blossom into real life relationships with honest to goodness friends who chat on the phone and what not.

Really, though, I don't think that is what BlogHer was all about. It didn't create stronger bonds with these women who I read and adore. It didn't turn my online friends into real life girlfriends like Susan.

What it did was give me an opportunity to simply bask in the realness of these women who are already an important part of my life.

I got to see Kristen's beautiful baby bump for myself.

I got to watch Slouching Mom hold my son and make him coo and giggle.

I got to skip a session with Kristie again.

I got to snark snark with my favorite angel, Mamma.

I got to share a smile in person with Jennifer who always makes me smile online.

I got to hug Jenny's neck and tell her I was so glad the seal lived.

I got to hang with a gaggle of DC Moms who I have fallen hard for because of their writing, but also because of their friendship with my friend.

I got to just mention to Amy that I saw her post about her flight and was sorry she had such a hard time. I didn't even need to introduce myself; it was just nice to say in person that I was glad she had made it.

I enjoyed just flitting around with Christopher, seeing whomever I happened to see.

I skipped a lot of the parties, wandered around alone a lot, and actually? Had a marvelous time, and am feeling quite recharged about blogging. I believe, that is the point of attending a conference in the long run, isn't it? The recharging?

Edited to add:
Once again, I hear in my head what I'm saying without having actually said it. My point should have been that getting to see the bloggers who I read and care about is a bonus. But blogging is an actual form of communication. I didn't start emailing personal notes to a bunch of people I met, nor did my phone bills go through the roof. I just kept blogging. Reading and writing.

So what I meant was that the friendships I've created have tended to stay online with the exception of getting to see people at BlogHer. Real life was just in contrast to online.

This of course does not apply to anyone whose house I have attended a BBQ at or whose daughter I have shared ice cream with.

I hope I got that right this time. I so loved seeing everyone. That is really the main point.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Stella DATE:Monday, July 21, 2008 at 12:18:00 AM EDT That's so wonderful that you had such a good time!!

My mom and I had a conversation about not always fitting in just the other day. It was very similar to what you shared about yours and your Mom's talks!
Thanks for sharing!! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Bubblewench DATE:Monday, July 21, 2008 at 7:12:00 AM EDT I'm glad you & your mom enjoyed yourself. That's all that matters. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Susie DATE:Monday, July 21, 2008 at 9:43:00 AM EDT Well welcome home. What kinds of sessions were there? What was your favorite thing that you learned? Can't wait to hear (read) more about it.

And I am the same way with my friends. I have always had an eclectic mix from various groups and I can't say that I truly belong to any one - I think that's a good thing really. I'm just not easy to peg, nor do I want to be. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Jessica DATE:Monday, July 21, 2008 at 10:26:00 AM EDT Welcome back! SO glad you're feeling charged up and ready to go!
I'm so sad that I missed all the festivities, but am glad that you all had such a wonderful time and that I was able to live it vicariously thru all of you!
Glad that you and Christopher made it home safe... ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous jennifer, playgroups are no place for children DATE:Monday, July 21, 2008 at 11:31:00 AM EDT I am so glad we got to meet and I loved meeting your handsome boy!!! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Mamma DATE:Monday, July 21, 2008 at 12:14:00 PM EDT We're not real life friends?!

You looked gorgeous and Little Bird?? You're lucky I didn't try to steal him.

I think now that you love all the cool DC Moms we need to lure you up here for a girl's weekend. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Marty, a.k.a. canape DATE:Monday, July 21, 2008 at 1:04:00 PM EDT Well damn. I didn't mean that, Mamma. Of course we are. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Magpie DATE:Monday, July 21, 2008 at 1:13:00 PM EDT i liked watching slouching mom with your babe too - i thought she was going to steal him.

happy to have met you. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Candygirlflies DATE:Monday, July 21, 2008 at 3:38:00 PM EDT So glad you, Birdie and Momma had fun, Canape. Of course, that's all that matters!! I'm sure it was just a delight to meet up with people you've made friends with through blogging... I can't wait till next year, so I can come to Blogher, too.

Meet you there? Cause I'm the kind of gal who doesn't really "fit into a crowd", either. I totally understand.

Can't wait to hear more details!

xo CGF ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous whymommy DATE:Monday, July 21, 2008 at 8:09:00 PM EDT I'm glad this year felt better for you. And really? I think most of us just talked to whoever we were seated with at lunch, and tried to find common ground. It was way cool, but kinda DIY in the introductions department.

I adored seeing you (and Momma! and Bird!) with all these women who we read and write with. It totally made my weekend. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous slouchy DATE:Monday, July 21, 2008 at 8:23:00 PM EDT i don't quite fit in, either.

and like you, i'm increasingly ok with that.

oh, and to respond to magpie, my buddy.

i am no baby snatcher. i'm a baby WHISPERER.

just sayin'. ;) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous KC DATE:Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 9:57:00 AM EDT Loved seeing you again and getting to talk with you. Listening to WhyMommy at her session talk about your friendship made me swoon.

You seem like the best friend, ever. Hope to get to hang out with you again. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Daily Verses DATE:Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 10:53:00 AM EDT I'm glad you had a nice time and I totally got what you were saying. Welcome home! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous TinaGirl DATE:Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 1:35:00 PM EDT I have this conversation a lot. Most of my friends are not friends with eachother, and I don't really fit in with their friends. I used to let it bother me, now I don't. I value my friendships, whatever form they come in, but don't worry if its gone a week without seeing them because for the most part just a phone call or a trip to the park or a coffee picks up right where we left off. Each friendship has its own perameters, some in blog land, some in life. We should charish that for what it is. You put it elequently and correctly. I'm glad you had a good time. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Stimey DATE:Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 10:39:00 PM EDT I loved meeting you and putting a face with the wonderful words that Susan says about you. Christopher is adorable and you are amazing. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous slackermommy DATE:Friday, July 25, 2008 at 4:59:00 PM EDT I loved spending time with you again this year and meeting your sweet mom. Thanks for letting me squeeze Christopher. He's so yummy. ----- --------