Ten Things I Learned from Attending BlogHer in NYC
1. Turn off your phone and do not even answer if it is your kids. Chances are they will only call when you are talking to a “cloth diaper mom.” You will find yourself yelling into the phone, “NO, YOU MAY NOT WATCH THE HANGOVER 2! WHERE IS YOUR FRIENDS MOM? THAT MOVIE IS RATED R TOO! LET ME JUST SAY THAT NO MOVIE THAT IS RATED R IS APPROPRIATE!” The other mom with small children will look at you as if you are raising barbarians. Secretly, you are so happy your three boys called before they saw a woman in a movie shooting Ping-Pong balls out of her “place between where the babies exit out,” (you can click that blue link to find out why I wouldn’t teach my boys the word vagina.) You also secretly cannot wait until this woman’s kids are older and she gets hers.
2. That 5% of the 5,100 people who attended BlogHer in 2012 are the long time bloggers that really know what they are doing and have learned through their own successes and failures. Then there were approximately 3,000 people there with the objective to get something for free, go somewhere for free, get a discount on something back home to make it almost free or build a relationship with a vendor who will start sending them something for free. Those women had a pretty good offensive line. Then there were the rest of us.
Just in case we didn’t meet and because I suck at passing my cards out to people and then wish that I had and because there were 5,100 people there and I only had 100 cards and I came home with 80.
Email: email@example.com Twitter: @allthatmakesyou
Facebook: Abbie allthatmakesyou Blog: allthatmakesyou.com
The rest of us wandered and occasionally bumped into one another. We wished we had someone with more experience to talk to but it turns out those with more experience were out together trying to get away from the people trying to “crack into their nut.” I get it. I have long time girlfriends too and I am sure these women have amazing relationships. Do I sound jealous? I am not because I really do get it. They have worked very hard to learn what they have learned and I am sure they had some bumps and bruises along the way. I am thankful for the sessions I attended and I did learn things. I am looking forward to catching a few of the other sessions I couldn’t attend, online.
3. It is IMPOSSIBLE to blow dry your hair and paint your toenails, at the same time. I am sorry Hilton and way to plan for everything with that polka dot carpet! We will call it even stevens since I paid $450 a night for a room with broken seals in the windows and I couldn’t even see out my premium priced views.
4. I may just have to accept the fact that I will never fit in with 5,000 women, as hard as I try. I never rushed a sorority, joined a mom’s group, or went on a “girls night out.” I like mixed company and I like men and frankly they were passing out plush vaginas and I won’t even teach my three sons the word “vagina.” When a table of women hear me say that I wont teach my boys “vagina” and that I refer to it as “the place between where the babies exit out,” they will looked at me like I just said women should not be allowed to vote. BTW, I didn’t get a plush vagina and I would have really loved one. I am the sole vagina bearer in my house and it would have been nice to bring it out on occasions and let it vote during family voting issues.
I need a man in the group, who used to be a boy, to get my sense of humor. I need a man to understand that it is a lot harder for little boys to yell at one another, “You’re a giant place between where the babies exit out!” versus “You’re a giant vagina!” I don’t need Judgy Judy looks and for you to whisper, “My children know the appropriate terminology” to your girlfriend. I just need you to chuckle or a smirk, that is what I do when I get that the person is being sarcastic. My husband is a doc and we all know the proper terms. My mom called mine my, “kitty cat” and I am not a stripper. She did give me a sense of humor because it is freaking hilarious when I hear a little girl get off a slide at the park screaming, “My vagina hurts!”
5. Mc Donald’s employees in NYC are paid wayyyy more than Mc Donald’s employees anywhere else, as evident by the McDonalds employee that sat down next to me and wolfed down a $24 cheeseburger.
6. You need to make connections before you go to the conference to meet people. If you don’t you will find yourself spending an evening listening to a woman tell you about the sex toy lock box business that she tells me is thriving. This leads me to the next thing I learned.
7. You need to be able to keep a straight face or get Botox everywhere so when the “naughty box lock lady” starts talking you don’t immediately begin making weird astonished faces and then decide to fist bump her? Ok, Botox arms as well.
8. If you work for a sex toy lock box company they train you to not blink when you talk about your products. Not one blink. Not one blink. I pay attention to blinks, (my story here about fast blinkers versus slow blinkers.) My guess is there was way too much giggling at training sessions so they just Botoxed their eyelids open. This whole sex-toy-lock-box episode has given me so much to think about and when I say that I am “thinking about” something it means I am hashing it out in public to anyone who will listen, that mean you reading too. I mean, have women not heard of a lock on their drawers? You put a locked box in my house and that is like giving my kids a challenge. That box would end up on a dark road waiting for someone to run it over for my little boys to find out what is inside and in their heads it would be gold coins and Skittles. Locked boxes are asking for trouble in my house.
9. Just because you took off your name badge off, Abbie, it doesn’t mean that it is OK to harass a vendor on an elevator. “But, why do we need to kill bad germs in the air now? Don’t we need to be exposed to germs? And how exactly do you know you are only killing the bad germs? We get new information all the time like, what if a germ we thought was bad turns out to be good for something else?” When the poor man finally breaks down and says his dad invented it, you can’t just say, “Oh, you will sell them gang busters because new moms are sleep deprived will buy anything for their babies” and then try to fist bump him, again…what is with me?
(Yes, my name is really Abbie Gale, (I said this 25 times.) My parents were hippies and they named me after the MAN Abbie Hoffman who spent his entire life trying to get pot legalized. He wrote the book, “Steal This Book.” My middle name is really Gale because they were babies having babies and they thought it was cute and they were lazy. Gale, as in a gust of wind hitting a sail because they also liked to sail. I am not giving you my last name, unless you want to hire me. I have high standards for my boys and hope that they get into college one day but if the school learns of their concerns over sperm diameter and whether or not this “sperm” I told them about is a liquid or a solid I will have to home-college them and I don’t even know how to form a proper paragraph.)
10. Wear a vendor badge so people will talk to you. Wear a vibrator company badge and women will chase you down like you have a key to Christian Grey’s house. I may do this next conference because I am much smarter now and very good with PhotoShop. I just have to make up a ridiculous vibrator company name. I am open to ideas. Anyone?
I think I will just keep on writing and keep on building the relationships I have on the computer and if it leads to more, than great. Perhaps one day I will be asked to sit with the “big dogs” but probably not until I learn to use a comma.
Hey, all you BlogHer chicks I didn’t meet, you missed out. I am much better in person as you cannot see my poor punctuation when I am speaking. I also had a rubber alligator in my purse my son sent with me. That is always a guaranteed good time.
You Tube Link (Click here if video above doesn’t work, because I never plan to run for public office)
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Love your post and style of writing! Boys will always be boys:-)
It was so much fun to meet you. Yes, I am only now getting around to sifting through the stack of cards I pocketed. I went to blogher very last minute, and in hindsight I totally agree about making connections in advance. I am sorry to report that I missed the vaginas altogether. Though I met a few of the CD/martyr mommies. I was amazed how many people can write about diapers and get a following. I’d rather watch paint dry, but perhaps I lack some basic maternal wiring.
And I only got one vibrator, which I promptly left, along with whatever other items landed in my swag bag, on Amtrak. I remain hopeful my name wasn’t on it.
Indeed, next year, better planning.
Seriously, though, so great to meet you and hope we can keep in touch. All best, xo Mari
You are too sweet. Listen, I brought that thing home as proof to show my girlfriends that they just give this stuff away in NYC! I think BlogHer was really giving them away. They knew they oversold and wanted some women to never leave their rooms so they had enough chairs for the sessions. 😉
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I totally agree with #2 – here’s to the day we’re invited to sit with the cool kids at the conference.
Nice meeting you & your purse ‘gator @ BlogHer.
I never rushed a sorority either, and 5,000 women in one place was a bit much! This is a great take on the BlogHer experience.
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LOL! I agree, Abbie, you may just be about the funniest person ever! I love your posts, your thoughts … and that awesome video! Hahahaha! 😀
Bahaha! It was another fun story to write. I might have to do another post and add a few I omitted to get it down to ten. Jim thought I was Michael Jackson from the still pic from the video. That made me laugh harder than anything. I was like, fool, that is me!
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I knew I jumped on the right path when I started to follow your blog a couple of weeks ago!
I just finished reading my friend’s point of view about #BlogHer12 and, apparently, your #2 is a very popular line of thought (http://www.mommyteaches.com/2012/08/blogher12-my-point-of-view/). The only actual THING I usually look for during conferences is a pen, as simply as that. You’re awesome! Too bad (really?) I didn’t go; I’d have loved meeting you!
I enjoyed it and wanted to just write a different “recap” and hopefully next time, I will have some peeps out there to meet up with! If there are other conferences you enjoy, I saw the one on your site, please let me know. I need all the help I can get! I would love to meet up with you!
Damn, I’m tired. I want to leave a witty and pithy comment, but I’m still too damned tired and my brain has frozen up like an overused vibrator.
You and I have a lot in common, I think. I also cannot seem to master the comma.
Never mind!!!!! I just clicked your link and watched your “about” video and I have a tear and a smile. Beautiful story. Just lovely. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Lovely, lovely girl! Im looking forward to visiting again but first my three little boys would probably like some breakfast . 🙂
Wait. Nothing about stolen water? Not a #11. Sealed water left in a session is up for grabs unless it looks like it has been poisoned. #12. Stimey is a dirty thief who will encourage you to steal water. Nothing like that? Frankly I’m disappointed.
So, so true! There are actually 13 stupid things! I was afraid it was too long of a list and one, oh that one where I put my foot in my mouth, so embarrassing. More importantly, you are proof that I exist AND I was at the meeting! He he he! I may just have to write about the “oasis” I happened across in that session. That beautiful, unopened, is this a test? am I being video taped? Bottle of water I spotted on the floor. It didn’t even occur to me it could be poisoned until later after it was all “in my belly.”. I guess I could blame some of my awkward moments on tainted Fiji water, I found, on the floor, of a hotel, in NYC, while sitting next to a woman with a stuffed mouse in her purse, that my rubber alligator, in MY purse, ate said mouses face. That entire last sentence was to drive home my poor punctuation and grammar. It was ironic. 😉 it was so nice to meet you and lucky to have you sitting right next to me during “The Great Water Moral Debate of BlogHer12” as it would have sucked if I ended up a Dateline topic about stupid Americans allowed to visit big cities. They would probably chase you around with a microphone for a comment about how you and your little mouse encourage me to drink the poisoned water.
It did restore my faith in humanity but probably ruined someone else’s faith, I heard some stranger drank their $10 bottle of water and the lady next to her encouraged her to do it. 😉
Where have you been all my life?
I just commented on your site and I am making you find me at the next conference we are both at. Dude, I knew I had some soul mates out there but judging from your pictures they were all doing super fun things without me!
Great post and funny as well !!!!!!!!!
Thanks, and thanks for coming by. How is your summer going? Have you been traveling much yourself?
Sorry for the late response. And yes, currently, out of town regarding my second blog. Had a successful meeting with Albay Pili Industry Federation. Spent the day in a 6 hectare organic farm…Awesome day with lots of sweet sweet fruits.
This is great, and #2…oh #2. (the bullet point, I mean, not…you know…actual #2)
Oh, yeah, number 2. There are actually a couple more things I learned but I had restraint. Don’t I seem like a girl with restraint, (dancing robot video?)
I think Sid is right, we would have hit it off. 🙂
Totally, I loved your “teachable” moment with the vultures. Totally would be a moment in our house. Peter has a pet alligator snapping turtle at the moment. I keep showing him videos of what they can do and expect him to put it back in the pond in a few days. Poor turtle and if it hurts my baby I will make soup out of it.
Better than, “Peter has a pet alligator.”
So glad I didn’t hear about this gala. I will share my blogging tips with you gladly and freely if I ever become privy to any.
Bahaha! Just someone tell me what an SEO is and why the heck are there so many people that do this and what the heck are they doing? How can I get all my comments together to save time and can anyone kick me off the internet when they get sick of my stories? 😉
An end to your stories? That won’t be anytime soon, I hope.
As for getting comments together to save time and SEOs. I don’t know either, and nobody wants to share.
Search engine optimization
That’s all I know. Still unclear how to do it.
Best. Recap. Lessons. Ever. You are hilarious! I’m laughing my “place I sit down on” off. Or something along those lines.
See how easy it is to completely take feminism back 75 years? I am telling you there were two more really good ones and one is so awful and embarrassing that I said it and said it presuming this person wouldn’t have this and then I look down and yep, it is right there. I can be an idiot. It really came from making fun of myself and then wham, foot for dinner.
Next conference, we have to meet. Where have you been hiding your funny self? And? I could join the crazies and cut someone for one of those plush vaginas because who doesn’t want to say, “Don’t make me whip out my plushy vagina to vote on this!” It would be kind of perfect.
I kept all my crazy, I mean funny thoughts in my head until this march. I had punctuation fears of being kicked out of the adult group in life if anyone found out I missed enough school that punctuation and the sevens in the times table elude me, even now. I’m sad to say I was mistaken. They were not giving out plush vaginas I think but instead uteri. I would love a uteri as well. It would also have voting rights and I could kick it back once a month! Although, a stuffed vagina would be a nice holder for all the vibrators the gals were given at the conference. 😉
I am kind of with you on the guy thing. I think I hunted down the five guys there and made them miserable and I’m sorry for stealing Leslie from you. You should have punched me and we could have wrastled it out right there. (You would win.) Do I have your card? I don’t think so. MY LOSS.
It just occurred to me that you are the only person on WordPress who might be able to vouch for the fact that I actually exist. You may not even remember. I was in your class, but it was very full. Good job by the way. You rocked and you were animated, funny and knew your shizzel, (how do you spell shizzel?) We had the moment where you stole (make that heavens gate choir ahhhh sound) Leslie Marinalli and I from having “our moment.” I know that “The Bearded Iris” was really looking for someone and I happened to be standing in the chow line before you had your moment of recognizing her… You have heard me complain before. 😉 It really did make me laugh and make my day because I was like…OMWord that’s Lyz Lenz and then it was ok.
This blogging thing can be a bit weird when you look around thinking about the fact some of these people have read your thoughts and looked in your underwear drawer, and you don’t know who! That is what I think I am going to write about next.
I’m with on preferring to be with a bunch of guys– they don’t take everything so seriously. That conference would have made me really uncomfortable– making small talk with a bunch of strangers– eck!
You know, I have thought about this a lot. If I were working a booth, I would have rocked it. It is what I did when I was very young. I did animated selling, training and opened retail stores all over and I loved it. It is the “WTHeck is my purpose here” thing that I had a problem with. You might talk to 20 people before you would meet someone who shares your writing interests.
What Marty said.
I get the impression Lisa from http://mainstreetmusingsblog.com/ was there as well, and feel like you two would have hit it off.
By the way, don’t come back to Michigan and say vagina anytime soon. At least not in Lansing. Just sayin’.
I ended every sentence when I was in Michigan in July with vagina. “When did he put up the new barn, vagina? What college is she going to in the fall, vagina?”
I’m “DE-troit Abbie” when I am up there. No lawmakers will mess with me.
Lisa is funny and thanks for reading and encouraging. There are actually 12 stupid things I learned. One still has me looking over the shoulder in the bathroom and one has me cringing at how awesome I can be at putting my foot in my mouth, like awesome.
One thing I learned from you: don’t go to blogger conferences. There are some sex crazed people there (probably because they spend all their time blogging and going to conferences)!
Another hilarious post Abbie Gale!
I am no prude but they very sweetly gave me a black bag and I was too embarrassed to look inside until I was alone. Then I took pictures and sent them to my girlfriends and hubby and they were all like what in the world are you up to? I am totally sad though that I didn’t get a stuffed plush uterus. I would have brought that thing out every time we had a family vote, me being the sole uteri bearer. They had great companies there and there is obviously a demand for adult “toys” because everyone was getting one.
Thank you! For being you and admitting you can work a room of men better than a room full of women is gutzy. (That just sounded so dirty, damn and I was trying to be complimentary.)
I have the same issue, I’m WAY more comfortable BS’ing and talking shop with guys then I am with women. I’ve just never felt like I fit into the “club”. Maybe it’s us, maybe it’s them, who knows! It’s always just a little bit awkward.
Keep it up, AG (that’s my nickname for you, kinda like OG, but more badass) you’ve got readers out there that get you.
I feel so much more relaxed around guys. It is probably because I was raised by all women who always told me how much smarter women are. 😉 Joking people! But they really did say it. Doesn’t mean I believed it. I am raising boys and they are very, very smart.
Abbie is a very hard name to have back when NO ONE was named Abbie. Flabby, Gabby, Shabby, Scabby…the insults are endless. All the verbal abuse, I am sure, lead to my stellar and superior sense of humor. Kidding too, but TAKE THAT all you “funny” high school peeps, you made me funny instead of beating me down. 😉 I like AG. Thanks for the comment because sometimes, sometimes I wonder what the reaction will be when I post a video of me dancing, alone, and with a toy robot and lip syncing. 😉
I nominate you for the funniest person I have never met! Love it!
THAT IS THE BEST AWARD EVER! I must talk really odd because no one at that conference thought I was very funny. Oh no, could I have bad breath? See, here I go wondering what the hell is wrong with me? I did have an after thought that when you publicly post to the one person you were meeting to go to a party that you wanted to do a “costume” change before you met because you anticipate having mustard on your shirt from walking around Central Park alone eating a hot dog might scare her into thinking I might show up in an old prom dress, and a unicorn horn. For the record I changed into a black plain short jersey dress and black shoes. Very NYC and very plain black but the moron in me said, “costume.” That wont get a girl a date to prom.
Holy crap that was funny! Thanks for putting the name (cloth diaper mommy) on “that Mom”. I always referred to them as “backpack moms”, but I’m going to borrow your term from now on. Thanks for the laugh, this made my morning! From a fellow blogger that didn’t attend Blogher! Cheers and keep writing!
I sound so snotty. I really do throw myself under the bus nearly all of the time and I have had all kinds of varying degrees of neurosis regarding parenting, (and foot water) over the years so I get it, Hell, I made people look at my preemie twins through the window of my house and wouldn’t let FAMILY in. I can be totally neurotic and my kids should thank me more often for keeping them alive. Anyone who has kids who wears deodorant knows what a different place a mom with diaper kids versus deodorant kids we reside. Thanks for commenting. It keeps me from throwing the laptop against the wall. 😉
I nominated you for The Liebster Award. Follow the rules or skip ‘em but know that your writing is appreciated and enjoyed.
Thank you so much! I love awards, I just suck at conforming, (see post above about being named after an anarchist.) It makes me smile every time someone nominates me for an award. I am an “at home” parent and so any day someone says I am appreciated may be a day I pack my bags and show up at your door. You may want to lock it. WHere do you live? 😉 Thanks again!