So a few months ago, I went to a party at my friend Viola Cay‘s house. It was a chocolate and wine tasting, so obviously I wasn’t going to say no. The catch was that it was a party for bloggers. You know, real people who do this and sometimes make a living at it. People who have followers they haven’t known for 20 years and who participate in their giveaways and post hundreds of comments. I am not one of these people. However, I am physically unable to turn down chocolate and wine, so I begged my friend umommy to take me with her, and I went. I won’t lie: I was expecting the bloggers to be mean and judgey bitches like the journalists I know, who sit around and talk about how brilliant and important they are until I am contemplating a thousand ways to kill myself, just to see if they notice.
The women at this party were not like that. They were funny and smart and nice, and I wanted to be friends with all of them. And also, there was chocolate and wine. So hey, I thought, maybe this blogging event business isn’t all bad. Umommy has been trying to get me to attend blogger events with her for a year now, and I have always politely excused myself (I think I always had a real excuse), partly because I was afraid of other bloggers. So after Viola Cay’s shindig, I thought I should try to go to more of these things. Umommy hooked me up with a local group, and I was invited to my first party: a family holiday party at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge for the Boston Social Media group.
I RSVP’d yes, even though umommy and Viola Cay were not going. And then I had a panic attack. But then I realized that Diane, one of the nice women from the first party, was going to be there with her kids. And I made Bucket promise to come too. And then I started getting excited.
Last night, I started getting those delightful pre-flu chills. And then I had to find the stinking elf and hide him in the kids’ room, and I was convinced Peeta saw me, so I couldn’t sleep. And then, just as I was finally falling asleep at 3am, Noodle fell out of bed. So I went in to sleep with her and Peeta and fell asleep around 4. Kids woke up at 7:30. Bucket let me sleep until 9:30, and I came downstairs to the news that the refrigerator shelf I broke in the sink on Wednesday had clogged our water pipes and the washing machine had flooded the basement. Not the most auspicious start to the day.
But we went anyway. I shellacked some makeup over my raccoon eyes, got my eyebrows waxed, and blow dried my hair. Peeta was traumatized to see me with makeup and kept yelling, “Is that LIPSTICK?!! YOU’RE FREAKING ME OUT!!” We drove over to the hotel, left the car with the valet dudes (sorry guys! I promise, antibacterial lotion will kill whatever jumped on you in our car!), and headed up to the party.
And then, I had no idea what to do. And neither did Bucket. And neither did the kids. But they had a cookie decorating station, so we did that for a while. And then we played with Play Doh. And then I made the kids eat, but because we had arrived late due to the washing machine fiasco, the food had already been served and some poor lady had to go get them two more plates. I went to the grown up room and got some food, and sat down with Bucket and the kids. Go to the grown up room! Bucket hissed at me. The whole point of coming here is for you to network!
Fortunately, there were no seats available in the grown up room. Because here’s the secret, peeps. I am redonkulously shy in new situations (unless there’s booze, in which case I become even more entertaining than normal–at least in my eyes). I KNOW, RIGHT? Your brain just exploded. So I HAD to stay sitting with the kids. And also, let me just say that there was no way in hell I was going to go to a room where I knew no one, find one seat and sit down and introduce myself to people.
Some of the organizers came by and I introduced myself to them. They were lovely, just as I had expected. Bucket got his food and brazenly sat in the grown up side (seats had opened up and the kids were playing in the other room and he felt like a weirdo sitting alone at a kids’ table), so I went and sat with him. We met another blogger, who was also very nice. I had to tell her the name of the blog, though, which is always embarrassing. You never know whether people will laugh or slap your face. But here’s the thing: no matter what these nice people said to me, I stood there like a moron, with my mouth open, saying, “It’s wonderful, it’s really wonderful” over and over. I was highly impressive.
So I went to the event and talked to five people, two of whom I had met before. SHUT UP! I’m cool! The kids gorged on cookies and freshly made ice cream sandwiches, and Bucket got a fancy cocktail and we all ate delicious food and had a wonderful, really wonderful time. And we didn’t even go to the pool and swim like the rest of the kids.
And when we were leaving, they gave us about 100 gift bags, just for coming. We got gift certificates and t-shirts and books and games and a single-serve blender, which is just what I’ve been wanting forever! But it felt weird, getting all this stuff for doing nothing but coming to a fancy party. I think they give most of it to the people with the fancy blogs, who write nice things and don’t just bitch and moan all day (ahem), in the hopes that their millions of followers will read about it and buy it. (All 13 of you can go buy that blender now.) It also felt weird because I spend all day trying to get people to donate stuff to my nonprofit, and they don’t do it, even when I mention Africa! and Orphans! and AIDS! So then I had The Guilt. The kids were psyched, though. It truly was a wonderful, really wonderful event, and the organizers worked so hard, and the sponsors were so generous.
There is another, adult-only party for the same group on Tuesday, and I will go. Umommy is going too, so hopefully I won’t feel like such a freak, and hopefully I will find a synonym for wonderful (I am open to sugggestions). Hopefully, I will get used to the idea of getting something for doing nothing (because how hard could that be?). Hopefully, I will be invited to more of these events (assuming all of the previous hopeful statements happen). And hopefully, I will get more than 13 readers (not that I’m not grateful for all 13 of you wonderful, really wonderful people).