Tuesday, July 22, 2008

BFF '08

I get so anxious about meeting new people. I get flop sweat, my stomach goes in knots and I tend to stumble, over my words, over my feet, over anything and nothing at all. I have a comfort zone, a small circle of friends that I am at ease with, who get me, who understand my complete and utter lack of anything resembling style or grace or put-together-ness. I'm rather like a hippo in a tutu - slightly ridiculous and liable to knock over the china cabinet at any moment.

She has better eyelashes than me, though.

It was with some amazement that I found myself signing on for BlogFriendsFest '08 earlier this spring. daysgoby was going and she and I have been online friends for about 4 years now. We talk on the phone fairly regularly and I was really wanting to meet her. This seemed like a great excuse.

As the weeks wore on, I saw who else was coming. MamaTulip! I love her! Kittenpie! I love her, too! Some bloggers signed up but then had to drop out for various reasons, but still. There was a solid core of about 20 women who were going to be there. Some I'd heard of, some I hadn't, but I didn't care. I was determined that I was going, and that I was going to have a good time, dammit.

Well. Good time? I don't think I've laughed so hard or for so long in years. I woke up on Sunday morning with my stomach aching from all the laughing from the night before. I looked in the mirror and saw laugh lines etched around my mouth (and if those don't go away, well, BFF can pay for my botox...on second thought, maybe not.)

When Botox goes bad....or you become a zombie. Either, equally frightening.

I spent pretty much the entire day Friday on a train. Amtrak is slooooooow. We ran about an hour and half behind schedule but I didn't mind too much. I had my iPod loaded up with episodes of This American Life and I had Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince to read (which I finished somewhere around Buffalo). The leg room on the train was fantastic and all the chairs had little recliner things in them as well as foot rests on the seat in front. It was much better than traveling by plane.

When I finally arrived in Niagara Falls, I had enough time to wash up, change, meet my other roommate Gabriella, before heading down to the cocktail party, which was hosted by Random House Canada. Metro Mama works for them, as a publicist (and I want her job), so this party was her baby. There were free books! And free wine! And free food! Wheeeeeee! And all these women. *gulp* I had a momentary attack of the wobbles, but tried to nail a smile to my face and fake some confidence I wasn't feeling. (I need to work on that smile thing - Kittenpie thought I was very serious. I guess I am, a bit, but I don't want to be dour, y'know?)

(The book, by the way, is The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, and it looks to be a fantastic read. As soon as I'm done with Anne of Green Gables [hush], I'll be diving in to that one.)

After the cocktail party, we headed up to Blog Chocolate's (And she? Is so fucking funny. And unbelievably gorgeous, to boot.) room. There was more wine and snacks and laughter and chatting with some fabulous, funny (seriously - pee-your-pants funny) women. It was like the best slumber party in the world, without the drama and angst. We finally headed to bed around 2:30 in the morning. I lay in bed, pretending to read, but in reality, going over the night, the jokes and silliness and fascinating conversations I had with women I'd just met, women who'd made me feel comfortable and who'd made me laugh and think and left me starry-eyed.

I'll leave off here.... there was so much packed into one weekend that it's going to require another post to go over it all. It involved more wine (but of course) and a great round table discussion and even more laughter.

(photo of Blog Chocolate as Botox Zombie courtesy of Mama Tulip and her UglyCam.)


mamatulip said...

Can I even begin to express how much fun I had and how happy I am that you came for the weekend? No. I cannot. It was AWESOME to meet you, hote zombie mannequin.

Me and my UglyCam hope to see you again soon!

motherbumper said...

Can I tell you how much I love many of the women you hung with this weekend? OMG - YOU GOT TO HUG MAH TULIP and spoon my Jessica (okay - we can share them). Wish I had gotten the chance to meet you MB ;)

Lara said...

that's so awesome that you had such an incredible time. we missed you all at blogher, but it sounds like you had at least as much fun back east.

also? sandra is one of my favorite people on the entire planet. :)

moplans said...

now there's a plan - botox for the after partay next year.

Run ANC said...

Hahahahahaha! I forgot about "UglyCam". I actually just spit, I was laughing so hard. How cool am I?

So nice to meet you this weekend.

Anonymous said...

I for one could not have shared a bed with a nicer person than you!! I am so glad you decided to come! The laughs were good weren't they!

Anonymous said...

Oh the ugly cam .... I have a feeling that pic may follow me for years :)

It was incredible to meet you. Seriously - having you and Daysgoby were the highlight of the weekend. We had so much fun - I haven't laughed that hard in forever.

Hope there are more chances to woo our new favourite american north soon.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

Oh my, I was sooooo glad to hear from you!! I have 3 days off and I can't wait to catch up with you!! I'll probably check out all your posts and friends over tea tomorrow morning!! Thanks for noticing youngest daughters tattoo. We're a classy/trashy bunch at my house. Did you happen to see mine? I'm so emailing you a picture. The sketch doesn't do it justice!! Hugs and love, T

crazymumma said...

I really am happy we sat beside you at dinner. I always regret not being more outgoing at the beginning so as to suck the object of my affections (in this case you) dry as a bone.

I hope we can karaoke together someday.
ps....practice mamma mia, I took the girls today and it was so much fun!

Unknown said...

How fun is that? Glad that you had a good time!

Anonymous said...

Gosh! What is it about women just having so much more fun together than in any other social gathering. A year ago, when visiting my home country, I met my aunt and her daughter, who is, age-wise, like a little sister to me, for breakfast. Three hours later, I realized that I had rediscovered the short-term version of happiness. So much laughter! So many tears! So much love from gentle teasing of each other! All year long, I remembered myself laughing really hard - which I had not done for years - and longing to do it again. And then, this year, my aunt was not availabe but my cousin was there. And we laughed, cried, and laughed again. And again, I felt like I was just floating above life, in a very happy place.

A few days ago, I was at a restaurant where 8 women were gathered to, obviously, celebrate each other's birthdays. Presents were exchanged, along with explanations of the choices, there was great laughter, and some tears. And me, just watching, wanted to jump to their table to join them. Their happiness made me so envious. Glad you had this experience. We all do need that!

Anonymous said...

That previous anonymous comment comes from Elizasmom's Mom, just in case you wondered. I don't have an internet ID but don't want to look like a stalker.

Hopefully see you and your girls during my next visit to the Cold Country in October,