Monday, August 19, 2013

BlogHer 2013. A Recap. . .Finally. . .

For those who aren't hep to the myriad vagaries of the blogging world, there is an annual convention of female bloggers called BlogHer.  The largest blogging convention in the country, it allows writers to meet, promote their blogs, and attend seminars on everything from copyright law to comedic references.  The convention has become so popular that there are entire websites dedicated to bashing it and talking more trash than an IFC heavyweight.

A fellow blogger who was unable to attend this year's convention asked me if it was anything like what was mentioned on one particular site.  Having never heard of the site she mentioned, I quickly googled it and spent the next fifteen minutes laughing myself into an asthma attack at the insane bullshit these women apparently thought went on at BlogHer.  Here are three of my personal favorite asinine comments:

"Everyone going to BlogHer thinks they're going to be the next Heather Armstrong or Pioneer Woman, and sorry, those positions have been filled. What's left is scrambling for free dildos and $50 sponsored posts, while selling your soul and the lives of your kids.  All these women are delusional."

"I have heard from sources that I trust, that there are more than a few lady bloggers who get down with the Sapphic love at the lady love-fest known as BlogHer.  Gals who become situationally bi after a few drinks."

"Blogher is like high school with more money.  The backstabbing and coattail-riding, the screwing the administrators to get P.R. or to get privileges, drunken parties where spouses/boyfriends/girlfriends are forgotten, the petty catfights, the girls who make out with each other to appear hot to any guy in the vicinity, and so on... It's a JOKE.  A big fucking joke."

Ho.  Ly.  Shit.   "Bitch?  Party of three?  Your table is ready."  Perhaps I can start you ladies off with a pitcher of Haterade to wash down those peanut bitter and jealousy sandwiches you've ordered.  Now first of all, it is obvious that these people have never actually attended BlogHer and secondly, SWEET BABY JEEBUS IN A HOT POCKET HOW CAN I FIND A CONVENTION LIKE THAT!?!?  Free love?  Drunken debauchery?  Hair-pulling and backstabbing?  Where do I sign up!?!?  Sadly, that is not the BlogHer I've grown to know and love.  So I thought I would address all of these erroneous accusations separately.

1. "Everyone going to BlogHer thinks they're going to be the next Heather Armstrong or Pioneer Woman..."

OK, first of all, I have no idea who Heather Armstrong IS so it's doubtful that I am aspiring to be her.*

*No offense, Heather Armstrong.  I'm sure you're rad as shit...whomever you are.

And next, if I'm not mistaken, the Pioneer Woman is all domestic and cooks and shit, so. . .umm. . .no.  Just. . .no.

2. Bloggers are "selling your soul and the lives of your kids" by attending BlogHer.

No argument here.  I am sure that the 72 hours my 11-year-old children spent torn from the arms of their mother were a living hell.  They may never recover from the deep, emotional scars formed by mountain biking, swimming, and eating ice cream with their doting grandparents while I prostituted my blog in the Windy City.  My only hope is that when their Christina Crawford-esque memoir is turned into a Lifetime movie they don't cast Tori Spelling to play me, because. . .well, fuck Tori Spelling.

3.  "All of these women are delusional".

Amber Alert:  we don't ALL attend BlogHer in hopes of being the next Jen Lancaster, or Jenny Lawson, or Heather Armstrong.*

*Seriously.  This is driving me batshit crazy.  Who in hell is Heather Armstrong?

Some of us, MOST of us, in fact, blog for our own enjoyment and not with the erroneous belief that we will meet someone at BlogHer who will gasp in overwhelming awe at our witty repartee and whisk us off to Hollywood to confab with Tina Fey.  Are we attention whores?  Absolutely.  But the majority of us are content with our elite group of followers and don't check our stats like a bookie when the rent is due.  We write for ourselves and our readers, period.*

*Especially for the readers.  Because you guys?  Right here?  Fill my blackened heart with so much damned joy, you have no idea.  Mad love, y'all.

4. ". . .there are more than a few lady bloggers who get down with the Sapphic love at the lady love-fest known as BlogHer".

Dude.  It's 72 hours at a Sheraton; we aren't doing five to ten on Riker's Island.  Don't get me wrong, if I thought there was a chance I'd never get to ride the Wienermobile again, I may jump the fence to Taco Town, but it's going to take a longer dry spell than that, my friends.  I've remained brand loyal to dick for this long; it'll take more than a nacho buffet and a couple of Jager bombs to change that.

5.  "Blogher is like high school with more money"

Where is this "money" of which you speak?  Most bloggers I know are broke as a joke and save up all year for this convention.  We are teachers, and moms, and waitresses, and baristas. . .we are the "Every(wo)man".  Yeah, BlogHer ain't cheap, but most of us don't drive expensive cars or go on lavish vacations so we figure out a way to make it work.  And, for your information, I had MORE financial resources at my disposal when I was in high school than I do now so why don't you pop that little nugget of irony in your hashpipe and smoke it?

6. ". . .backstabbing and coattail-riding, the screwing the administrators to get P.R. or to get privileges. . ."

It's a blogging convention, not an episode of "The Real World".  No one is sleeping with the director or doing selfies in the hot tub or working as a bike messenger in SanFrancisco while tormenting their AIDS-advocate roommate and seducing the Catholic hottie, much to the dismay of the cartoonist who is totally in love with Pam, but seriously, how can ANY of them live with Puck?  That guy is so. . .wait. . .what were we talking about?

7. ". . .drunken parties where spouses/boyfriends/girlfriends are forgotten"

Bitch, please.  Most of us are at BlogHer so we can get AWAY from men for a few days.  Trust me, after 10 years of marriage to a sociopathic misogynist and a dating history that would make Dr. Drew flinch, the LAST thing on my vacation itinerary is huntin' down a fella.  And, as aforementioned, since I'm not a Lillith Fair kinda gal, it's a three day vow of celibacy for me.

8. ". . .girls who make out with each other to appear hot to any guy in the vicinity"

It's BlogHER; there ARE no men in the vicinity.  And if there are, they are either dressed as the Johnsonville sausage sun ((true story. . .don't ask)) or they are not vaginally-oriented.  Surrender any 'Girls Gone Wild' fantasies you may be harboring.  it's a lot more 'Housewives Gone Mild'.

So if that ISN'T BlogHer, what is?  It's having the chance to visit a city you've never visited before.

It's glowing with pride when you see your friends speaking before a crowd on every topic from Pinterest to gangsta rap.

It's coming face to face ((or finger to stomach)) with celebrities.

And, occasionally, with ACTUAL celebrities.

It's having a friend with a pathological Instagram addiction insist upon taking your picture in myriad locations despite your staunch belief that photography steals your soul.

And it's exacting your revenge.

But, first and foremost, BlogHer is a time for writers to come together in solidarity, in support, and in mutual admiration.  These women are my tribe.  They get me.  And I get them.  And, yes, there's the occasional asshat in the bunch but can't that be said of ANY group of individuals?  All I know is that BlogHer has never been anything but positive for me, and I look forward to attending in years to come.

Oh, but the internet haters were right about one thing. . .they totally hand out free dildos at BlogHer.  Win.



Kelly said...

Free dildos? Sign me up.

Hell, I'd go for a free pad of sticky notes. Swag is swag.

Pat said...

Wait! Free dildos? Damn--I gotta start me a blog! Actually, sounds a lot like my ladies' cruise with slightly more activity and slightly less tequila.

Anonymous said...

I'M Heather Armstrong. Stop trying to be all like me, bitches!! Day-um.

Cindy Brown said...

Great post! I went to BlogHer to meet people and learn. It wasn't what I thought, but it wasn't what the Haterade drinkers said either.

I get you...

The Maven said...

Hey Jen, Heather Armstrong is Dooce,

But no worries, I don't to be her either.

and how the F did I not get a free dildo this year??

Donna said...

This recap was worth the wait. So, so funny and true. (And really? Heather Armstrong a.k.a. Dooce? She used to speak at some of the early BlogHers.)

TheChickIsRight said...

I've gotta be honest - BlogHer sounds like an absolute fucking blast. And those comments radiate sullen, bitter, resentful jealousy. They actually sound pretty sad.

So glad you had fun! And you can't go wrong with free dildos! :-)

Also - I now must look up Heather Armstrong.

Mad love from the 'couve.

JC Little said...

"BlogHer is a time for writers to come together in solidarity, in support, and in mutual admiration." ^ This has been my experience. Very fun and funny recap!

Johi Kokjohn-Wagner said...

I think this is the first time anyone has called me "pathological", but I will not deny my deep affection for Instagram. I love you and my new new sleep mask! xxoo

Jenni Chiu @MommyNaniBooboo said...

I didn't know who you were until just now... but I'm pretty sure I went to BlogHer so I could be the next you.

Vapid Vixen said...

Peanut bitter and jealousy sandwich? I LOVE that!!!

Also, your video is awesome. Waking up looking like Dorian Gray comment made me laugh. You look fantastic by the way. Not sure who the blonde is but she looked familiar. said...

I didn't see any of the alleged back-stabbing, bitchy cliche stuff, and was THRILLED. Wait, maybe I WAS the bitchy cliche! Oh, crap.

I did see 3 men though! One of which was an official Blogher photographer on the dance floor the final night. I may or may not have grabbed his ass. What? He was cute!

Nancy Hill said...

All I got was some lube....

Hysterically (um yes... this is the right word) funny post.

Carolyn said...

Damn girl.. you nailed it. And I mean, nailed in that your-wrote-an-awesome-post way.

andreaberg said...

Greatest post! (I do love Heather Armstrong a.k.a. Dooce - she is an awesome lady - I met her 2 years ago but don't want to be her...she got divorced I think because of the success of her blog)

Shell said...

Love, love, love your take on BlogHer!

Mona Darling said...

Fuck. There is no Sapphic lady love-fest?! I thought I just wasn't invited. Screw this - I"M NEVER GOING AGAIN.

Also. I do have to dispel the no selfie in the hot tub rumor. It did actually happen. It was my roommate. She was fully clothed and the hot tub was empty, but still. Shit got crazy at Queerosphere.

(Awesome post. Much nicer then the one I wrote about that same site. I probably should have waited until the anger wore off.)

Candice said...

Oh. My. Gosh. Talk about laughing yourself into an asthma attack!! Your post cracked me up! Where do people get these ideas from? If it were any of those things, you would have a hard time keeping it BlogHer as I am sure there would be more than one man trying to force his way in to witness such debauchery!

tbunni said...

Ladies, ladies, ladies... While I possess none of your fabulous writing skills, I do have an incredible supply of free sex toys.

My work at a doctor's office brings me nothing except the occasional free lunch, er, educational opportunity, with way too many calories.

On the other hand, my loving husband, as a manager of an adult establishment, receives from time to time free samples of new and exciting(!) merchandise to check out. After all, how can you sell the equipment if you don't try it out?

I'll never make it BlogHer, I don't have the writing skills, interesting life or witty friends.

But never leaving the house has its advantages too...

KymberlyFunFit said...

I was there but never saw the dildos. Who's holding back?! Outing time. Oh wait, the haters already did that. Laughed so hard at this post. Oops, did I say "hard." Way to pack a lot of power fun punch in a short post. Too AWESOME!

Ann said...

Too funny! I think I peed myself.
As one of your fans, I say, THANK YOU for blogging. And you're waaay funnier than Heather or Pioneer Woman.

Erica B said...

hot damn it sounds like a blogging convention I'd like to attend! Do they accept people who blog infrequently and have only 2 followers, one of which her the mother?

Janene said...

"I've remained brand loyal to dick for this long;..."

OMG, Jen, this is brilliant. I may have to steal it. Do you mind? Because, if you do, then I may not steal it 'cos it wouldn't be the Canadian thing to do....

Farmers Wifey said...

My favourite Blogher recap so far! I traveled from Australia and had the best time! I'm stil waiting for my free dildo, do they post? :) Michelle xo

Valerie said...

Holy shit man... I GOTTA go next year!