Everyone’s abuzz about BlogHer: what they’re wearing, what they’re bringing, what parties they’re going to, what Tim Gunn will be wearing. I understand this happens a lot in the weeks leading up to this conference each year: I missed the insanity last year, since in July I was still just splashing around in the blogging kiddie pool, and not really reading enough of the “right” people or in the right places to know that I was supposed to feel left out. This year, I will be one of the one thousand people in Chicago for the conference, and while I don’t feel left out, I’m a little bit worried about how I will function once I’m there, and if at some point I won’t just feel a little bit overwhelmed by everything and seek refuge in my room, where wireless internet and room service will be readily available without the nagging need for face-to-face socializing.
I mean, I can always eavesdrop on what everyone’s doing by reading Twitter, right? Will there be updates provided like the ones during the aftermath of the Iranian Election–instructing people to avoid the elevator in Tower 2 because somebody is having a bitchfest or because somebody finally revealed the true identity of ChickenLiver? Wait, do we already know who Chicken Liver is? Do we care? Will the people who aren’t there color their Twitter avatars purple and orange in support? Is that suggestion offensive?
Other questions: What is security like at the MamaPop party? Is there a doorman I can sweet talk to get in, or will it be a case of jumping over a wall in the back? Because I’m ready, either way. Will I feel compelled to wear my badge everywhere, or will I want to hide whenever possible? Will I be able to pass as just somebody who happens to be in the hotel at the time? Or will everyone immediately realize I must be a blogger and expect me to start talking to them? If I go to the popular culture panel, will all of the Mama Pop people know who I am, or can I pass for some other, nicer, less objectionable blogger thereby avoid potential problems? Will people guess who I am or not notice me at all? When I go down to the fitness center to exercise, will there be anyone there that I need to impress? Should I be working on my sprint trials now, just so I’m prepared? Where do you put a pack of business cards in lululemon stretch pants? So many questions!
One thing that is annoying me is the talk of stilettos. I know it’s bitchy of me to say it, but listen: where I come from, you don’t wear stilettos for a bunch of other women. And if you have wide, fugly feet like me, you really don’t ever wear them. Because it would be like trying to balance an elephant on a pencil, people. And besides, I’ve never had the whole shoe thing down–I know it’s supposed to be something you do to sort of fit in with your gender, but I don’t get it. I think feet are generally gross. I don’t like to spend a lot of time looking at them or thinking about them. And high heels, particularly stiletto heels, are really uncomfortable.
But more upsetting, really, is the stiletto discourse that I see emerging here. We are not just wearing stilettos, but we are talking about wearing stilettos. Did we do this before 2000, or is this yet another annoying Carrie Bradshaw-inspired cultural construct? Does everyone wear them at BlogHer? Do you
walk hobble around from panel to panel, wooing sponsors in your stilettos? Is it OK if I decide which panels I’m going to based upon the panelist’s comfortability with me wearing shorts and flip flops? It’s hot here right now. I have shorts and flip-flops, or gym clothes. That’s it. Maybe a couple pairs of jeans. I know we’re supposed to be all professional and talking to sponsors and everything, but let’s face it: they don’t take us seriously anyway! So who cares? Maybe we should show up in bathrobes?
Maybe we can get them to give us bathrobes! Quick, somebody get the people from Kashwere on the horn, I’ve got an awesome opportunity for product placement . . .