I don’t know if you’ve heard* but there’s a conference for Ladies Who Blog going on this weekend. It’s like Nerd Prom** but for women. Who Blog. I guess. Whatever. I’m not going. Which is fine. I’ll read all about it, and feel like I was there anyway, because that’s all people are going to be blogging about for the next few weeks. It’s all they’ve been blogging about for the last month leading up to it.
This is starting to sound bitter, which is not my intention. I’m only talking about it because while I was thinking about what exactly I would do there besides sit in my hotel room and wonder when the next cocktail hour was happening (I abhor panels because there’s always some asshole asking stupid questions that makes you want to punch them in the back of their plastic chair), and I realized, I’ve actually logged a shitload of time at conventions far trickier than this one. Conventions with no alcohol, a curfew and shared hotel rooms, which brings me to a super nerdy confession that I’m sure you’ll all laugh at me for. All 7 of you who don’t already know that I was and always will be a Super Big Nerd.
When I was in high school, my sister was involved in a service organization called Key Club, which is the high school branch of Kiwanis International. (I’m sure if you pressed a specific part of my brain I could tell you who formed it and when it went national, etc.) She was pretty serious about it. Through some strange turn of events, I think starting because of her attendance at an International Convention held in Annaheim, she got roped into being a Lt. Governor and from there her popularity soared and she eventually became the Governor of the Southwest District. I don’t really know the scope of how big a deal this is anymore, but I do remember that everyone at the International Convention in Chicago knew who she was. Every last one of the 20,000 business attired high school attendees knew my sister because she was helping the candidate for the Presidency run his campaign. They started to know who I was too, because I followed my sister around like the loner I was. (I’m surprise she never punched me in the back of my plastic chair.) My second year I was elected as a Lt. Governor. (District 11 and 19, dude, don’t ask me what I’m forgetting right now in order to have that stored up in my brain.) I think my platform was, “I’m the only one running.” I had to write a Newsletter. I went to Conventions and Retreats and Leadership Conferences in glamorous locals like Alburquerque and Pennsylvania. I was IMPORTANT. I can’t imagine the unfortunate hotel guests who were subjected to thousands of dorky high school students, who are chanting and wearing badges with pins*** on them and basically trying to get made out with or at least groped, descending on a city and going to meetings and holding elections and it all sounds so lame that I can’t even believe my sister dragged me into it. I LOVED it. My freshman and sophomore years of high school were tough. I was not so popular. (Not until the drinking and misbehaving really got ramped up did I make a name for myself.) And Key Club gave me something to do. I look back in awe at my sister. She was a lightening rod. She was so pretty and smart and everyone liked her. EVEN BOYS! ESPECIALLY BOYS! One year she went to prom in three different states. (As it turns out at least one of them was gay, but you know how it is, high school is confusing.)
I just had a flash of the ‘clip art’ file that I had to use and literally, I cut (with scissors) and pasted (with glue or invisible tape) pictures of people doing things like holding a bouquet of flowers or digging a hole onto my craftily designed newsletter, which I would print out on a dot matrix printer and then Zerox on my dad’s GINORMOUS copy machine. Dear lord. Those kids probably have blogs for their districts now. Lucky.
Anyway, the reason I thought of all of this is because if I went to conventions when I was a kid and was sort of a person in charge, I can’t go back to being a participant. I’m really bad at big group functions where-in I don’t have a specific
role to fill. Give me a bridesmaid’s dress and I’m golden. Send me
out to ‘mingle’ with strangers and I stand around looking mean and
bored.**** . I was a Convention rock star (if you could see some of the photos I have from the convention, you’ll know that I’m being ironic.) I owned them, you know. I was an elected officer. I got into meetings other people couldn’t get into. A long time after I dropped out of Key Club, I was at a bar in Tempe and a guy came up to me and asked me if my name was Tamara. I was surprised that someone knew me in Tempe and knew the proper pronunciation of my first and last name. He said he knew me from Key Club. I had no idea who he was. Had never seen him before. He was a stalker. Ok, he wasn’t a stalker, he just was some random guy who remembered me from one of the local conventions. He remembered the panel I ran. I did that. I ran panels.
So, for some reason this all came to mind when I was reading about Blogher. I hope if you went, you had an awesome time. Nerd.
*You’d have to be kind of blind if you haven’t.
**This is a full on Nerd Bait. For those of you who don’t know, Nerd Prom is Comic-Con.
***One of the things I brought home from Arizona was a baggie full of pins from the conventions. Shut. up.
****I am mean and usually bored, but I don’t like to look that way.