Top 10 List: BlogHer Edition

BlogHer 09 is less than one month away. Everywhere I go, I see posts and tweets about how nervous people. Will they feel left out? Will they get snubbed by The Populars? What will they wear? Oh, the anxiety!
I remember how nervous I was the first year that I went. I worried about the same things I’m seeing pop up on twitter. But decided I wasn’t going to let those fears keep me from having a good time. I was going to MAKE MY OWN FUN! And do you know what? That’s exactly what I did. I made the experience my own. When a friend had to ditch me to go to the Super Exclusive Hotel Room Part-ay, I didn’t allow myself to feel hurt or bitter. There was entire group of interesting people I could mingle and get to know outside!
I ended up having the BEST time, meeting fabulous women. And I know that sounds so cheesy, but it’s the truth.
After that first year, I realized there was nothing to be nervous about. (Well, with the exception of THE PLANE RIDE BECAUSE OH MY GOD JESUS HELP ME IN THE SKY!!) Each year I have made new friends, hung out with old friends and made memories that will make me smile and, in some cases, Make Sweet Pee Pee, for the rest of my life. So, I’d like to share my Top 10 BlogHer Memories with you. If you’ve been to BlogHer and would like to do the same, please do and make sure to link back to it in the comments so I can come read yours!
#10 Getting punched by Jen Lancaster.
I had known Jen (online) for a couple of years before I met her at the 2007 Chicago conference. I was more than just a little bit excited to know I would finally get a chance to meet her in person. At the first cocktail party, I kept asking everyone that I talked to “have you seen Jen Lancaster?” It was kind of sad, because I had “bulging discs” and literally could not turn my head, so I had to rely on others to be on the lookout for her. I was on the “dance floor” watching Oh, The Joys, Bossy and Casey dance it up when out of the BLUE, I hear someone say “OH MY GOD, YOU ARE SUCH A LIAR, YOU ARE NOT FAT!” followed by a “POW” right on my arm. It was Jen. And she had just a) called me a lair b) punched me. I love telling people that Jen Lancaster punched me!
The Mighty Jen Lancaster
#9 Getting a text message from Heather B (also, discovering my phone had texting capabilities!)
It was my first BlogHer experience and I was nervous as I walked through the doors of the conference room after just having arrived from the airport. I received a text, so I opened it up. I didn’t recognize the number… the message said something like “OMG I just saw you walk by.” I was all “um, hi! who is this?” And she was all “It’s Heather B” and I was all “OMG. where are you at?” And she was all “by the pool!” So I ran out the door, headed for the pool where I not only met Heather, but also Chris, Mir and Carmen. Who knew that would be the beginning of the kind of friendship where we were comfortable doing things like this:
Because that's what you do when you love each other.
#8– The Unexpected and Terrifying “Ride” Elevator Ride at the St.Regis Hotel.
When Lindsay and I first stepped into the elevator, I may have said something like “Oh, look, it’s glass, you can see outside!” I think I was so in awe of the pretty view, that I may have forgotten to push the button to choose a floor. WHOOPS. All of a sudden, the elevator shot up, then came flying back down again, then back up again, then down again. I was trying to hold my shit together (had I been alone, I would have been all “JESUS SAVE ME I’M SORRY FOR EVERYTHING!”) so as not to look like a jackass, but then Lindsay, Ms. CoolCalmAndCollected kind of started freaking out so I was all “What the hell? THIS IS THE WORST!” We realized we hadn’t chose a floor, corrected our mistake and all was well with the world again.
#7 – Kicking back in the FURNITURE DEPARTMENT at MACY’S drinking wine and talking with Glennia and Maria and many, many others.
No, seriously, there was a part-ay INSIDE OF Macy’s. And the party moved from one floor to the other, one of the floors was the home furnishings floor. They had the book signing for Sleep is for the Week there. I can’t even express to you the panic I felt in my soul watching people sit on the white couches with their glasses of wine. NUTS, I tell you.
Immoral Matriach Maria.  LOVE.
#6 Getting my hair and make up done by a professional. Named Jesus.
This is not only one of my top Blogher Memories, but one of the best memories of MY LIFE. I was doing an interview with Leah Peah for Alpha Mom. I had no idea there would be someone there who would do my makeup. Nor did I have any idea his name would be JESUS. And it wasn’t pronounced like every other person who I had ever known in my life named Jesus (Hey-Soos.) It was actually pronounced “JESUS!” I can’t even begin to describe the joy I felt in my soul when I got to say “Thank you for making me look so pretty, Jesus.”
Me and Jesus.
#5– Crashing a Part-ay!
We had heard that Rhymes with Meal Pimple was having a party. So, we were all “let’s go check it out.” When we got there, The Meal Pimple people were all like “this was an invite only party.” And we were all “oh, we weren’t invited, we just came to check it out.” And they were all “that’s okay! Go ahead and grab a name tag and write your name on the back.” And so we were all “OKAY! Awesome! Thank you!” We entered the room and were immediately served a delicious dinner that I still think about every now and then. After dinner was over, we sat in an area in the back of the room where we quietly sipped on drinks from the Open Bar. I began to suspect that EVEN THOUGH they had invited us in, they weren’t happy about us being there. Something about them picking up the Swag Bags and HIDING THEM FROM US just made me think that MAYBE, we weren’t as welcome as we were led to believe. The hiding of the Swag Bags was followed by a not so loving suggestion that we were “FREE TO TAKE OUR CONVERSATION OUTSIDE.” and also by a very personalized announcement that “Ladies? THE BAR IS NOW CLOSED.”
"Real Simple!"
#4 Sleeping with Amalah
It’s not as sexy as it sounds. After the cocktail party, I joined Amy in her room for a little after party with HeatherB, Jen and Becky. (If I left someone out, I’m sorry!!) I remember ordering pizza and wine. I remember laughing, A LOT. I remember being forced into doing The Worm. And the next thing you know, it was 4 am and I woke up in Amy’s bed in a pool of drool and with severe After Too Much Alcohol Shits. I was seriously like OH MY GOD THIS CAN NOT HAPPEN IN AMALAH’S ROOM. THIS SIMPLY CAN NOT HAPPEN. But it was happening and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I ran to the bathroom, where my ass proceed to explode. I must have done 20 Courtesy Flushes, but they were not “helping” if you know what I’m saying and I think that you do. I needed air freshener (and quite possibly towels to lay in front of the opening at the bottom of the bathroom door.) In a moment of panic, I reached for one of Amy’s hair products and began to spray. SPRAY SPRAY SPRAY. It helped a little, but not much. As soon as I felt like the worst of it was over, I knew I had to make a mad dash out of there before she woke up. I washed my hands, closed the bathroom door behind me. I crawled on my hands and knees to feel the floor for my shoes. Once I found them, I took off RUNNING from her room, barely making it back to mine to finish what I had started in Amy’s bathroom.
#3– Drinking a beer with Miss Zoot.
I don’t like beer, but I love love LOVE Miss Zoot, so when she told me she wanted a beer, but felt awkward about having one (because everyone else was drinking Girly Girl Drinks) I was all “I’ll have a beer with you!” I loved being able to do something with her, that made her feel at ease. That’s what friends are for, man. For drinking beers with.
#2 CheeseburgHer Party!
If you’ve not heard the story, you can read how it all started here. So many memories from the first and second one. People eating bean dip WHILE SITTING ON OUR PILLOWS. Serious Conversations With Bags on Heads. “We’re just writers, sir.” security threatening to EVICT US, but then laughing about and posing for pictures in the hallway while trying to get rid of the 100’s of people in our room. There isn’t anything I haven’t loved about those parties. I can’t wait for this years.
#1 Reading at the First Annual Community Keynote.
I was stunned when I received an email informing me a post of mine had been submitted and chosen for this event. I hadn’t submitted it. (Thought about submitting something, but was terrified at the thought of reading in front of 1,000 people.) I was flattered to have been selected, but also terrified. I had absolutely no idea that it would be a life changing event. I know that sounds Very Dramatic, but it’s the truth. I stood up there, barefoot and trembling and read words that were deeply personal and painful. The paper shook as my hands trembled. I felt a lump rise in my throat and tears form in my eyes as I read. I also felt the love and support of every single person that room and that is what kept me from losing it entirely. When I finished, people cheered. I couldn’t see the faces, but numerous people approached me after it was over to tell me that they had cried as I read. That they related to the words that I spoke. It was amazing and I am grateful for having been given the chance to be a part of such an incredible event.

Honorable Mentions:
Singing in the bathroom with Jenny (The Bloggess)
The cab ride to the airport after BlogHer07 in which Lena was a liiiiiiiiittle sick and not in the mood to talk, but I couldn’t help myself and kept talking anyway. EVEN AFTER she turned her head away from me and said things like “please stop talking.” Also, the plane ride home, in which we argued about whether the creature in the ocean on the tv screen was a whale or a shark and I was all “OBVIOUSLY, you’ve never been to Sea World” and some business dude couldn’t help himself, turned around and corrected me. But, you had to be there, I think. Actually, pretty much EVERY SINGLE MOMENT with Lena. I love her.
Pre Party Fun with Lena
Meeting Amy Sedaris AND making her laugh.
Walking into to the lobby of the W in Chicago and seeing WOMEN DOING THE WORM. I’m looking at you, Jessica.
I could go on for hours– so many wonderful memories. So many beautiful people.
In conclusion: BlogHer is kick ass fun and you really don’t have anything to be nervous about. You WILL make friends, you will find Your Tribe and have a good time. I promise you.

45 thoughts on “Top 10 List: BlogHer Edition

  1. Lena

    Yvonne! Oh my God. You just made me excited (and nervous) about Blogher.
    This post kicks ass.
    And? Meal Pimple is now my favorite magazine. I blush every time I but it. I can just hear them saying “This magazine rack is CLOSED. You’re FREE to read one of the other magazines. Maybe US weekly?”.
    I can’t wait for this year. It’s going to be the best year YET.

  2. Allyson/ @HBMomof2

    I loved this post, because I have never heard of Blogher until Twitter, and now everyone I follow is excited about it. You gave me insight to how much fun it can be.
    I loved the video of your keynote address. It brought tears to my eyes, because your struggle is my struggle, both with weight and with raising a daughter with my insecurities. You were much more eloquent in that regard than I ever could be. Thank you for voicing my thoughts and allowing me to forgive myself for all that I have done (or more correctly, not done) because of my weight. I will attempt to not be as self centered and to get out and do and not sit home and fret and try to love myself for who I am rather than what I think I should be. Thank you for this post. It was exactly what was needed on day like today.

  3. AnnetteK

    I love this post. I can’t wait for BlogHer. I had a small taste of what it’s like at Boston BlogHer last fall and I loved every minute of it. I do intend to make my own fun and try not be shy or embarrassed. And I very much intend to find you and hug you for being such an inspiration to me. I’m sorry if that sounds dorky but I swear I’ve been reading you forever and your health and weight loss posts really made me open up about my own struggles with those on my blog. I just wanted you to know that.

  4. ali

    i LOVE this.
    the only thing about blogher that worries me is not getting ENOUGH time to make all the memories with all the people I want to make them with, yanno? there’s just not. enough. time.

  5. Karly

    I’m SO EXCITED! This is my first year going and I can’t wait! I’m saving all the nerves for the night before. I’ll be nervous then. For now, I’m too excited!

  6. girlplease

    I know someone who works at Meal Pimple. For shame on her company for giving you the boot.
    And you need to remind me about BlogHer. God damn it I live in Chicago and I will go this year!!!
    email me, fool. I’m leaving you my email address that I check all the time.

  7. Maria

    Hey! That’s me!! Gah, I’m so excited to see you again, and get to spend more time with you! Your keynote was amazing, you all set a high bar last year.
    BlogHer just isn’t long enough, Imma need about 4 more days.

  8. Pocklock

    This totally got me psyched.
    I have more anxiety about leaving my 10-month old for the first time over(3)nights and of course DE PLANE, but I’m sure once I’m headed for the airport all the other holy-s**tness will crash down upon me and I’ll freak out about whether or not I brought enough accessories OR how I don’t even have the first clue HOW to accessorize!
    I hope I get to meet you, Y.

  9. Mom101

    Wait you left out the best part about the Meal Pimple party – taking my name tag. Because I wasn’t there. Because they forgot to invite me, even though they made a name tag for me.
    (Okay, that wasn’t the best part. But I thought it was funny.)
    I love that this reads like something in the back of my high school yearbook. Can’t wait to see you, whoo!

  10. Backpacking Dad

    You are a BlogHer Guru. And a total doll to meet and talk to.
    Is doll still a thing? Or should I be smoking a cigarette and drinking scotch while I say that and plan my day of discriminating against women in the workplace?

  11. Miss

    I am already so excited. One thing I am SO looking forward to is the PARTYPLANE BABY! To start off an already sure to be awesome weekend like that? Holy crap. It’s going to be awesome.

  12. Mrs. Flinger

    God I hope you never get tired of how often I’m saying I love you. Because I LOVE YOU.
    You’re like the bestest real person I know. All up in the honesty and shit. I love that. And also? Just plain fucking cool.

  13. Maria

    I’m so excited about this.
    And I loveLOVELOVE that you talked about getting the too-much-to-drink shits. I thought I was the only one who did that.
    I have THREE roommates so I’m screwed. Or, more specifically, they’re screwed.

  14. ElizabethZ

    This is a great post! I don’t have a blog so won’t be going but I read you all the time (and hope you are no longer crying over your french toast).
    The reason I am commenting though, is this:
    While this line is hilarious you may want to edit it in your #10:
    It was kind of sad, because I had “bulging dics”

  15. Julie K

    Thanks for the great post! You have done a lot to reassure me (a total noob) that this will be a fun time. I just hope I think of something un-Farley-ish to say when I run into my blogging Pantheon.

  16. AmazingGreis

    Thanks for this awesome post. I’m a bit nervous about my frist Blogher experience! But I won’t let nerves keep me from having fun.
    Hope to meet you there. I can’t believe it’s 3 weeks away. Crap!!!

  17. IzzyMom

    One of my funny memories of BlogHer 07 is when you and Lena so graciously offered to clothe my sorry lost-luggage ass and when I took off my shirt, you guys gasped because I didn’t have stretch marks on my baby blubber. I’m pretty sure that moment cemented my love for both of you

  18. Christina

    I feel totally warm and fuzzy now after reading that list, and ready to wrap myself in the love of BlogHer for a long weekend of partying and catching up with friends and soon-to-be friends.
    I’ll have to think about my top 10 BlogHer moments, but the CheeseburgHer party has to be one of them. Where else can you be welcomed into a suite full of amazing women with a tray of cheeseburgers and a McD’s bag to put on your head?
    Looking forward to seeing you at BlogHer. And tho we’ve often passed by each other in years past, I’m planning on getting a hug this year.

  19. Lindsay

    You just got me SO PSYCHED! How cool that I got to share so many of your best BlogHer moments with you! We will make MANY MORE this year!! WOOOOOOOO.

  20. Jerri Ann

    Too cool, I am terrified. I went to Blissdom and Mom 2.0 Summit this year and had a blast but Tanis was kind enough to inform me of how many more people would be at Blogher and how it would be 10 times more intense. Thanks Tanis, I may die a slow death between my house and Chicago.
    This is something I took from your linked post that is so important for everyone to remember, including me who has only had a few party invites and of course…nervous already from Tanis’ vision.
    a bunch of people who I didn’t know and weren’t interested in getting to know me didn’t invite me to their party.
    I have to keep telling myself that I might have just been left out by accident or more importantly, if they didn’ t invite me then they are gonna miss out and why would I want to “pout over a bunch of people who I didn’t know and weren’t interested in getting to know me didn’t invite me to their party.”
    OH my stomach is flipping and flopping like crazy now.

  21. Issa

    I love this post. Truly I love it. Especially because I am terrified of BH. Not because I don’t have my peeps, because I do. Not even because I am afraid that I won’t have a blast, because I’m gonna make sure i do. But mostly, because I was chosen for the Keynote thing this year. I didn’t send in my post, someone else did and I’m anxious at the thought of being up there, much less talking.
    But? I’ve watched your video twice now and I think I might just be able to do it. Thank you for posting it. I remember reading that post of yours (hai, I rarely comment, I’m Issa) and finding it to be beautiful. And that video is beautiful. You? Are beautiful.

  22. becky

    oh lordy. now i’m going to have to go back to my blogher 06 pics and see if i can find one of you doing the worm in amalah’s room. i do definitely have one of amy flipping me the bird as i was shooting her. ah, good times.
    i am looking forward to hanging out with a bunch of old friends and putting names and faces together of new ones. but damn, i am so scared to leave the little one for the first time. hold me.

  23. Carmen

    Y, you put ME on your list! AHHHHH!!! I was just getting ready to MAKE my list – with you in five of the ten spots!
    I LOVE you and can’t wait to see you again!

  24. Kellee

    I hav eto say I think it is awesome you mentioned Jen Lancaster. My book club is reading “Bitter is the new black” for our next month’s meeting. Yay for small worlds and all that.

  25. becky

    Lassa! I knew there was someone else, Y. It was Lassa in the room w/us. Oh, and have I got a picture for you. On its way.

  26. Laura Lohr

    I have wanted to go for four years now and it just never seems to work out (sold out, no $$$, too little of a baby still breastfeeding, etc). I hope (and know) you will have an awesome time! *jealous*

  27. Amalah

    My bathroom smelled like flowers, I swear. Or detangler spray. I could not tell. And I was all, hey! Where’d she go? I needs some spooning, beeflog!
    Good times.
    And then last year I sent probably 249038434034873 text messages to a no-longer-existent phone.
    (PS Will have baby with me this time. THE WHOLE TIME. I will hand him off to anybody willing to give my freaking arms a break. Come talk to me and hold my &$#$& baby for awhile, people.)

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