This Post Will Make You a Millionaire in Three Days! (it absolutely will not)

I just returned home from BlogHer and couldn’t wait to share what I learned.

First, if you are going to be super cool at a conference do not arrive thirty minutes before registration opens. If you do, please refrain from shouting “Hi new best friend!” at the first attendee you see.

Second, if you drink four cups of tea during breakfast, do not sit at the table that is furthest away from the restrooms. It is really embarrassing when you have to keep walking past Arianna Huffington while she is giving her keynote address.

Third, Jenny Lawson is awesome. Waves!!!

Me and my new BFF Jenny!
Me and my new BFF Jenny!

Fourth, Khloe Kardashian’s security think that she is the President and are not to be fucked with. Seriously. I thought they were going to put one nice old lady in a headlock.

Fifth, if you see someone you are having an awkward relationship with, do not under any circumstances sit at their lunch table with them and their stinky-faced friends. Lunches and speeches run together and you may have to sit there for many hours in misery.

Sixth,  holy shit I learned a lot from this conference! I mean, I’m already at number six!

Seventh, headlines are important. If you want to grab someone’s attention you must be bold and specific and make crazy promises. (Please reference my headline, above, for an excellent example of this.)

Eighth, Arianna Huffington advised everyone to “sleep your way to the top.” I mean, not in a sexy way, she just wants us to get more sleep.

Ninth, writing well makes you a bolder person in life. This was a really cool takeaway from one of the writing seminars I attended.

In all seriousness, I had a great time at BlogHer. It was a wonderful adventure. I met some beautiful women that I hope to stay connected to. I’m not sure if I’m going to BlogHer next year but I am definitely going to be a better writer for this.

*I just want to reiterate that nothing in this post (or anything in this blog) will make you a millionaire. Ever.

Clearly I’m Awesome

I took the day off of work today to prepare for the next couple days at the BlogHer Convention. This mostly involves doing laundry, cleaning out my purse and polishing my nails. I’m pretty sure I’ll be the most relaxed person there because I don’t have much by way of expectations. I just want to meet smart people and have fun.  I don’t even have a pitch prepared because I’m not a good enough writer (yet) for a book deal.

I’ve been fascinated by the attendees’ Facebook posts and have been following them closely. It seems that there will be about 3,000 anxious but incredibly talented and creative women attending this conference. Many of their posts are about how afraid they are they won’t make friends. I’m pretty sure that any woman sitting by herself will quickly be approached by someone and fast friends will be made. I’m considering testing this theory by actively trying NOT to make friends. I could skip showering, look surly and hiss at anyone who approaches me. I bet I would still walk out of there with a dozen new buddies. But, we’ll never know because there’s no freaking way I’m gonna do that!

One thing that I need to do is turn my blurry, shitty business cards into paper awesomeness. I’m about a third of the way through that:

Do not adjust your screen - this is how they really look.
Do not adjust your screen – this is how they really look.

And this is how I made them awesome…

IMAG0918 IMAG0917 IMAG0916 IMAG0915 IMAG0914 IMAG0919

C’mon, you know you want one!!!

Romance? Just say no.

The day I stopped believing in romance is when I fell in love. It’s true. I stopped looking for someone who was going to sweep me off my feet and started looking for someone who would treat me well. And there he was, right in front of me.

My history with relationships is weird and awkward. I know those mean the same thing but I really want to get my point across…

Like many young girls, the first time I had sex I thought I was getting into a relationship. I was wrong. It took two months for my deflowerer to tell me he didn’t want to be in a relationship. I pretended that was cool with me when it really felt like I was dying inside.

My first long-term boyfriend was a good guy but sex was difficult for us because, well… there were some proportional issues. It was just as well that we broke up, his family was imploding and I was becoming much too high maintenance. You know, wanting love and attention, that sort of thing.

A few years later, I met a nice Brazilian boy who liked me enough to take me home with him. I brought my toothbrush over and then decided to move in without his consent. It was a studio apartment and we didn’t get along all that well so – shock of shocks – we broke up. After travelling to Brazil together for a month. I asked him not to date my friend that I suspected he had a crush on. A week later he confessed to asking her out. So we got back together. Does that make sense to you? No, me neither. Not surprisingly, it didn’t last very long. But we did become good friends and to this day we stay connected. He even helped me through a difficult break-up.

Speaking of Satan… Did you ever date someone that you knew was an awful person but you’re just so lonely and insecure that you pretend it’s a good idea? I think it’s something that many women go through and, if you’re lucky, you end up the better for it. Albeit, you feel like an idiot.

Well, he was the ex of a friend of mine (I still feel like shit for that) and he wasn’t abusive or into drugs but he liked playing games and fucking with people’s heads. He sweet talked me and told me that he loved me but wanted to keep our relationship a secret. That’s a huge red flag right there ladies – do not ever date a guy who wants to keep your relationship a secret!

He also told me about all the crazy things he’d done in his life which I found difficult to believe. I did some research on the criminal activity he allegedly was involved in and could find no evidence of it really having happened.

Naturally he cheated on me and lied about it. Then he broke up with me over instant messenger like the classy guy he was and it sent me over the edge. He was pretty disturbed individual and it made me act like a crazy person. I would show up for classes and upon seeing him, start crying and leave. I also sent him bad poetry.

It led to me having a string of sexual encounters that went from weird to weird. Not kinky weird, just weird. Although, there was the one guy I slept with because he bought me lingerie. He was french and wanted me to stop shaving my armpits. Obviously, there was no way I could continue with that arrangement.  Eventually, I discovered that I didn’t care for casual sex.

One day, I realized that I should date men that were nice. It wasn’t exactly out of the blue – I read the book ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ and it really was a paradigm-shifting book for me. It should have been obvious from day one that you should only date people who treat you well but when you have low self-esteem it can be difficult.

But, the day I decided to only date nice men I met my future husband. Literally, it was that very day. And, yes, he can be a jerk once in a while but he is really a genuinely nice, nerdy guy and I love him very much. We have a very happy, boring life together and I am so thankful that I decided to be open to nice guys instead of the alpha male jerkwads I used to date.

What I tell people now is that I met my husband the day I pulled my head out of my ass. And every day I ask myself how I can keep my daughter’s head firmly planted on top of her head when it comes to relationships.

 

All the People I’ve Put on Pedestals

My current boss, AwesomeSauce, is amazing and deserves endless praise for turning me into a good manager. She basically gives me therapy during our bi-weekly supervision and it has helped me in more areas of my life than work. But she is not perfect and I have to remind myself of that constantly because I tend to put people on pedestals that they inevitably come crashing down from. It’s probably a trait that many introverts have in common because it seems to happen mostly for people I meet with huge, confident personalities and I envy them.

The first person I placed on a pedestal was an instructor I met when I was 20. He was happy, enigmatic and exotic. His energy just oozed out of him and people were drawn to him like crazy. I became a part of his inner circle and eventually slept with him. He was married.  I was a very innocent 25 year old (it’s a terrible excuse, I know). It didn’t end with a bang, he moved on to other girls in the group and I got a boyfriend. Not terribly exciting, but later on he lent money to someone he knew owed me a huge some of money and I can still feel that burn.

The last person I had on a pedestal was Samantha, my grandiose first boss from my current company. She could never lose an argument and had an opinion about everything. And her opinions were usually different from anything I had previously experienced. Romance was anathema to her. Men were to be used and thrown away. In fairness, she told them ahead of time that she would do this but none of the men seemed to care. I think it probably made her more attractive to them. One year, she showed up to our company holiday party with one date and another boyfriend showed up later on. Her magic was losing its grip on me by that point though.

I think it helps that as I get older and more confident I am less likely sucked into the spell of charming people. This is one of the blessings of getting older and I am grateful for it. Life doesn’t hurt like it constantly seemed to when I was younger and one of the reasons is that I see people differently – as complicated, flawed but amazing beings.

Take-Aways from Seattle

Last week I was in Seattle with my husband and daughter for a wedding and wanted to share some experiences and thoughts:

  • Planes should no longer have propellers on them – they are scary as shit!!! Partly because the ride is bumpier and partly because of the psychology of seeing the ancient propellers. My husband tried to soothe me by telling me they are “the greenest way to fly” to which I replied “fuck you!” (not really, but I was thinking it).
  • The Seattle Public Library is the most amazing place! They have a gift store and I spent more money there than anywhere else in Seattle.
  • Building: Seattle Central Public Library Designer: OMA and LGM Completion Date: May, 2004
  • Another cool places to visit is the Mystery Bookshop. Great place and the employees have a real love of books.
  • Pikes Place = Nope. Way to crowded and difficult to navigate through with a stroller. I wanted to just run people down in a road rage fervor. If you go into any sort of building in Seattle you will need to take at least two elevators to get to your destination. This includes the transit stations and airport.
  • Wish we could have gone to some trendy sections of Seattle. I heard that Broadway was very hip but we couldn’t quite figure out the bus schedule. Same with the zoo.
  • First street does have trendy shops and eateries. I had to buy a dress because I packed for cold weather and it turned out to be very warm. The shopkeeper in one store kept my husband and daughter entertained for so long that there was no way I could leave without buying something. I know, I know… twist my arm!
  • The people in Seattle are as nice as anyone in the south but without the scary nationalistic flip side. Everyone went out of their way to help us figure out the light rail and bus schedules. I even made small talk with people when standing in lines. The older I get, the more likely I am to talk with strangers but they don’t always reciprocate.
  • The tallest building in Seattle is the Columbia building and you can go up to the 73rd floor (second from the top) and check out the view (for a nominal admission fee). The locals recommend this over the Space needle since it is taller and has a Starbucks on the 40th floor. I can’t imagine working in a building so tall that your ears pop on the way up (again, two elevators). I felt dizzy from being so high up.  It was a clear day and the view was great but I was eager to get back to street level.
  • White people can dance. Our vacation included a side trip to Spokane for a wedding where I noticed only one non-Caucasian was in attendance. Great! I thought, I figured there wouldn’t be much action on the dance floor so I tried to perform my usual routine of embarrassingly bad dancing. However, these white kids could dance. Like, really, really well. I had to spend the rest of the wedding on the sidelines looking extremely not cool.