The BlogHer ’11 Laughter Jam
The thing I will remember most about BlogHer ’11 was the laughter. The sessions were fantastic, the connections amazing, and the swag really really good. But the laughter was the best part of it all. And most of it, true to form, from a pile-up of embarrassing moments.
When I tweeted this:
I was referring to this:
The thing about photo booths is that the flash goes off whether you’re ready for it or not. And keeps going off until one of you ends up bent over, clutching her stomach and totally out of the very last picture, while the other clasps her hands to her chest in an effort to get a breath in through the hee-hawing.
We emerged from the booth laughing like hyenas, stumbling over our waiting bags because we couldn’t see through the tears streaming down our faces.
A Pfizer rep rushed over and asked to film us, and we stupidly said yes, even though our hair was sticking to our wet cheeks and I was wielding a roll of toilet paper that I’d managed to dig out of my purse to help us mop up our running makeup.
When we finally recovered, we noticed that everyone on the floor within viewing distance was staring at us. Including the guy holding out our pictures.
Me: You must see this all the time!
Guy: No, not really.
He gave us an unamused smile and turned back to staring at the wall across the floor. Which makes me wonder what exactly that video is going to be used for! Like, printing out a still and playing Pin The Tail On The Idiots.
Trapped In An Elevator
I walked onto the elevator and recognized the name on the badge of the guy in the corner.
Me: Oh! HEEEYYY! I follow you on Twitter!
Me: Yeah, my husband is Brazilian and we travel a lot, and I love your travel suggestions.
Him: I don’t write about traveling.
Me: Um, oh. You don’t write about traveling with your kids?
Him: Uh, no.
Blank looks. Blinking.
Me: I guess I have you confused with someone else.
What do you do at that point? Turn and face the doors, hiding your badge with your purse so he can’t get a look at who you are, and wait in awkward silence all the way up to your floor, where you saunter off the elevator, trying to walk slowly so he won’t think you have a care in the world, even though you both know you just made an ass of yourself.
I found out later that he’s HUGE in the blogging world. I think I was the only person at the conference who didn’t know who he was. I do now.
As I was leaving a media event I saw a friend from across the room, bending over a pile of paperwork. I ran up to her, yelling, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I didn’t see you before now! When did you get here?” My friend turned and we gave each other a really big hug. As I pulled away and saw her face, I realized, it was NOT my friend. In fact, I’d never seen this person before in my life.
Her: Oh, I know! It’s so good to see you! My plane got in a little late so I slipped in after it started.
I could see her trying to sneak a look at my nametag. She didn’t know who I was, either!
Me: It’s so good to see you, too! Hey, I have to run out for a minute, but we’ll catch up later!
Her: Okay! Sounds great!
I escaped out of the room and hid in the bathroom until I could figure out a way out of my mix-up. I really had to give her credit for going with the flow! I decided to go the honesty route, but when I walked back by the room, she was gone.
Two nights later I was at a party when someone grabbed my arm. That someone being HER!
Her: Hey! How’re you doing?1 Isn’t this a great party?
Me: Yeah! Hey, I have to admit something to you. I thought you were someone else when I went up to you the other day, and you were so kind to pretend that you knew me, too! I actually don’t know who you are!
Her: Don’t you remember me? We met at lunch yesterday.
Me: No, you mean the media conference. It was the day before yesterday!
Her smile started to fade.
Her: We sat next to each other at the catered lunch yesterday? I’m from the humor site?
And then I realized, the woman I was talking to was, in fact, the person I’d sat next to at lunch the day before and NOT the woman I had pretended to know from two days prior.
Me: Oh my gosh! YES! I’m so sorry, I’m at the point where everything is starting to blend together. Ha ha ha.
I waved my drink inbetween us, hoping that she’d think I was a little tipsy and attribute my mess-up to too much alcohol. Never mind that my drink didn’t have an ounce of alcohol in it.
Her: Hmmm. Yeah. Have a good one.
I slinked away, straight to the sides of my friends, who all died laughing when I told them what had happened.
I just have to say, that my friend and these two women are all the same height and build, and have the same hair, so it was only half my fault for mixing them all up.
On my way to the sponsor suites with the above mentioned Michelle from Muffin Tin Mom, we passed by a snack table. Of course we had to stop and fill up our plates with pita chips and dips.
As we were walking, Michelle got a glimpse of my back and started freaking out.
Michelle: Laural! NOOO! OH NO!
Me: Oh my God, Michelle, what’s WRONG?
I had no idea what she was referring to, except that it had to do with my backside, and it must be BAD.
Me: DID MY PANTS RIP? Michelle, OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO TELL ME, did my pants rip?
Michelle: No! Oh, Laural, it’s WORSE!
I was seriously starting to panic. If it wasn’t a rip in the booty, it was probably a cockroach crawling on me! Or a snake!
Me: WHAT IS IT?
Michelle: You have hummus smeared all over the back of your shirt!
Not a rip and not a creepy crawly, thank goodness, but hummus isn’t the prettiest thing to have smeared all over you. And it doesn’t have the most pleasant smell, either. And I wasn’t going to be able to go back to my room to change for at least a few more hours.
Just as we were stepping into a bathroom so Michelle could try to get the worst of it off with paper towels, Jessica Bern walked by. Now here was a person who’d appreciate an embarrassing predicament!
Me: Jessica! I have hummus smeared all over the back of my shirt!
Me: Look! There’s hummus all over the back of my shirt! And I have no idea how it got there! Isn’t that CRAZY?
Jessica: What are you talking about? I don’t see anything at all.
And she kept on walking. My attempt to connect over adversity had totally backfired.
When I finally stood in front of the mirror with Michelle at my back, I noticed I had guacamole down the front of my shirt as well.
There were so many more funny moments, like when Maegan from Beyond the Bandaids had a leafy green wrapped around her entire tooth, making it look like there was a gaping hole right in the front of her mouth, and all I could do was laugh and point as she asked, “What? What?” and showed us that tooth over and over again. I can’t list them all or you’d never get to the end.
Suffice to say, BlogHer ’11 was a huge success, laughter wise. And I wouldn’t change a thing (as long as Elevator Guy doesn’t figure out who I am).