>It's that time of the year, when the BlogHer conference is just around the corner, and people freak out and worry obsessively: what to wear, what if no one wants to talk to me, etc. etc. It's also that time of the year when "experienced" BlogHer attendees write posts and guides to BlogHer to sooth newbie's fears. Here's my non-contribution to this literary tradition:

Forget all the soothing internet back-patting that's going on: you are right to freak out. It will probably be overwhelming. But it will also be fine, and you will be excited to come back again. And again. And again.

My first BlogHer conference was in San Jose in 2006. Before I went, I feared that I would wind up in a corner eating cheese by myself. (This is what happens to me at pretty much every conference I go to, so I didn't think that BlogHer would be different.) And that's almost exactly what happened, except I didn't eat cheese in the corner by myself. I ate cookies. Lots of cookies. I also spoke to some cool people, and I met my blog heroine, Suebob. Suebob even went out to dinner with me, off-site. I was sure after that she would never want to talk to me again, but not only did we keep in touch and hang out at subsequent conferences, I even visited her at her lovely home, and we shall be roommates at the conference this summer. See? It all worked out. (And what did I wear? I think I wore a different pro-choice t-shirt every day. I had a reason, but I can't remember it. I also wore jeans and some weird gym shoes that were supposed to help work out my legs.)

In 2007, my several friends joined me at the Chicago conference. Just knowing that Count Mockula, Alex Elliot, and Super Des were there, and thus I would not eat cheese (or cookies) by myself in a corner, made me more confident and relaxed. As I result, I talked to more people. This was good. (And what did I wear? I can't remember. Probably jeans and t-shirts. During the ice breaker, some idiot bitch asked me if I was a lesbian, and when I said no, she sneered at me and pointed to my CUSS logo shirt and said that I "project" lesbian. Whatver.)

The following year, Count Mockula had a baby (totally awesome) and didn't come to the conference in San Francisco. Des did not attend, either. Alex and I roomed together again, and I spent the entire conference hanging out in the bookstore, chatting various people up, except for the session I attended on not having children. Maybe I went to another session or two involving other things, and I attempted to attend one of the infamous swag parties, but fled the noise and crowds promptly. The important part is that I had oodles of fun, and I got to sign my book, which rocked. (And what did I wear? More t-shirts and jeans, although I gussied up a bit for the book signing and wore a silk-y shirt with jeans.)

Now we are back to my hometown this year. Alex can't attend, but I shall be rooming with Mar, a newbie, and the aforementioned goddess Suebob. I will attend parties and a session or two and hang out. I will eat unhealthy foods, possibly by myself, but more likely with others because I've done this before and I know more people. I will do another book signing (this time, during Friday's cocktail reception) and have lots of fun. Yay!
(And what will I wear? Yes, t-shirts and jeans...)