The Swine of Swag: My First Impression of BlogHer '09

2009 07 23_BlogHer '09_9176_edited-1_au_edited-2

Somehow managed to become a post card model in between blog fights and man invasions

I almost left the BlogHer Conference 6 hours after I arrived in Chicago.  My first impression was not a pretty one.

After a very long morning of delayed flights & planes with engine trouble ( 2 xanax for me!) I arrived in Chicago ready to lose my virginity to the great BlogHer conference.   I had no idea what to expect being my first conference.  I had my volunteer schedule, the speaker/panelist schedule, and the party schedule.  When we landed I hopped in the shuttle to find myself riding with a fellow bloggess.  She spoke highly of the conferences that she had been to before.  My excitement for the weekend away, a weekend surrounded by people who do the same thing I do every day, began to grow.

Because I received a bloghership (a free ride in exchange for some volunteerism) to the conference I had to arrive a day early.  There I was in a hotel I had never stayed in before, in a city I had never seen, about to meet a roommate whom I had never met.  Interesting times were ahead. That night the roomie and I met up with my Chicago girl, Tempted.  We had a fabulous dinner at Publican and then headed back to the hotel for the first night of BlogHer parties.  I still exhausted from the delayed flight and length of the day, skipped the first rager for a nap.  I set my alarm for the second festivity and closed my eyes.

When I arrived at the party a few hours later, I noticed a herd of women squeezing together so tight it looked like they were in an imaginary corral.  Jill and I were standing at the outskirts when we noticed the bags of swag on a table in front of corralled women.  It was hot and smelly.  Women were pushing and I immediately lost Jill in the madness.  I left  the debauchery.  On my way out I ran into some chicks by the bar and we chatted about the insanity & greed of the women in front of us.  It was so odd.  All of these women were here for the conference however they were acting as though the $12 dildo in the swag bag would grant them eternal life.  The entire experience bummed me out and made me think my entire weekend would be a bunch of crazy ass blitches taking out babies for swag.

It was at that point that I truly considered hoping in a cab and heading home.  I didn't fly to Chicago &  leave my kids, husband, and dogs to partake in what seemed like a god damn reality show.  Here I was looking to connect with bloggers, with women.  I came to the conference with hopes of finding friendship and knowledge, not greed and shame.

But I didn't leave.  I went up to my room, poured myself a glass of Primativo, & took a bath all the while keeping my fingers crossed that the swine of swag would not ruin my experience at my very first BlogHer Con.  I decided to give the 'ole girl a chance.

Looking back, I am SO GLAD that I didn't leave.  Sure there were some crazed mommy bloggers threatening people, talking shit, and punching babies, but there were also some amazing speakers, panelists, and bloggers of the non psycho for swag variety that I was fortunate enough to mingle with.

The weekend away ended up being quite inspirational for me as well as for the future of the Widow.  I am an inspired woman with a new dream, a new goal for this blog and that would not be the case had I not attended BlogHer '09.  I am excited to see where all of my new found knowledge and connections will lead me.  I look forward to next year's conference with hopes of change in the swag department and anticipation for the location.  New York City baby!

10 Things I'm Learning About Myself at Blogher '09

photo The Chicago sun and I making sweet sweet love on a park bench

1.  I am not as social as I once was.  In fact I am kind of a lame ass.  5 years ago this crazy widow would be the headliner of every social event in town.    Today not so much.  A bed, a book, and a bath is my idea of a kick ass night.

2.  The above being said, the people I've met and the friendships I've made at BlogHer '09 appear to be ones that may last a very long time.  Miss Britt, Mr. Lady, Busy Dad, and Mommy is Moody...I heart you a million.

3.  I do not drink nearly as much as I used to.  Not even remotely close.  I am SO super lameo.  However, being hungover and listening to people talk about the interwebs sucks ass.

4.  I am madly in love with my children & the Chef and I desperately miss them.  To the point of serious depression.

5.  I really really really love to hang out with myself alone.  Some of the best time this weekend had been with me & only me.  And I am pretty awesome... so you know I'm having fun.

6.  I am madly in love with Chicago.  I can so see us living here.  Or opening a restaurant here.  Near future....?

7.  I don't give a shit about swag.

8.  I do give a shit about all of the awesome intelligent informative educating and funny BlogHer sessions & speakers.

9.  I think daddy (and dude) bloggers are too cool for school.

10. Top 10 lists are fucking awesome.