The cool thing about blogging and social media is that you can get to know some really rad people.
And then you meet them in person and sometimes you’re all, “OMG you are exactly like your blog!”
But sometimes you’re all, “I can’t go talk to her. She won’t know who I am.”
And sometimes you’re all, “OMG she’s so gorgeous!”
But sometimes you’re all “Wow, she looks nothing like her avatar.”
I claim that last one because my avatar was taken in good lighting under the influence of a glass of wine that made me feel incredibly un-self conscious and smiley. Basically, I thought I was a supermodel. It happens.
With BlogHer ’12, the largest blogging conference in the world, going on this weekend in NYC, lots of bloggers are going to be meeting for the first time. Many have gotten to know each other over their blogs and Twitter, but that doesn’t always prepare you for the force of meeting someone in the flesh, especially in a social setting that’s a little extreme, to say the least.
I will NOT be at BlogHer (and I am fighting extreme BlogHer envy right now), but if you should ever meet me in real life, there are some things you should know, other than my hair is much shorter, and I don’t usually carry around a glass of wine with my name and blog on it. But maybe I should.
I’m a classic introvert and grew up dreadfully shy. I do like to be in (some) social situations (with a wingman), and I do like meeting new people, but I am trying very hard. If I approached you, it was probably very, very, nerve wracking for me to do so and I kinda want to run away and hide. But on the flip side, it means that I really wanted to meet you or talk to you. So yay for you!
A lot of people are surprised by this, because I can be quite animated and outgoing in groups of people. But I usually leave with a wicked headache from all the effort.
I will likely tell you way too much info about something personal. Not like vagina personal (but who knows?), more like just something not meant for people who don’t know me very well.
Case in point: I usually chat with another mom during our kids’ swim lessons at the Y, when I’m not wrangling my kids or threatening to take them home. Last Tuesday she popped by to say that her son was sick, then headed to the gym. When I saw her on the way out, she asked how it went, and I unleashed a bomb of frustration on the poor woman.
Oh, terrible. There was only one instructor today, and my kids were all over the place. I have a good mind to throw in the towel and never come back.
Her eyes flitted down as she laughed nervously and gave me a polite smile. “Oh…well, uh, see you tomorrow…” It’s safe to say she walked off as fast as humanly possible. And that was when I wished I could be one of those people who just smiles and says, It was okay! That woman didn’t need or want to hear my personal grievances.
I often don’t know what to say. This usually plagues me in those situations in which I make the effort to go up and introduce myself to someone. I can get through the initial stages, you know, like “hi,” but then falter miserably after that.
Hi! I’m Leigh Ann. I really enjoyed your presentation/speech/blog!
“Oh thanks! That’s nice to hear.”
Yeah! You’re welcome! So, um…yeah….You have really pretty hair?
Inversely, I sometimes just fly off the handle and say too much. I may mommy vomit all over you about my kids or just keep talking and talking to fill the silence:
Oh, you have a cat? Me too! Two actually. I hate them. One vomits everywhere and the other one’s just an asshole. Wait, where are you going?
Twins? Oh yeah, it’s tough. But fun. Usually. Sometimes. I mean, they fight a lot, but they’re best friends. Kinda. You want to kill yourself the first 6 months, but you get used to it, especially when you don’t know any different. And man, breast feeding was rough in the beginning. Wait…is it just me, or are you backing away?
I’m very indecisive. I cannot make a snap decision to save my life. In fact, if I DID have to save my life with a snap decision? I would probably die because I would either make the wrong decision, or I would meet my demise standing there wringing my hands, grinding my teeth, emitting a slight “Eeeeeeeeeee!” What a way to go.
Also, I like to please people. Most of my indecision comes from not wanting to make the wrong decision, i.e. the choice you don’t like. This also makes me very agreeable. So just go ahead and decide already.
I’m a people watcher. Sunglasses were made for people like me. I may be watching you right. now.
I’m terrible with names. But I will own up to it and ask you to tell me again so I can remember. Or how about you just give me your Twitter handle?
If we’ve made it to happy hour and you still haven’t ditched me for someone less annoying, know that I love wine, but I will usually choose beer. Also I will probably talk WAY too much if I have a couple of drinks in me.
When I go home, I will likely tear apart the whole event/evening/encounter, sure that I talked too much, laughed too loud, and overpowered too many conversations. It’s just what I do. But hopefully I didn’t, and you left thinking I was relatively normal, somewhat relatable, and maybe just a little bit awesome? Because I thought you were too.
What would you want people to know about you before meeting?