Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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My Brand New Temporary Life

temporary life a tBlogHer13

Along with a quarter of a bazillion other writers, I'm going to be in Chicago for BlogHer'13 next week. Woohoo! I can't wait to finally meet some of the friends I've made online, spend Friday night at the I Just Want To Pee Alone book signing (get your tickets here!), and stress right the hell out over trying to find all the sessions I want to attend like a dorky freshman on the first day of high school.

However, as the trip gets closer, I'm getting more and more nervous. Sure, I'm worried about getting lost, and I'm way over-thinking what I should pack as I try to determine the perfect mix of professional and casual, dressy and comfortable, flip flops and shoes that operate at under 1200 decibels. But mostly I'm nervous about just one thing:

What if the people who know me online don't like the real me?

I mean, being Online Me is easy peasy. I can give thought to what I want to say, and delete it if it sounds stupid. If my jokes fall flat, there's no need to avoid eye contact while we stand there in uncomfortable silence. No one sees me Googling furiously as I try to come up with semi-intelligent responses to people's comments. I don't have to worry about my facial expressions.

But in real life, I alienate people even under normal circumstances - and life at BlogHer will hardly count as normal. In Chicago, I'll have a brand new temporary life, one that'll bear almost zero resemblance to my regular life aside from my natural awkwardness and the fact that I'll likely still be in semi-constant text contact with my husband.

For example, in Chicago I'll suddenly become the kind of person who:

  • showers daily
  • puts on clothes that aren't pajamas
  • does not have a child dangling off each limb
  • applies makeup (okay, just lip gloss, but still)
  • tries to stay awake past 9 pm
  • wears jewelry that isn't immediately broken by someone who's using me as a jungle gym
  • takes notes...
  • ...using a real pen, instead of the nearest crayon I could find
  • finishes whole sentences without being asked for a snack
  • doesn't remind others to go potty

Who is this new me? I'll be barely recognizable.

Maybe that's what I should remind myself when I start to worry that people won't like me. They'll just be rejecting the Chicago Me, which is hardly like the Real Me at all. I'm sure they'd absolutely adore the Real Me - I'm just like Chicago Me, except dirtier, with more kids and interruptions and no makeup!

Hmm, yeah, that sounds muuuuch better.

For a taste of what kind of trouble I'm running into trying to blend in with Real World society, read this story about what happened recently when I tried to go shopping for new BlogHer clothes. Here's a hint: it ended in complete and utter failure. I know, you're surprised.

I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing!


  1. I'm off to read your shopping adventures right now but this might help. I'm a lesser known blogger, but a HUGE fan of several of you ladies (Kerry, You, Kim, Patti, Rachael, Al (I know she'll be there and I'ma bringin' my slombie to have her sign). I'm excited. Like RIDICULOUSLY excited. I'm hoping for hi-5's and for Patti to surprise buttsecks something.

    But as a READER, on the other side? I'm nervous too. Because I feel like I know so many of you, I automatically want to start hi-5ing people and joking around and I fear that cricket sound where they all wonder, who is that chic? My real name/fb blogger handle won't be floating above my head/in front of my non existent speech bubble. Which may be a good thing if I make an ass out of myself or come trailing out of the bathroom with a trail of toilet paper following behind me.

    So just know that deep down inside, us fans/readers are just as nervous as you and any of the other ladies might be.

  2. Haha! You have the same concerns I have about BlogHer. I remember your post from last year about your concerns about social awkwardness if you had attended - I could TOTALLY relate. So funny! I'll be glued to my friend's side the whole time, counting on her to counter-act my awkwardness - she doesn't know that yet. I should probably prepare her.

  3. Trust me, I'm inwardly cringing with the knowledge that I'm sure to go all fan-girl on plenty of people who're going to respond with the crazy eye and a quick call to security. Hope to see you there!

  4. No, it looks more natural if she doesn't know she's doing it. That's what we all need, though - either someone super cool to hang out with to counteract our awkwardness, or someone way MORE awkward to make us look super cool by comparison. I'm going for option 1; finding somebody who fits the bill for the second one seems unlikely.

  5. When you put it that way I'm way looking forward to going, daily showers and jewlery not being destroyed, yay!

  6. Color me disappointed...I would totally go just to hang out with you. I could be your awkward sidekick, if it looked like you were floundering I'd just laugh really loud and then while people were looking quizzically around trying to figure out what they missed, you could google appropriate replies

  7. Oh Shannon, I love you so very, very much - that sounds PERFECT! What time will you get there?!?

  8. You're still going to be wanting to remind me to go potty, methinks. You know how I get when left to my devices.

  9. SocialButterflyMomJuly 18, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    Love the list :) You can definitely remind me to go potty, or at least be your bathroom buddy, if that makes you feel more at home.

  10. Someone who doesn't have to remind others to go to the potty? I want to be that person!!

  11. It will! If you can open the stall door while I'm still peeing, that'd be even better.

  12. Amen, sister! I agree with your entire post! I'm nervous and excited too! Hope to meet you there!

  13. That would be fantastic! Unless we meet and you don't like me - in that case, I'm nothing like that in real life. ;)

  14. Can't wait to meet you!

  15. Linda_Roy_elleroy_was_hereJuly 21, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Yep. It's official. We're all worried about the same things! Isn't it funny, with the internet and social media, it's this whole new thing of getting to know someone before actually meeting in person. But you'll be fabulous. And I know what you mean about being able to Google and think ahead before responding. That's why I'll have my phone in my pocket. ;)

  16. Pretty sure I'll still like you...I hear we have an IRL friend in common...and she's rarely wrong about people!

  17. Everyone will LOVE you. And be in awe of you (you're a published author, a Scary Mommy writer, and a LTYM alum, after all). You'll probably be the object of some of that fan girl hi-fiveing! But seriously. It's fun. I am so jealous of everyone who gets to go...but as I can't rightly call myself a "real" blogger right now, I don't deserve it. Drink a glass of wine for me!

  18. I'll have to develop a pretend hacking cough, and I'll Google stuff while I'm doubled over. :)

  19. Likewise - looking forward to it! We should pretend to hate each other, though, just to mess with her. :D

  20. That's how I feel (the "real" blogger part), but I'm going anyway! :) I'll drink several glasses of wine in your honor, and the next time my husband and I can get back to our beloved B'ton you and I will have to have our own BlogHer!

  21. I loved the Chicago you! I mean, c'mon, you passed me a Schweddy Balls note during a session. I. Lerv. You. The end. Ellen

  22. The fact that you laughed at that note seals our friendship forever. ForEVAHHHHHHH!


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