January 25, 2010

Frets About Something I Haven't Even Decided to Do Yet

Can we please talk a little bit about the annual BlogHer conference? Every year I think about going. So far I never have. I am, as I may have mentioned once or twice, socially anxious. Like, PSYCHIATRICALLY-DIAGNOSED socially anxious, not, like, "Oh, I'm a little shy around people." (And incidentally, I was totally on my own there spelling the word "psychiatrically," so if it's supposed to be "psychiatricly," neither I nor the spell-checker knew it, and I'm pretty sure that if it's a contest I win because the spell-checker's idea was "psychically.")


But I think I'd like to go. I've been inspired by The Bloggess (perhaps don't click that link for a couple of days until her top post isn't quite so gross), who ALSO needs chemicals to get through social interactions, and SHE goes to BlogHer so it CAN BE DONE. I like her idea of wearing a Confidence Wig, too. I wonder if that would work for me. Do you think if I go I should get a wig, or do you think it would just look copycatty? I think it would look copycatty. Perhaps I could do a Confidence Halloween Mask. Or, well, "confidence" still sounds copycatty, so it could be an Intestinal Fortitude Halloween Mask.

I fret like crazy over practicalities. Like, "OMG HOW WOULD I GET THERE?" and "OMG HOW WOULD I FIND THE HOTEL?" and "WOULD I HAVE TO TAKE A TAXI? I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH TO TIP!!" Other worries:
  • How would I book the hotel room, and what if I want to share, how would that work? And how many people can share? And does one person have to pay and the others reimburse? Because that kind of thing gives me a huge worry wrinkle.

  • When do the conference tickets usually sell out by? I'd rather get the Early Bird pricing anyway, but just in case I dither too long.

  • Do the hotel rooms fill up fast so I should get one early or else I'll get stuck trying to find another hotel in New York?

  • Food? Is there food? Do I have to bring my own or else get stuck paying for very expensive room service?

  • I don't think I act socially anxious on my blog, because I'm NOT socially anxious when I'm sitting alone at my computer typing. So won't everyone I meet be like, "YOU'RE not Swistle! YOU BIG FAKER!"?

  • I know it is ridiculous, but I get stressed about clothes. If I wear pedal pushers and a t-shirt and sandals, and none of it is anything that would make anyone say "OH SQUEE CUTE!!!" (in fact, probably the VERY pedal pushers and sandals as in the photo above), will I stand out like a sore thumb? Or will other people dress like that too?

  • Do I need to have a laptop?

  • People get business cards printed for these things, right? I don't know how to do that.

  • How WOULD I find the hotel? (And WOULD I have to take a taxi?)


Ramona Brady said...

Can't help with any of that except the business cards. Use Vistaprint. I don't know how to make a link in comments, but it's www.vistaprint.com. Easy, fast, cheap but high quality.

Jan said...

Well, you couldn't have picked a more expensive city to visit (in terms of hotel costs), so do try to share a room, ideally with one or two others that you know fairly well already (to provide yourself with companions for activities and dining), even if it means sleeping on a cot or on the floor. (And, yes, whoever is the most reliable person should book the room, and everyone else repays that person...or, at checkout, you can each pay your share.)

For business cards, just get the free ones at vistaprint.com, unless you must have something more customized.

I'm not in the blogging world so have no opinions on the rest, but I have been to NYC and can tell you that it is an experience not to be missed, if you have never been. Love it, love it, love it. Wish I lived there!

Anonymous said...

Go! You'll do fine & it'll be a wonderful experience!

I use http://www.printsmadeeasy.com/ for our business (pretty, cheap and GREAT). Type FiveOff in the promo code line for $5 off.

Take a taxi - they are all over @ the airport & it's easy. Your hotel will hail one for you to get back to the airport when you leave (or hail one yourself - it's fun!)

Elizabeth said...

I am not sure I am going to Blogher - it just seems SO anxious making and work conferency - but I just wanted to tell you that the Blathering Two would be happy to have you! Beginning of November - Chicago. No business cards or lap top required.

Party of 5 said...

Breathe, breathe, book a flight, and go. You only live once and it's not often you can SHOW your children how to actually overcome fears. They'll watch mamma do something successfully that she is afraid of. Great lesson.

TJ said...

I think those exact same things, and I don't know any of the answers, so I've decided to think about it again in 2011.

(And I would definitely bring at least some of my fake hair collection.)

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

Oh wow! It would be so exciting for you to attend BlogHer! You're like, such a famous Blogger and you SHOULD go, and you SHOULD be confident, because I bet TONS of Blogger's would just LOVE YOU!

I was ALSO going to suggest vistaprint.com for business cards. I use vistaprint.ca for Canadian shipping, AND I've done THREE shipments of business cards with them (all FREE, only paying for shipping!). I made some when I first finished teachers college; but then I made another batch of free ones that were even more "Teacher-like" (They have APPLES on them! They are SO CUTE!) -- we're recommended to leave business cards with our end-of-the-day-note as supply teachers to increase our chances of coming back. Then I did a third shipment for my Cancer walk, with our team name and website on them so we can mail out the website to friends/family or pass it around. I love Vista Print, seriously! I'm sure they'd be great in the States too! (I can't check for you if the business cards are free for you because my browser automatically takes me to the Canadian site, lol).

So, that's all I can gush about/recommend as I don't know how BlogHer works! But definitely GO if you think it's feasible, you will love it, I'm sure!

Jess said...

I haven't been to BlogHer, so I don't actually KNOW, but judging from the amount of fretting I saw on blogs last year about OMG WHAT WILL I WEAR, I'm going to go ahead and say it is NOT ridiculous to be stressed about clothes, or else it IS ridiculous but everyone else is equally ridiculous so it's a wash.

Also, I think you should go. Except I'M not going, so... well, hmph.

Miss Grace said...

I'm emailing you, because my comment got too FULL OF LENGTH

Soleil said...

I live in NYC and as far as taxis go, it's a flat fare ($45, I believe) from JFK to anywhere in Manhattan. And all the taxis are equipped with credit card machines and at the end of the ride it gives you the option of adding 15%, 20%, or 25% tip so any of those is appropriate. :)

zoot said...

See? I'm just the opposite from The Bloggess. I went, I tried, several times, and have to stop attending BlogHer indefinitely. I just never walk away feeling good about the experience b/c my anxiety makes me a total douchebag.


Lawyerish said...

Swistle, I will help you with ANY New York City-related stuff that you need or want help with! For real, just email me. I will EXHAUST you with details, instructions and recommendations.

As to your specific question -- you would take a cab from the airport to the hotel. At any of the three metro-area airports, there are clear signs in the baggage claim that say "TAXIS" and point outside, and you follow those and then you stand on a line (again, clearly marked TAXIS) and then when it's your turn, you tell the uniformed guy at the head of the line where you're going (name of hotel and cross streets), and then they give you an information slip and you get in the cab and you're on your way! And if you need to take a cab while here, it's easy to hail one from the street in front of the hotel.

Also, I am planning on going to BlogHer (or at least parts of it), but I have planned nothing nor bought any tickets nor registered for anything. And I may well show up without business cards, or possibly pants.

But I will have a baby with me, which I am hoping will serve as an ice breaker/social soother, because I fear large crowds of unknown people, too.

Marie Green said...

See? Now I'm reading Soleil's comment and TAXI's have credit card machines??? There is so much I don't know about the world!

I'm toying with the idea of going too. But I wish I had a brick-and-mortar friend that was also a blogger, so we could go together. I'm not normally socially anxious, like AT ALL, but I am when it comes to Bloggher.

What if no one likes me? Or I have no one to talk to? Or everyone already has their "group" and don't have the need or the room for me, a tag-along.

Do I have enough readers to go? Does it matter? Who will I eat lunch with? Will I look like a country bumpkin? I have ZERO "slinky shirts"--> either in fabric or style.

I just... I don't know.

Sundry said...

I am also hideously socially anxious, and so are most of the other people who attend, which is why there are so many opportunities to drink! Which sucks for those of us who can't drink. I wouldn't even bother with business cards unless you really wanted some, and if you get drained by social activity as I do I'd recommend a solo hotel room for Chilling the Hell Out. Everyone worries about clothes and thus everyone is too worried about their OWN outfits to even notice what you have on. If you take a taxi from the airport, THEY will find the hotel. Or maybe the hotel will have one of those shuttles. There will be some food, but you will need to budget for paying for some meals on your own, too. No need for a laptop. BUT, lastly, you SHOULD have a phone that allows you to send text messages, so you can message someone, like me, and say MEET ME IN THE LOBBY and I can be all OH THANK GOD I WAS ALL ALONE AND I THINK I AM LOST AND WHERE ARE THE BATHROOMS and we can form a little Socially Anxious Clump and that's how you survive, by clumping.

Christina said...

I love the above pic b/c it totally captures how I feel when I have to go get the mail. For some reason I feel like every neighbor will be looking out the window and be like WTF is she wearing? Why does she walk like that? And if the mail hasn't come then I feel all embarrassed that they're behind the curtains laughing b/c HAHA she doesn't know the mail doesn't come on Labor Day!

Luckily most of your worries can be taken care of online. Is there a BlogHer conference help page? Also, at OfficeMax, etc. there are printable business cards you can make yourself if you're so inclined!

Alice said...

ha, that picture is awesome :-)

i will answer all your questions! am helpful slash annoying question-answery type!

*totally share a hotel room. ask a blog friend to share with you because everyone will DEF want to share and not pay full price. offer to pay for it now if it makes you anxious and your blog friend will send you a check for their half.

*last year anyway, they didn't sell out before the early bird pricing timeline... but that's all i know. i bought mine the literal last day you could still get the cheap price :-)

*oh.. ok, so i don't know this one. i'd get the hotel room when you get the tkt though, i think the vast majority of attendees stay @ the hotel where the conference is held.

*they have food!! and if you don't want / like their food, it's nyc, so you can walk 10 feet out the hotel and get other (very cheap) food :-)

*dude, totally no. everyone is just SO EXCITED to see their blog friends, and SO NERVOUS about how *they* come off to other people, they'll just be thrilled to finally get to meet you. and maybe take terrible self-portrait photos with you.

*i was stressed about clothes too! everyone stresses about clothes, and MAN was it something that i didn't need to stress about. the FULL RANGE of clothing options were in effect, so whether you wear a sweatsuit or a real suit, you literally will have comrades-in-arms. i'd go for probably jeans or whatever pants you're most comfortable in, and whatever tops you personally like, and you will be FINE. i guarantee it.

*no. heavy and a pain in the ass and you won't use it.

*i printed my cards at staples like 3 days before the conference, sooo you have lots of options there and can get them done totally at the last minute - no need to stress about it. (yet! ha, i kid.)

*taxis in nyc are SUPER EASY and SUPER CHEAP. it's honestly the easiest and quickest way to get to your hotel, anyway. i'd ask blog friends who are also flying in if they're taxi-ing from the airport; you can maybe meet up first and share a taxi. if not, i will no joke give you my phone # and walk you through the taxi process if you'd like ;-)

Nowheymama said...

I LOVE that photo. Especially because you and the background are in Swistle blue. And the umbrella is very arty. Love.

Farrell said...

I've never been because I am not popular enough and everybody would be like, WHO IS SHE?
But I think you should go, because NYC is all kinds of awesome.
And transportation is SO easy, as the others have said. The hotel might have a shuttle which may or may not be cheaper than a taxi, but either way, there is NO PROBLEM taking taxis in NYC.
I would share hotel room if you have a friend you are comfortable with bc hotel rooms in NYC are pricey.
Also for this reason, I would check out travelocity and see what kind of bundle rate you can get by booking airline + hotel together; often times this saves you money from booking separately.
I am not socially anxious but in a great big room full of people I don't know, I would like a "buddy" to work the crowd with me, so to speak, and I think if you can find that person, you will be good to go.
PS - Room service is expensive. There will be like 8,000 other options like another commenter said; it's NYC!

Anonymous said...

Swistle, you would do great! And everyone would love you because you're so wonderful. I remember how intimidated I was during my first big city experiences (in Chicago). One great tip is - if you mess up and do something that you then realize was weird, just own the situation. There are tons of weird people in big cities. It will make you look like a native.

Also, don't tip your taxi driver 25%. The most a taxi driver EVER needs is 20%. A 25% tip would maybe be appropriate if your taxi driver got out and laid down his coat for you to walk across a puddle, then handed you a Crème Brulée and a cloth napkin for the ride. If you tip 25% he'll think you're a sucker. No pressure. (Just kidding on the last part.)

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

You fully have my permission to wear a confidence wig. In fact, I insist. They're incredibly helpful and I recommend them to everyone.

Also, I panic about all that stuff too but in the end it usually works out. Find a friend who's arriving at the airport at the same time and that will help a ton.

All of my clothes are from Ross Dress-4-Less and I never spend more than $30 on an outfit. No one ever notices because they're too worried about how they look.

Bring some xanax, hide in the bathroom, don't get overwhelmed. And come find me. I'll be in the bathroom taking xanax and being overwhelmed.

Much love, my friend.

samantha said...

Everything that Alice said.

If you buy the full pass breakfast and lunch are included (from what I remember last year). I had snacks with me to munch on.


Leah said...

BlogHer is full of panic for most of us, I think, and my best piece of advice for EVERYONE, socially anxious or not, is to have one go-to friend you can call up and/or cling to when you need it. It makes all the difference in the world to know that you'll never have to sit alone in the back of the room (unless you want to).

Also, last year there was so much free food I spent about $10 total for the entire weekend.

Angella said...

Come! Come to BlogHer! We'll all take care of you. I promise.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I want to go to BlogHer too but I'm also wicked nervous. I'll probably chicken out.

Kim said...

One of the many reasons why I love The Bloggess: she and I have the exact same love for Xanax. BECAUSE IT WORKS!!!

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I have very little practical advice, but instead will offer words of encouragement! You can do it! Really! Even if there are awkward moments and you have a higher than normal amount of stress and/or anxiety, I believe BEING THERE will be worth it in the end. And there won't be that many awkward moments.

Karly said...

I went last year for the first time and I had all those same worries. And, it all worked out okay. It was scary, yes, but I had a good time. Find someone you are close to online to room with and make them hold your hand the whole time. Having a partner totally helps you feel less frigthened!

Shelly said...

I think you would have a great time! And I would totally want to go if I knew you were going.

Maria said...

Oh Swistle, you’ve touched on just about every one of my anxieties! I’ve already done my fretting on this, and though I have come to few conclusions on how best to strategize the event, I decided it’s not enough to rob myself of the experience. I’m going! Ticket already paid for! EEK!!! I don’t even have a go to person. I’m totally alone in this, with the hope that at some point I’ll meet someone I can connect with to share the fun.

From a hotel standpoint, when I booked my room I got the impression if you stay at the conference hotel they charge the same rate per person regardless if you are sharing a room. Unless you try to be sneaky, I didn’t get the impression that there is savings to be had by getting a roommate.

I’ve been toying with business cards myself, but I get the impression that everyone has a cool calling card for the back of theirs, and so far I got nothin’! I guess I should work on that.

I hope you find that confidence to know that you will be accepted there, because your presence would benefit all. I for one would be sure to say hello!

Katy said...

Confidence shoes! I swear by them. Something sassy that makes me feel like a million bucks. I'm going to Blissdom and I just bought myself a pair.

I would guess that lots of bloggers sufffer from the social anxiety thing. I mean, what better venue for the socially anxious then the comfort of your own living room?

I got a buddy for Blissdom and it's making me feel a lot better about the whole thing. At the very least I won't have to eat alone.

Mama Bub said...

I want to go, but won't because it's my wedding anniversary and I'll have a wee baby. But, I will spend all weekend and the time leading up to and following the conference feeling INSANELY jealous, even though exactly no one would know who I am.

You, however, should GO. People know you and will be so excited to meet you and talk to you. I think the key is having a buddy to velcro yourself to and being anxious together.

Sahara said...

I completely understand the tendency to fret and know NOTHING about this particular social event. HOWEVER. You make awesome baked goods. You won't need business cards or fancy clothes if you are carrying a plate of mint brownies.

Trish said...

I am in agreement with all of the above, and think you will have a marvelous time!! NYC is wonderful and I think you will have a blast @ BlogHer!! :)

melanie said...

i'm the one who told you last year, after the fact, you should have gone. i even thought i saw you there only, obviously, it wasn't you. unless a miracle happens, i won't be going. but i feel shy and easily overwhelmed but i managed to make a very good friend while there and we still stay in touch. i think sharing a room is fun. having a buddy definitely helps. keeping expectations low is essential.

i was nervous about the business cards too. i just bought a package from office max and made my own. the only reason you would really want them is that there are a lot of drawings to enter and it is easier just to drop them in the bowl then fill something out each time.

you are famous and i love your blog but there are a lot of others even more famous who get this whole social media thing. don't try to be like them. just focus on one or two things you would like to get out of the experience.

people dress all sorts of ways. as long as you are comfortable, i don't think anyone cares. i saw a picture of myself from last year and i look terrible. but at least i was comfortable! there are people dressed across the spectrum. people even dress really weird. but most people dress middle of the road. don't let that stop you from going...

Amy from Occupation: Mommy said...

I agree with everything Melanie said, because I am the friend she made at BlogHer. It is fun to share a hotel room, but it is also nice to have your own room to escape to when everything becomes too much.

It absolutely doesn't matter how big or small a blogger you are. I am probably the smallest blogger that was there last year, but everyone was still extremely nice.

And just remember that ALL bloggers (or at least 99%) are socially anxious to some extent. That's why we hide behind the screen :)

ALW said...

Swistle you will be soooo popular at Blogher. I barely blog and won't be attending, but if I went, and I ran into you, I would rush up to you and gush and gush and maybe try to hug you and act starstruck.

Here are a few things I have learned about people and traveling:

1. People are generally really nice and friendly.

2.When traveling, often something that seemed scary and daunting from home is usually much easier once you are in that situation. Like, just stand in the taxi line at the airport, and tell the guy at the top where you need to go, and he will put you in the cab and tell the cabbie where to take you. In the cab, you can ooh and ahh at the tall buildings and take ridiculous photos from the cab window, then when you arrive at the hotel, you hand the cabbie your cash, and if he doesn't like the tip, fuck him, you'll never see him again.

3. How hard can NYC be? you've given birth to a basketball team.

ALW said...

I forgot one:

4.Also no-one is generally looking at you, even though you think they are. Everyone is busy thinking about themselves.

MoCo Mom said...

I agree that it can seem overwhelming. But it can be mostly researched and planned out in advance. Also: a travelling companion, whether a personal friend/family member or a met-via-blogging-or-twitter friend can make a huge difference. They (like me) may also be feeling socially overwhelmed and will welcome the opportunity to latch onto YOU! @mocomom

MoCo Mom said...

Oh, and oh my gosh I really agree with Amy and Melanie (just read their comments) :-) Dip your toes in the water, Swistle.

Stimey said...

I have these issues too. My first BlogHer, I got there and my roommate was elsewhere and I got all dry mouthed and sweaty about what I should do. My recommendations are that you should go. You should try to hook up with someone at the airport or if not there, make plans to meet someone once you get to the hotel on Thursday so you have something to do. Might I suggest myself? Because, totally, star struck by Swistle. Wear the outfit you are wearing in that post, but really try to find a wall that same color because that sh*t is hilarious. I'll be wearing jeans, so don't worry. If you're like me, you should take some Pepto-Bismol.

I had more written in this comment, but this particular comment form doesn't work on my computer and I somehow lost two paragraphs. I believe they contained much sage advice on finding a roommate through email and twitter as well a suggestion to buy your ticket now because you can always sell it later. Well, looky. I rewrote it right there.

the new girl said...

Oh, I sense some FORWARD MOVEMENT for my CAUSE.

These are all my frets, too. By the look of it, they are others' frets as well. I just remember having a lot of time/room/opportunity to do my own thing whenever I wanted.

Don't forget! COZY PROTECTION is offered to you at the rate of FREE by The Jonniker and The New Girl.

Oh, I am hoping. HOPING! And feeling a little OPTIMISTIC.

Anne said...


I really, really hope you come to Blogher. I promise I won't think you are a faker, as long as you don't think I'M a faker. And I did go to parts of Blogher last year (Lobbycon, specifically), mostly only because it was within sight of my office building, so CONVENIENT.

Also? I have never been to New York. BUT! I have already bought my ticket and am going. And you are welcome to room with me if you want. I don't have a roommate, because I am too socially anxious to ask people to be my roommate (no one will want to room with meeeee), but for some reason I'm feeling brave at this moment in time, no I have no idea why. You bring out the brave in me! Also, I am well medicated at the moment. And I promise I'll bring plenty of Xanax to Blogher.

Tina G said...

I'm not a blogger, nor a solo-traveler, and I also suffer from social anxiety. So I can only say that you have received excellent advice from all the other posters....but what stands out to me is that you would be in NEW YORK, a mere two hours from me, and oh, how it would be so fun to meet you, Swistle. Hopefully, that is not sounding too stalkerish- I'm not at all like that. (Even thought I did actually meet THE Catherine Newman once, at her home, which sounds crazy, but she's nice like that!)Best of luck to you and GO! GO already!

Superjules said...

I'll go if you go.

And I'll bring Klonopin.

Superjules said...

Also, @TheBloggess- I prefer a Confidence Tiara, is that okay?

Colleen said...

Good Lord.... I could have written this post. This right here is what keeps me from thinking about going to BlogHer. Ok... I think about it. A lot. But GO???? Gah. And I live like 45 from NYC depending on traffic... or like an hour by train. But still... anxiety.

I would say... hey! come! Forget about taxis. I'll pick you up at that airport and get us into the city and find the hotel yada yada yada. But then I think... Oh my God. But then I would have to pick up Swistle! And she's Swistle!!! And I'd panic and I'd probably make a wrong turn and then we'd end up in Connecticut or something. And on top of that... we'd be wearing matching pedal pushers and t-shirt and that would be just awkward. Ahem.

Jan said...

Another idea for business cards: http://us.moo.com/en/products/

The mini cards look very stylish, and the Sarah Green designs...is that the Swistle color?

Erin (Snarke) said...

I am dying to go to BlogHer but I don't think we'll be able to afford it. If I could afford it though I would be worried about all of the same things that you are worried about... with a "how many of these people are going to make a big deal out of how young I look?" thrown in. I'm not generally afraid of starting up a conversation--if the person happens to be standing close to me already. It's walking up to total strangers and saying hello that turns me into a statue of fright.

All of this is to say that if I were able to go I would totally room with you and hang out with you and we could just be awkward together :)

Kathy said...

That is exactly how I talked myself out of going to BlogHer last year.

And I totally regret it. Boo.

But! This year, hubby is practically forcing me to go, even though I have like the smallest readership EVER. (My mom doesn't even read my blog!)

And I really want to go, but then people would realize that (1) I'm short. Like, much shorter than I appear online. And (2) They don't read my blog either.

And that worries me.

Miranda said...

Oh man. So I am not a blogher. I once subscribed to blogher, but then never got into it. Maybe I should try. But am I in the minority here when I say that I actually like to be in large groups? I think I'm crazy that way. I love airports and busy places with lots of people to watch and listen to.
I have no idea what goes on at Blogher but it sounds like a ton of fun, anxious fun! But fun non the less!
Go and have a wonderful time! It's NYC baby!

Jenny said...

I toyed with the idea of going also, but then I thought, no one would know me, I'd keep blushing so much that people would wonder who the tomato was that was hiding in the corner, no one would know me, I get lost in my own tiny town - if I went this year I might never make it home spending years walking in confused circles and . . . no one would have the slightest clue who I was. I would have no one to do that panic latch to. But! I am still considering. Maybe. Maybe.

chelsea said...

Hilarious! I could have written this post myself.

I say GO!!! You won't regret it!

Aimee @ Smiling Mama said...

Oh can I please be in the "clump" with you and Sundry? Pretty please :)

If you go the vista print route for business cards (or anything else, check out their totally cute notecards, etc!) then you must only take advantage of the free offer (only pay shipping) then say "NO" to everything else they throw your way. I've ordered business cards, postcards, notecards, etc. all for just shipping (avg. $6-$10 depending on how much you order)!!

alice said...

Oh! You should totally go. I have no blog, thus will not be partaking, but think that you would have a wonderful time. You've gotten great advice on the practicalities (much of it from the other Alice), and you've got a bunch of people who are volunteering to clump with you. (What are you when you're beyond clumping size? a conglomeration? a flock? anyway.)

You sound like you want to go, but are scared. And I totally have faith that you can overcome the fear so that you can embrace the awesomeness that awaits. Plus, NYC is fucking amazing, so even if you bail on lots of conference stuff and go walk around, you've still won.

Mrs. Dennis said...

I love how your garage doors and shirt are swistle blue, too!!!!!!!

jonniker said...

TNG, Samantha Campen and I all PROMISE to keep you safe and cocooned in cozy, loved protection. And we ALSO promise to back off if you want Alone Time and not be offended.

And I also promise to talk you through each of these points separately and help you in any way.

AND AND AND, I will be wearing pedal pushers and sandals and T-shirts, TOOO. And I won't look as cute in them as you do.

jen(melty) said...

I say go! but I'm not going... but if you go to NYC I'd totally drive out to meet you for a short lunch/dessert! But then I get anxious thinking about that too :)

suddensilence said...

I have no helpful advice, just a hearty "I am the same way!!" :-)

I'm a mentor for the company that makes my cochlear implants, and I was invited to go to California to tour their facility and do some training with other mentors.

I didn't go, mainly because I was terrified to fly across country (I'm in Illinois) by myself. I'm deaf but hear with the cochlear implants, so hearing/understanding people is my main worry. Hearing announcements for the flight, etc. Then the technicalities of traveling there and having to room with someone (which I WOULD NOT want to do, OMG). Just having nobody to depend on to do things like figure tips, hear stuff that I miss, etc.

The actual socializing doesn't bother me but there is no way in H (as Bill Henrickson would say) that I would travel like that on my own. So I can completely empathize with and understand ALL of your worries, my friend!

~ Wendi

Jen said...

You pretty much put into words every reason there is that I have never attended BlogHer. I sort of think I would like to go but I know that in reality I'm such a goon that I would have a hard time getting over my wierdness and having a good time. So I guess what I'm saying is, if you decide you want to go and you want a roommate/shouler to lean on/support person/person to make you look good then look me up. Otherwise I'll probably just stay home and cry about how no one likes me.

Jen said...

Uh. Could I have spelled more words wrong in my last comment? I think not.

Holly said...

I'm also going to recommend The Blathering. I had a really non-anxiety inducing time last year. I mean, of course I was anxious before...but during -- not so much. It was a really open environment, much less intimidating than BlogHer in my opinion.

minnie said...

i'll be there but you wont see me because I'll be hiding in my room eating chocolate and reading shitty mystery novels. text me if you want to join me.

JEN said...

Swiz -

You should definately go. You define "fabulousness" in blogging. I think we are cut from the same DNA. I don't have social anxiety - I love to talk. However, I have anxiety about all sorts of travel and the exact same things that you have brought up ie: what will I eat, what will I wear???

chrisyub said...

i'm relatively new to swistle, but it is official. i love you. your thought process is so much like my own, it isn't even funny. i hope you go and have a fabulous time.

M.Amanda said...

I cannot tell you how glad I am when I read posts like this. It's not that I want anyone to feel anxious, but it's so great to know someone else feels this way. I think if I didn't get so nervous about making a fool of myself not knowing how to check into or out of a hotel, using public transportation, or tipping, I might travel more. Instead I stay home thinking everyone else has this stuff figured out and are out there having loads of fun without me. You should go. I'm sure there are lots of people who are dying to meet you, regardless of whether you are as relaxed and funny as you are here.

Alicia @ bethsix said...

Ooh! Ooh! Have you been diagnosed with social PHOBIA like me?! I'm on Zoloft these days, and I think I'm more on the order of just your general anxiety now, but the social part is still at least half of it. I have thought of going to BlogHer, but the vision I have of myself there is me walking around alone, me going to sessions alone, me going back to my room alone. Not my idea of a great time.

Perhaps we could be roomies. Things we could do as roomies: stare quietly at the walls, talk about our many children (I'm still reeling from that Uber comment), talk about the various psychoactive medications we've tried to alleviate our social anxiety (or, if you have not tried various medications, we can just go back to more quiet staring), and/or talk about why we think we provide the innermost details of our lives to the Internets when we find it difficult to say hi to coworkers.

It's possible I'm projecting.

Swistle said...

Alicia- I LOVE this. "Quiet staring"---ha ha ha! And YES: I can talk about REUSABLE MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS online, but I get nervous standing in line when it's almost my turn to say hi to the checkout clerk.