Only a handful of women directly addressed the elephant in the room (actually, the penis in the elevator) at BlogHer ‘10 this past weekend by asking me: “Why are you here at a conference for women?”
More surprisingly, only one of them inserted an emphatic “the hell” into that question but it was in her eyes, not her words.
But that wasn’t the real controversy surrounding my appearance among the 2,400 women gathered in New York City. No, not by a long shot.
Answer: Martha knows I need FAR more help than you.
(Actual conversation that happened not once, but twice with Omnimedia employees at the party:
MARTHA MINION: And what’s the name of the blog you write?
ME: Always Home and Uncool.
MARTHA MINION: Oh, yes! We know you. YOU’RE the daddy blogger.)
Martha obviously wants to broaden her appeal to folks like me, the domestic doofus demographic. One swag bag her folks distributed contained fudge-covered mint Oreos, Kraft Homestyle Mac ‘n’ Cheese and, honestly, Miracle Whip. It only lacked a warning label:
“DANGER! Eating these three items in one sitting might cause heart attack, diabetes or terminal SuburbanWhiteBoyism!”
I only had one moment of true testosterone discomfort during all three days. Oddly, it did not occur while entering a women’s bathroom Thursday night to pay my respects to Jenny the Bloggess. That I expected.
My man shame occurred during the conference’s panel on humor writing. Comedienne and The Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead described her need to rally the world against white, male … um, excrement egresses. Oh, how the sea of women around me laaaaaughed and laaaaaughed and … *sniff sniff* … do I smell boiling tar?
Then I remembered.
Lizz wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for me.
Not “guys like me.” But me, in particular. So there, Lizz Winstead: You. Owe. Moi.
In all seriousness, everyone I meet – male and female – were as gracious as they could be to me or at least faked it convincingly. Here are some thanks and memories worth sharing:
To TwoBusy, my roommate and safety net. I’m especially grateful you never kidney punched me for endlessly begging and pleading with people to support Cure JM’s efforts to win that $250,000 Pepsi Refresh grant. You are a gentleman and I owe you. No kidding, what’s my half of the hotel bill?
To the 400 or so people who now possess the above Cure JM cards: thanks for indulging me. My daughter and other children stuck with this stupid disease known as juvenile myositis are depending on you and the power of your votes.
To the dynamic duo of Ms. Picket and Carolyn Online. For you, I’ll make an exception to my rules on drinking light beer. Not at the $10 a pop the hotel bar was charging, mind you, but definitely up to $7.75. Sans tax and tip.
To Bossy: I am your stalker. I just made it seem like you kept bumping into me around the hotel
bar because I’m that good.
To Verdant Dude and Avitable’s (mostly) Florida mafia for welcoming me into the city, but not for making me sweat my ever-lovin’ man sack off in that Belgium bar. Don’t you get enough humidity back home?
To Out-Numbered for letting me surf in his wake while he hobnobbed with the post-breakfast crowd Friday morning.
To Maggie Dammit, Ann Imig, Small Town Mommy, VodkaMom and the other handful of people who literally tapped my shoulder (or in Charlie’s case, leaped over a chair and a table) to say hello. In each case, it was a strange, wonderful and wholly unexpected experience for me. There are many days I wallow silently in my feelings of worthlessness, resentment and loneliness over the belief that no one cares about what I struggle to hunt-and-peck here. You made me feel welcome in your home.
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You could win an iPad by helping us win that $250,000 Pepsi grant. Go to www.CureJM.org, sign up for daily voting reminders and then vote your ass off and get your friends to do the same every day until August 31. We only give away the iPad if we finish No. 1 or 2 in the voting.