BlogHer15 was an incredible experience and I’m glad I went.
However, I did feel like I was surrounded by my son’s grad school peers — bright, talented, enthusiastic young women, for sure– but nevertheless, nowhere near my stage of life.
Everyone I met was cordial and pleasant, but it became clearer and clearer to me — as a first-time attendee — that the chances were slim that I was going to meet a hang-out buddy or make lifelong friends with most of the people I met. A generation’s worth of life experiences separated us — and when I was in my 20s or 30s I would never have wanted to hang out with someone anywhere near my mom’s age!
By the second day, when it was time to hear keynote speakers and/or share meals at the big round tables in the grand ballroom, I began to look for women who appeared to be at least 40 to sit with. (Everyone looks so pretty and youthful looking now, that it’s actually kind of hard to tell what age most people are.)
On the last day of the conference, I got a killer headache (possibly from caffeine withdrawal, since I don’t drink coffee and no facilities in or near the hotel served my usual fountain Diet Cokes; all the soda was bottled for some reason.)
During an expo break, I decided to take a long walk to check out the big city sites and locate a jumbo Diet Coke.
The further I walked (and the more McDonald’s Diet Coke I consumed), the better I began to feel. I sat and sipped my drink in Bryant Park — a lovely green oasis among the skyscrapers, and chilled for a while.
The headache subsided and as I returned to the hotel, I actually felt kind of like Mary Tyler Moore strolling confidently in the big city, ready to toss her hat in the air; everything was going to be fine.
That is, until I passed a group of young hip hop street performers on the sidewalk.
For some reason, one young man raced over, got in my face, waved his arms wildly and exclaimed loudly, “What up, grandma?!”
Way to burst my bubble…
And, for the record, I’m not a grandma yet.
I hope that future BlogHer conferences include some type of event on the first day to bring together “seasoned” female bloggers who are beyond their 30s, so we can meet and network.
Even if some of us do (apparently) look like grandmas.
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