Remember when I wrote this?
At the time, I chalked it up to the ravings of a sleep-deprived, hopped-up-on-sugar Mama giddy at the prospect of 3 completely childfree days of fun at Allume.
What I didn’t realize is that those words were actually somewhat prophetic.
I thoroughly enjoyed each of the breakout sessions that I attended at the conference. But I only had the privilege of bringing one to a screeching halt. (Yes, you read that right).
Here’s how I achieved my .045 seconds of infamy:
On Friday afternoon, I had a meeting with a literary agent, so I spent a few minutes in my room writing down some thoughts for my pitch and praying about it, then I headed to a breakout session entitled “Competition vs. Community” (or something close to that) with a panel of wonderfully fantastic bloggers like Jen from Beauty and Bedlam, Lisa Jo Baker, and (if you’re a blogger, then this name will mean something to you) Tsh from Simple Mom. Yes, her.
I didn’t make it to the session until it was already in full swing, so I joined a little huddle of gals at the back of the room and proceeded to strain my ears to hear snatches of the wisdom these seasoned blogging pros were so graciously doling out.
Thing was, this particular conference room was pretty big, with thick carpeting, sound-dampening wallpaper, and lots of bodies, and being at the back put us a good 30 feet away from the speakers. Sure, they wore a mike, but it didn’t seem to be helping much, especially since they were all handling it like it was a snake (as a fitness instructor who is used to wearing a hands-free mike when I teach, it was everything I could do not to holler, “EAT THAT THING!!!” as I watched them shy away from the receiver; probably best that I didn’t, huh?).
Other thing was, our little bunch was hovering right outside a door on the other side of which was, apparently, the world’s largest ice machine. It was close to lunch time, and we could hear the hotel staff through the door chattering and calling to each other as they prepared glasses for iced tea. So, yeah. Lots of ice crunching going on.
So, from my perspective, the session went something like this: (muffled voice) “When bloggers are in community rather than competition, we have the potential to…” (CRUUUUUUUNCH) “especially as we come together and really emphasize” (crunch, Crunch, CRUUUUUUUUNCH) “which is great because the best thing we can all do for each other is” (CrunchCrunchCrunch).
At a certain point, it was getting funny, and the girls around me and I were starting to giggle a little as inevitably the best part of a sentence we could barely hear would get obliterated by the crash of an ice bucket or the cacophonous roar of a million cubes being poured from one large container to another.
And then the fly showed up.
I don’t remember the exact moment of our meeting, but I vaguely recall flicking something annoying away from my face a few times as I squinted and leaned in, determined to get something out of this darn session.
The other ladies were doing the same, batting the pesky little critter away from their faces every few minutes or so.
But then, Mr. Mosca developed a full-on stalker crush on me and proceeded to go for my eyes with the same kind of fervor that Miley Cyrus seems to have for not wearing pants.
And I started swatting in earnest. He meant business. And so did I. Somewhere, I read the disgusting fact that flies will attempt to drink from the liquid in your eyes if they can somehow pull of such a ridiculously revolting-sounding trick. And I made up my mind that this fly was going to die of thirst before he got a drink out of me.
Somewhere during this epic throw down, I noticed that things were quiet(er). Much too quiet. I took one last swing at my foe and looked up to discover every last blogger from the panel gazing at me expectantly.
Looked around at my fellow hall-hoverers in confusion.
And then Tsh said: “Can we help you?”
Every head in the room swiveled my direction, and the girls around me shrank away from me(so much for community).
“Th-there was a fly,” I stammered. Lame, lame, lame.
The blogger panel exchanged glances that spoke volumes.
“You didn’t need something? We thought maybe you couldn’t hear in the back?”
I found my voice finally and said, “Um, well, actually we can’t. Thanks.”
And then I waved at all the curious faces and resisted the urge to flee. I stood my ground with flaming cheeks while the panel went back to talking. And for five whole minutes, thanks to a break in iced tea preparation and the fact that the speakers were trying to be louder, we could hear. And it was glorious. I was a (really weird and embarrassed) hero to my fellow hall-dwellers!
But then the mike got passed to somebody with the quietest voice ever, and the hotel staff started competing to see who could crunch the most ice per second, and I couldn’t hear anything again.
So, I left a little early to go find the publishing agent, certain that my dreams that night would consist of me, standing on a stage wearing nothing but fly-printed underwear, in a room full of bloggers.
P.S. Can you tell we had so much fun at the Smile Booth? Seriously. Best idea ever.