BlogHer is the new Black

Me and the Queen!  

It’s 12:06 AM. I should be in bed. Instead, I am watching back-to-back episodes of Orange is the New Black, while simultaneously toggling between Twitter, Facebook, my e-mail accounts and not one but two smartphones — the result of being a Canadian blogger at a US conference and some boring stuff involving SIM cards and roaming charges.

In other words, I think I’m in BlogHer withdrawal.

I went to summer camp as a camper from 1982 through 1986, and then attended the same camp as a counsellor for another couple of years (and why yes, I was the drama counsellor, just in case you needed that confirmed — I directed what was possibly the world’s worst-ever production of A Chorus Line with a bunch of snarly CITs as my stars). And every summer after camp ended, my camp friends and I would sit around bleakly comparing everything non-camp to everything camp and reliving the memories. We wore our bead bracelets until they fell off, irritated our parents and non-camp friends with our constant reminiscing, and wept and generally grieved and gnashed our teeth and rended our garments for the end of our time in our bubble.

My BlogHer bubble burst this morning when the blog-wives-to-whom-I-am-blog-concubine (there’s got to be an easier way of describing that relationship, but I don’t think there is; it involves fetching tampons) Deborah and Vikki caught early-morning cabs to O’Hare airport and my last two physical tethers to the world that is, for the other 362 days of the year, almost completely virtual, became virtual again.

blog concubine

This feels a little bit like the end of camp. Not nearly as histrionic, but I it’s the closest parallel I have. That, and Orange Is the New Black. Obvious differences aside, it’s comforting right about now to watch a comedy/drama about a few thousand very interesting and beautiful women holed up in the same space. I just finished watching the episode wherein Piper is sent to solitary for dirty dancing with her smoking hot ex, Alex, and I was immediately transported to the dance floor in the basement of the Sheraton on Saturday night, wherein things took a definite hard turn toward the raunch. I’m sure there are photographs circulating on the Internet (in fact, I know there are photographs circulating on the Internet, but for now I will just ignore those), but suffice it to say that my dance moves at the Sheraton — fueled in part by alcohol but in much larger part by sheer giddiness and the abundance of estrogen — were nothing like I could’ve ever imagined at the Friday-night Israeli dancing sessions at my summer camp all those years ago. My apologies (or not) to anybody I may have un/intentionally groped, or if I perhaps grabbed your smart phone and stuffed it into my bra in order to prevent you from texting and instead lure you onto the dance floor. For example. A friend and I were musing — via Twitter direct messages, obviously — about how we all regress somewhat at BlogHer (“I think everyone goes home slightly embarrassed,” she said), but how very necessary such regression is in our otherwise sensible lives.

So, this feels a little bit like the end of summer camp, except that I honestly never had as good a time at summer camp. It feels like summer camp except for Queen Latifah, and better food, and way better theatrical productions: congratulations to this year’s Voices of the Year community keynote speakers, and to the women who rocked the fashion show. It feels a bit like summer camp, although I think I am a better panelist on writing than I ever was a director of musicals (thank you so much everyone who came to my panel with Deborah, and yes, I will be posting our writing goals publicly, very soon). It feels a bit like the end of summer camp, except that I am 41 instead of 14, and really, I prefer it that way. Even when we act like children, the grown-ups at BlogHer are way cooler, way nicer, way more interesting, and much better dancers than my adolescent counterparts at camp ever were.

Until we meet again.