June 26, 2010

Blog Snobs

A few weeks back, I received an invitation to a blogger event in New York City. Although I was flattered to be included on the guest list, the thought of making small talk with a bunch of prominent mom bloggers for the day was as appealing as the thought of impaling oneself with a sharp stick.

The invitation in question was on the fast track to my Trash folder when I happened to notice the words "spa" and "massage" in it.

"You know, I think I might go to this one," I told my husband. As a general rule, I'm not a big fan of being touched by strangers, especially while in a state of semi-undress. I make exceptions for strangers who work as massage therapists in fancy hotels.

Yesterday was the big day. The minute I walked into the hotel lobby, I saw them. The other bloggers filled two sofas and a love seat and jabbered away like schoolgirls. At the end of each sentence, they paused momentarily to take pictures of themselves and/or Tweet about what they just ate for lunch.

I decided to bite the bullet. "Hello,"I said, introducing myself to the crowd. A few heads looked up from their cell phones.
"What's your blog?" one woman asked.
After I told her, the woman shrugged her shoulders. "Never heard of it." She went on to tell me the name of her blog, which I had heard of. "I was just on the Today Show," she continued.

After a few more introductions, I realized that I was the only mom blogger in attendance who A) had more than one child by choice B) didn't have a business card and C) hadn't been on a national morning news program.

"How many kids do you have?" one blogger asked me.
When I said "four," she visibly recoiled in horror.

The woman and her friends warmed up to me considerably after learning that I was once almost on The Oprah Show. One even invited me to sit with them.

I declined.

"Run now as fast as you can," said the sane, rational voice inside my head.
"Run after you get the massage," said the glutton for punishment.

After a few minutes, a woman from the hotel took all of us down to the hotel spa, where we were instructed to shower and put on our swimsuits. We were instructed to reconvene in the lobby of the spa in 10 minutes without our cell phones. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth followed.

In the changing room, I met a woman who made me think that I had jumped to conclusions prematurely. Sallee was friendly, warm, sincere, and hadn't been on Good Morning America ever. As it turned out, she was not a blogger herself, but rather the personal assistant to another blogger who had a last minute change of plans and couldn't attend the event. Sallee was a place holder.

I liked Sallee the minute I met her. I liked her even more when she leaned over and whispered into my ear the exact same thing that I was thinking; namely, that despite having glow-in-the dark skin, both of us looked better in our swimsuits than most of the other bloggers did in theirs.

Tee Hee!

CLEARLY that doesn't say much. But still, it was something to cling to while being subjected to an endless stream of stories about Matt Lauer.

57 comments

Carrie said...

Some of the popular blogs are like the mean girls in school! They all want to make everyone feel so insecure about their houses, children, and lifestyle. I love your blog because it is real, not staged or fake.

Love the bathing suit comment!

MiniMe Mom said...

This is hilarious! I went to BlogHer last year, and felt the same way. Like I did back in the "Hollywood Days" of my career. LOTS of people throwing the word celebrity around, when talking about themselves of course. UMMMM......no. Last I checked, one Today Show appearance doesn't a celebrity make.

FWIW, I enjoy your blog so much more because it is funny and not contrived. Seems like there are WAY too many bloggers being vulgar for shock factor.

Louisa said...

I'm sorry, but a "blogger" does not need a personal assistant. I am one myself for a CEO of a large healthcare company and he does not need one!!

People that feel that they need one, have entitlement issues. Trust me, I have to deal with them everyday. Once the job market picks up, I am gone!

Nolie said...

Dude where do I get a personal assistant? I would love to just spit out an idea and have someone else do all the work while I enjoy massages.

Avery said...

The blogger with the PA has got to be "The Pioneer Woman!" I have always thought she would have one! Or maybe she is the one that spoke about The Today Show, she is always talking about how great she is........

Skubaliscious said...

There are other blogs out there more popular than yours??

Natalie said...

First of all, I would love to get an assistant, but know it ain't gonna happen!

I can't imagine what a blogger would have to be snobby about! Ridiculous...

Collette said...

I've never commented before but I had to this time. One time I went to a "meet and greet" type thing filled with casual bloggers. I didn't take business cards, either. And I left realizing that I'm not even a "casual" blogger. Never again. Not my style.

Shell said...

LMAO!!!!

Damn, wish I was cool enough to have been invited, b/c I totally would have made fun of everyone with you.

I was at a blog conference a while back and when I clearly didn't recognize one of the blogs that I "should" have-the blank look on my face gave me away, that blogger was SOOOO rude to me.

I kept thinking SERIOUSLY???? I don't care how popular someone's blog is, the whole world still doesn't know who they are.

Midwestern Gone Idahoan said...

It is like being back in high school!! Ilove reading your blog - and a lot of other ones!!!! And I love writting in my blog - but I don't know if ANYONE would know who I am?!? And I have to love when people talk about how hard it is with 1 or 2 kids to get things done:) I have 5! I would love to go to a blog convention - but I am afraid it would be like you said!!!

AJL said...

How ridiculous! Isn't it sad how insecurity makes people have to push others down in order to lift themselves up? At least it made for (A) another hilarious post and (B) a massage!

Rocket Ma'am said...

I just wonder who minds the kids while these women constantly blog/tweet about how motherly they are. It's straight out the "The Nanny Diaries."
I could go for a massage, though.

Kerrie (and Jason) said...

I had an email at work the other day where the complaintant included in their complaint they were a blogger AND had chatted to a famous chef. My first thought on reading that line was "so??".

I imagine they would have a personal assistant if they could. Kind of pointless though to have a personal blog if you don't write it yourself...

Karen said...

I'm with Skuba....No way are there other blogs better than yours!

Karie said...

That sounds horrible. I LOVE you found a friend and at least got a good laugh. I cracked up because I would have done the SAME thing.

Melanie Gao said...

Thank you for being different Jana. Please don't ever change.

Paula Reynolds said...

I tried doing the "nice" mommy blogger thing and as you know life is not all about how great and chipper you are every second of every day. Nor is it always about photography or food (though both are yummy). You are not the Meanest Mom, and I am not really Trapped. But we are truthful and un-full of ourselves. Bravo non-snob mom blogger! (ps. I found your blog after reading you in the Parenting magazine. Oprah ain't everything!)

Making It Work Mom said...

Love it! Too funny! Great that you got the freebie massage, though. Schmoozing is not my style either, but getting free spa experiences is.

Stef said...

Haha. That is too fun...and actually quite disturbing. The mean bloggers, not you getting a massage...although if it were me getting a massage, there is no way I would reconvine in the lobby in my bathing suit. I would be out of there in a heart beat!

A Musing Mother said...

I wish I was popular like you. I'm an albino, too. Can we start a club?

I don't mind having followers, I just don't want people I know to read my blog.

They might be my fodder. Shhhh.

Madeline said...

Can I guess one of the mean bloggers? Does her name begin with a 'D'? Can't.stand.her.

Your blog is the best around--brutal honesty and hilarity!! It makes me say to myself, "I'm not the only one". Keep it up!!!

Melissa said...

It's stories like that that make me incredibly hesitant to go to any big mom blog events. I definitely get the sense that they can be cliquey and I have no time for that. I am floored that someone had a personal assistant, that is so ridiculously over the top!! Thank you for as always, keeping it real and about the writing and shared experience. :)

Emily said...

I'd be whispering in your other ear right along with Sallee. I think the three of us would be great friends! I have a feeling all this blogging hype/conferences/meet-ups are going to implode one of these days. And yes, I say this even though I'm a blogger too. All the more reason to make real friendships and spend more time in the real world! ;)

Lisa G said...

Sounds like they need some Jesus! If others just realized we are not here for ourselves we are here for the "bigger picture" and truly it doesn't even include US!
I started blogging to rid of frustrated feelings- kinda like a diary- I love reading your post and others -but a status symbol?Pleezzee!
How about how many lives did those ladies save today, or how many children did they make smile while they were in pain, or how many Mothers did they put at ease while their child was dying?
That's the real world girls!!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Thanks for being a normal person. The sad thing is, there were probably more people like you there, but they were so busy putting on an act, there was no time for building genuine friendships.

Carmen said...

Har! I love it!

One of the blogs I used to read had a post talking about how she was recognized once and she was offended that she was perceived as someone who "just" has a blog. She went on to say she is a writer and her blog isn't "just" some family blog. Rude. She's correct, she's a much better writer than little old me with my little family blog that I keep to document my life for my children to one day read. She should feel superior. But I can also feel she's a smug bitch.

PS: I'm a liar... I do still read her blog on occasion.

Carmen said...

...because, as it turns out, she is kind of a good writer.

(sticking my tongue out!)

Tamara Davis said...

I once saw a popular blogger, who lives on a ranch in OK, while visting my in-laws. I spotted her a dinner and when I walked by and said nothing, I overheard her saying, I was one of the "little people" that reads her blog and buys her cookbook.

I have not heard her fake life since!

Tamara Davis said...

I once saw a popular blogger, who lives on a ranch in OK, while visting my in-laws. I spotted her at dinner and when I walked by and said nothing, I overheard her saying, I was one of the "little people" that reads her blog and buys her cookbook.

I have not read her blog about her fake life since!

Karen Mortensen said...

Glad you survived.

MiniMe Mom said...

http://specialsauceinthehouse.blogspot.com/2010/04/mom-bloggers-nothing-more-nothing-less.html

One of my other favorite writers wrote this about the subject, and I think it sums it up perfectly!

mama loquita said...

I had never read a blog until I read about you in a Parenting magazine in the waiting room of the Children's Hospital, while my daughter was having a spica cast change. Some "real life" mean moms like me don't always have time to watch the Today Show, but will actually read whenever they get a free minute. The story was about four bloggers and yours definitely was the most interesting of all, hence, I came home and looked you up. You don't need to be a celebrity blogger to be resourceful, clever, super funny...and, of course, the meanest mom!

Denise said...

Wow, who knew there was a whole world out there where bloggers got together and talked about themselves. How weird is that? Don't they do that enough on their blogs?

The Novelist said...

I can just imagine what it would have been like to be there in a swimsuit with you. Only I would have looked like I still had my t-shirt on. I'm rockin the farmer tan!

Thanks for keeping it real!

Mal said...

Where do they find these people?

amyrose said...

So, I didn't even know there were blogger conferences. It's a whole world out there... and I was totally unaware.

Brooke said...

I'm not sure what I'm more appalled by... the fact that they couldn't stop tweeting for two minutes to engage in a real live conversation, the fact that they thought they were cool because they once explained that they had to get through the day using Xanax on national television, or the fact that they send their personal assistant to the massage- as though they were just too busy to have a massage!!!

Emily said...

Don't know you, but love you! Maybe because I feel a kinship. I, too, have glow in the dark skin. I tell my husband that it's good to keep me around just in case the power ever goes out. Who needs candles or flashlights.

I have five kids under the age of 8 (included in that mess are twin boys). We were recently hiking in a National Forest where you had to take a tram. It was packed. Both my husband and I had a baby in our backpacks and we dispersed the other children throughout the tram. When we got off to leave, I called for my three-year-old to follow me. The guy behind me shouted: "OMG! There's more!"

Smile.

janaemadsen said...

I hate all the blog moms with their strange giveaways I never win. I think they make lots of stuff up, like how they have horrible rashes from pampers.
Whatever ladies, go clean your house.

noelle said...

i once had to plan an event for bloggers. most of the women were lovely, but some of them? the self-importance was OFF THE CHARTS. pretty sure j-lo perceives herself more realistically than some of those women did.

Teen Queen said...

Oh my gosh! My mom reads your blog and I've looked at a few times, and I gotta say, this is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen! Someone with a blog handing out business cards and bragging about the Today Show? Is there any proof they were ever actually on it?

Vicky said...

Fuggetaboutem, Jana!! You 'rule the roost'!!!

Jo's girl said...

I wonder if they would ever be invited to a meat give away. that was pretty awesome.

I mean whoope-ity-do-da matt lauer. who cares, is knowing him going to clean your house, or feed you kids. having been one of a million guests on a show going to bring ANYTHING useful to your life? I like my unrecognized life thank you very much.

Cindy said...

I would have gone just for the massage myself. And I happen to be a personal assistant - to my kids and husband!!

There are other blogs out there?

vanilla said...

Those who belittle others to 'enlarge' themselves have little enough to work with, for sure.

Reb said...

Dear Jana, you make me laugh. I can only imagine through your writing the imagery of it all. I still you are the shtuff and I love your blog. Matt Luaer, who is that?

Isabel said...

I love this
This is the best blog i have read ( devil mom it's better than mine ) ;)
wow
this blog is so real, and really intresting

Emily said...

Hahahaha! Maybe I should send my PA to a conference for me......oh wait, I don't have one, I DON'T have delusions of grandeur :)

Ashley said...

This is so funny (and really sad)....exactly why I decided NOT to attend ;) plus I have social anxiety and would have sweat all over everyone. Now where can I get a personal assistant? Keep up the good work ;)

The Empress said...

Oh, yuk, I hate hearing that. You think that all would stop. Don't they know how wrong that is??? I wish you could say names, but I know you can't.

Anonymous said...

I love that you called these girls fat without even saying it. Haha, you crack me up... :)

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So freakin' true! I realize I'm late to the conversation, but I'm just beginning my blogging journey, and I'm already almost over it.

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