Bustle in Your Hedgerow:
a Blogher Tale
It's been nearly two weeks since I left for San Francisco. I told someone yesterday that I've been on intensive, week-long, spiritual retreats that were easier to come back from than Blogher.
"You never want to leave, and you never want to come back," Patrick said to me with a hug, a day or two after my return.
He's right. I am seen, known, loved.
It took me days to get around to unpacking, but it's done. The boarding passes have been thrown out, receipts stacked, clothes and shoes put away. The only thing I haven't gotten around to is flushing the text messages from my Blackberry. When you have three days worth of panels and parties to attend in a strange city, and the exercise of finding your friends is taken straight from a page of Where's Waldo, you accumulate a lot of text messages.
Everytime I go to delete them, I can't quite do it. They are like souvenir matchbooks pocketed from faraway and long ago places. If I could keep them in a giant brandy snifter on my dresser, I would. If I were to transcribe them, they wouldn't mean a thing to anyone, but to me each one is shorthand for a moment that was brimful of emotion: euphoria, silliness, excitement, or some other feeling turned all the way up to 11.
It's not like my life in Little Rock is a flat, empty expanse devoid of great friends and good times. I am rich in both. My coach didn't turn into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight Saturday. But I have to confess to you, when I heard the little chime signal alerting me to a text message for the first time in a couple of days since the conference, I nearly knocked over a chair to get to my phone and was sad beyond reason when I saw that it was just some auto-alert.
I'm much better now, thanks. Moving on. Operation Delete All happens today.
Before it does though, I want to pull one matchbook from the snifter and tell you a story that goes with it.
My last text message of Thursday night, sent from a shuttle bus to friends back at the hotel at twenty three hundred hours and change, reads as follows:
desperately teryimng to make it back from kawasawkis to the people'S party
"Kawasawkis" refers to Guy Kawasaki, tech guru and gracious co-host of the Kirtsy party, held at his lovely home in Hawaii. Actually, I'm told it was in Palo Alto, but the shuttle ride from the Westin St. Francis to Guy's was epic, like the Kon-Tiki expedition. It should have taken little under an hour to get there, which was more than most of us had bargained for, but our driver got lost, so by the time we pulled into the gate, we had eaten Doug. Tough, but savory. Like jerky.
I'm kidding of course. We didn't eat Doug. I didn't eat anything. Not since...uh...the night before, unless you count Starbucks coffee and what they serve these days for snacks/meals on airplanes. Pictures of lobster and steak dinner torn from the pages of Skymall magazine. See, sometimes when I get wound up about something, I forget to eat. When I hopped on the shuttle to Guy's, it didn't register with me that I'd been on the road for fourteen hours already that day without sustenance, or that it might be a problem. I am, afterall, a mommy blogger, and we feed on the shame of our families.
I am a moderate drinker. I enjoy a glass or two of wine about half the evenings of the week, and the occasional ladies' night out. How three or four glasses of organic, artisanal chardonnay turned my blood into 90 proof can only be explained by a combination of an empty stomach, physical exhaustion and a general state of over-stimulation. That, or Bossy slipped me a roofie. I dimly remember giving a video-recorded interview to my friend Stephanie Roberts, which was probably as intelligible as the aforementioned text message (Stephanie, any bids you get for that clip, I will top). I sort of remember seeking out Guy near the end to say my best Miss Manners thank you, before walking down the long driveway to catch the very last shuttle.
The second-to-last had just left, and there were only a few of us waiting in the dark by the gate. "It's on it way now," someone said, just about the minute I realized I had swilled three or four glasses of organic, artisanal chardonnay and had never once visited the powder room. Suddenly, I really, really needed to powder.
I evaluated the options. It was an awfully long way down the driveway, back to the house. The last shuttle would pull into the gate any minute. It was at least a forty-five minute drive back to the hotel, IF our driver could find it.
So I did what any girl raised in a place with wide open spaces learns to do.
As god and several close, personal friends are my witness, I peed in Guy Kawasaki's bushes. In my defense, it was organic, artisanal pee.
I never made it to the People's Party. By the time the shuttle dropped us back at the hotel, I was near to crying with exhaustion. I took the elevator to my room and collapsed on my bed. When I woke up, my first thought was, "OMG, I peed in Guy Kawasaki's bushes." I wondered what Miss Manners form of apology was called for.
I've decided a living amend is in order. I feel I owe it to Guy and his family to become the best and most successful writer I can be, so that they can turn the event into a colorful anecdote for future party guests; the sort of outre behavior that you expect from celebrated authors. Something we can all spin as more Hemingway-esque, than Anna Nicole Smith-ish.
If that doesn't work, perhaps it will satisfy Guy to know that the next night, after Maggie's party (where I drank mostly water), I came down with a raging bladder infection. I swear, it went from zero to "shoot me now" in the space of 30 minutes. I've never experienced anything like it. My sainted roommate called the hotel doctor and made not one, but two, trips to the drugstore at 4:30 in the morning, and by daylight, had nursed me back to wellness. I blamed it on lack of sleep, dehydration, and Spanx, before I remembered Guy's bushes, and knew without a doubt, it was the revenge of Kawasaki's hedgerow.
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