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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Girls gone wild

“Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile... initially scared me to death.” ~Betty Bender

I attended Girl Scout camp Little Notch, every year for 12 years, both as a camper and then a counselor. That would be 12 years straight of a thin mint induced estrogen fest, where I learned how to cook over an open fire without singing my eye lashes, how to canoe, kayak and sail, how to save a drowning child and that sexual harassment is a very bad thing. That last part is a long and excruciating tale of injustice and why 16 year olds are evil whores.

I was sent away for a reason that I cannot pin point now. Possibly because Peg wanted me to be surrounded by tree hugging girls, which only went to turn me into an organic granola eating, uber liberal vegetarian; or maybe because she appreciated a solid seven to 12 week period without me incessantly whining. Whatever the case, I’ve always valued the time that I spent there, because of that whole estrogen love fest thing. It sounds cliché, but women helping other younger women become better women. It was quite the supportive atmosphere and 2003 was the last time I went seven consecutive days without feeling the need to shave because some boy might see my legs. No one cared. It was a beautiful thing.

And since then, I’ve always been devout in empowerment, once again, cliché but the honest truth. I mean only a woman who wanted to make her self a better woman would subject herself to 9 Saturdays to hear other woman speak about the fabulous life of politicos (or Politicas) in Washington. So you can imagine my sheer excitement and the amount that I peed myself in such a state when I discovered BlogHer (or SheBlog if you’re Savage). An entire weekend of women helping other women bloggers become, well…better bloggers. Obviously in my case this will require a one on one tutorial for eight hours a day for two weeks straight, but still, it will at least hopefully maybe scrape the surface.

That said there is a little conundrum. Only minor, nothing all that catastrophic or mind blowing, it’s just that…there are new people. Many new people. So many new people who will inevitably hate me and find me trite and boring and then will roll their eyes and wonder how the hell I’ve managed to survive through the past 22 years without being committed. This is how it goes with me. Every year prior to Girl Scout camp, I would get the same freaked out, I’m going to die because they’re going to throw pig blood on me, type feeling. It doesn’t matter that I would attend and come home cheerful and so black that I looked blue and ready to purchase a Sunfish. Nope. Didn’t matter. Because it still happened every year. It also didn’t matter that I attended with people that I knew who could vouch for my being an OK person to know. Because the fear is real and ever present.

Right now I have a round trip ticket to San Jose. Kris, Stacy and Amy will be there. They’re excited about me going, while I feign a smile and feel like vomiting every time I have to think about it. It’s traumatizing. It’s also sad and pathetic and my rational mind can process it all and knows that all will be well and that the aforementioned ladies, will most likely not want to toss me off a balcony by Sunday. But like I said, the fear is very real and women can be fun but can also be scary.

Now, I’m closing me eyes and taking deep breaths. Because if I keep writing about all of the extremes and the ‘what ifs’, my eyes are going to bug out of my head…All will be well…

Post Script: Remind me to tell you about my irrational fear of going across the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Not because it’s high or the deep cold water or because my car could fall off and I could die an untimely death. But because once you cross that bridge, I cannot just turn around and go back to Albany. It’s too far from home, yet so close to DC and I can’t turn back. Which means that I have to go to DC and endure whatever happens to be awaiting me there. Fear sucks man.

15 Comments:

Anonymous Jurgen Nation said...

"Kris, Stacy and Amy will be there." HB, it's not looking good.

But anywhoots, we'd never let anyone throw pig's blood on you. First of all, I'm a rabid animal rightsist and the mofo that tried that would get a major beatdown from Grandmaster Stace-funk. Second, we'd be far too drunk to have to worry about anyone else but ourselves and our surely inevitable idiot ideas. ("You know what would be great? I'm going to do 8 shots of Crown and try to smoke a doob through my ass.")

Also, know that if you hate them first, it doesn't matter if they hate you. Effers.

Welcome inside my head, mwaaahah.

4:21 PM  
Blogger DC Cookie said...

You are such a tough cookie. I've always admired your ability to walk into a room and feign comfort. Quiet for a few moments while you observe and then unleashing the social beast that you are. You're wonderful and you'll be wonderful while you're there. GOOD LUCK!

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Whinger said...

Well and I'LL be there, too, let's not forget, even if it is only for Saturday. :)

And darnitall if I'm not fresh out of pig's blood.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous MappyB said...

So Jealous about BlogHer; I wish I was able to make it.
You'll have a great time!

6:43 PM  
Anonymous isabel said...

Fear does suck. But it's a part of life.

Camp seems so magical. My husband also went to camp and he still talks about it all the time.

Have a blast at the convention. And don't forget about the rest of us losers who aren't going.

8:28 PM  
Blogger MKD said...

BlogHer? Is this real? I don't get it. Will there be rampant lesbianism?

9:26 AM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Jurgen: This whole talk of you not being there is making me rather weepy. No more. But thanks...

DCC: I had no idea I let anyone in on my little secret. Yes, I'm mighty good at the feigning.

Whinger: Of Course you'll be there! And no, I didn't forget, but I've neve met you and you could still hate me. :-( But then I'll charm you with my extensive knowledge of Vermont and Upstate NY cheese and you'll love me.

MappyB: Thank you and I hope so.

Isabel: Camp was camp. It was an experience to say the least.

MKD: Hell yeah it's real.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

Stacy is so going. If I have to sell my firstborn.

You are a rockstar. The woman I can picture walking into any room and wowing 'em. You've done it in every room I've seen you in.

No worries; if all else fails, you and I will milk Stacy for her social prowess.

I'll be the drunk, "special" one.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

And MKD, you should come! I can put you in my suitcase. You look tiny enough.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Lena said...

Heather - we're totally going to rock San Ho! No worries chica! The drinks will be free-flowing in our room. And I'll even throw in granola to make you feel at home. ;p

5:05 PM  
Anonymous LisaBinDaCity said...

I totally believe in women helping women. I have had awesome women mentors and hopefully I have helped a few younger gals as well...

Say hi to my pal Last Girl on Earth - Deni - when you go to BlogHer. She is one of the speakers! I wanted to go but couldn't get away.

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Jurgen Nation said...

Sorry for threadjacking your comments, Heather, but Kris, I have no social prowess! I was planning to leach off yours and Heather's.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Ok fine. I have a hotel room to myself. I like to drink wine. Everybody come on over, and I'll pretend to be the social one.

The end.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Through a Glass Darkly said...

Isn't it funny how those of us who seem to find it easy to make our way in a crowd are often shaking in our boots all the while?

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Y said...

Oh girrrrrrl. I can not wait to meet you! Eeeeeee!

12:45 AM  

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