When Tom and Laura head off for weekend YMCA camping, the first thing that I do on Friday afternoon is put on my pajamas, and the last thing that I do on Sunday afternoon is change back into clothes. Usually a bubble bath, Van Morrison on the iPod, and a cup of green tea, followed by a clean pair of pajamas are involved in my Saturday plans. Just saying.
I like to while away the hours reading blogs and writing. One weekend last year, I watched every episode back-to-back of season one of The Tudors. (I could totally lose my head over Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ Henry the VIII, by the way.) Sometimes I tackle big projects, like de-cluttering a closet, my desk, or, once, the entire garage.
I’m a wild woman.
Last weekend, however, I did something out of character for me and took off my pajamas twenty-four hours earlier than usual. I put on clothes. I gave myself an Adam Lambert-tribute manicure. And then I went out. With people. Or, as the case may be, tweeple.
Earlier in the week, San Diego Momma sent around an email suggesting that some of us San Diego bloggers attend a fundraising tweetup at the Hard Rock Hotel. It was some sort of event at which tweeple and bloggers, including moms, would gather for a fundraiser to benefit other moms in Kenya.
Whoa. Let’s back this post up a paragraph or two. Tweetup? A gathering of tweeple for social and business networking. Tweeple? Tweeple are people who tweet. Tweet? What tweeples do on Twitter. Twitter? Do I have to explain everything? Check this out. My smart, beautiful, young, and hip friend Sarah explains it way better than I ever could. Welcome to the Twitterverse.
I picked up my wife and drove her downtown to meet San Diego Momma and some other tweeple. The tweetup was on the roof of the Hard Rock Hotel. We were asked to put on nametags with our Twitter names, which we did. At the bar, we were told that proceeds from the purchase of blueberry martinis would benefit moms in Kenya. So my wife drank only blueberry martinis that night. She’s very generous that way. Midway through her first martini (with actual blueberries in the glass), Kate declared that it was just like drinking blueberry pancakes. By the end of the night, my wife had polished off a short stack. Kenya thanks her. I was driving home, and, thus, drinking club soda with lime. San Diego thanks moi.
We sat by one of the many outdoor fire pits and ordered dinner and more drinks. After a while, and many more drink orders, the Hard Rock Hotel people told us we couldn’t sit by the fire any longer unless we were going to start ordering by the bottle. WTFrick? The more expensive single-drink method wasn’t cutting it? The Hard Rock Hotel people were generally very snooty to us, but not allowing eating and drinking customers to sit by the fire? Whatever. Apparently the Hard Rock Hotel does not know that
one blogger will mention this in a post bloggers are a powerful demographic.
During the evening a man introduced himself, and asked me what I do. I froze like a deer in the headlights. I fancy myself to be an accomplished dilettante, but that says more about what I don’t do, which wasn’t the question. I briefly considered saying off-duty DEA agent or Seal’s executive assistant, but I settled on the truth, “I used to practice law, but now I’m a SAHM and a blogger.” He told me he was a social networking something or other and a blogger something else and an online resource something I’ve now forgotten. Then? He asked me whether I’d monetized my blog. I returned to my deer-in-the-headlights expression. Then I said no, and wondered if that made me not cool. Add that to my list. I told him that I thought of my blog as a hobby. He nodded politely.
Later in the evening, a woman looked at my nametag, focused her drunken young eyes, and said, “I know you.” I swear before God, Buddha, Allah, Yoda, and Eckhart Tolle that after I focused my sober old eyes on her nametag, I’d never heard of her. I must have looked doubtful, because she said, again, “No, I really know who you are.” I really have to call bull to the shit on that. You see, I learned some things that night about the true purpose of nametag reading. You probably already know this stuff, but just in case? Keep reading.
Soon another woman approached and asked me if I had a pen. By this time I was starting to catch on. What kind of person would carry an artifact such as a pen to a tweetup? Me? Sure, I had a pen in my purse, but no way was I going to admit it and get thrown out of the joint. She said, “Well, then, just remember my name so you can follow me on Twitter.” She told me her name, and I nodded like I was paying attention. I have a husband and three kids, so I have the “I’m paying attention to you” nod down pretty well by now. She stumbled away happily.
Still later, a grey-haired woman was walking around with an open laptop. Her nametag had “Grandma” within her Twitter moniker, and she was apparently doing a live webcast from the event. My wife and I left at the same time that she did, and as we all got into the elevator, Grandma pointed her laptop at us while we stuck our heads into our purses. Then she pointed the laptop back at herself and spoke into it, “I’m in the elevator now, leaving the Hard Rock Hotel.”
People or tweeple, I don’t make this shit up.
As we parted for the evening, San Diego Momma reported that the strangest thing that someone asked her that night was “Have you monetized your blog?” I told her that she must have been speaking to the same guy who asked me that question. But no, turns out it was a woman who’d asked her. WTFrick? Are we missing something here besides instantaneous wealth? If we put ads on our blogs will the Hard Rock Hotel let us sit by the fireplace next time?
When I got home and was reunited with my laptop boyfriend, I found that I had a bunch of new strangers following me on Twitter, including the grandma who’d been walking around with the open laptop. It was a little bit creepy. Sorry, Grandma. That young woman who focused on my nametag and said she knew me? Turns out she was totally reading it so she could follow me. Why follow a stranger? Someone at the event explained to me that it is polite to return the favor and follow back someone who follows you. Who knew? (And can someone please explain to me how to work the dang follower icon-button-thingies on the side of the screen?)
The man who asked me if I monetized my blog? He told me he had over 1200 followers. I decided right then and there that someone who doesn’t know me, but wants to follow me just to get more followers is a tweetho. Or the person tweets for business purposes. Either way. (What are the chances that I just pissed off someone in the Twitterverse? I’m gonna say odds are not likely, just venturing a guess that someone with over 1200 Twitter followers has no time to be reading this blog. Heh.)
When Tom came home from camping, I told him that he could no longer put butter on his dinner rolls. Huh? I explained that butter isn’t good for his heart, and I was not going to let him die young, leaving me alone in this world, forced to meet people at tweetups.
I didn’t have my camera at the tweetup, nor did I use my iPhone boyfriend to take pictures because
I didn’t think of it my iPhone was busy being my boyfriend. I didn’t want anyone to think I was single, although men trying to pick up on me needn’t have been my concern. Number one, I had on actual clothing. Number two, I had at least twenty years on most of the tweeple who were there. Number three, everyone we met thought Kate and I were lesbians. So, I was safe except for the tweeple who’d begun following me online before I’d left the building.
Anywho. Because I didn’t take pictures at the event, here is my artist’s rendition of Kate and me at the tweetup:
People or tweeple, when was the last time you were a fish out of water?
[Edited to add: Go see what one of my all-time favorite bloggers has done to run with the monetizeconcept. Go. Now.]