Monday, June 22, 2009
blog camp: reflections on the beginning
when you plan for something big, you have all of this anxious build-up to it...both literally and in your mind. you imagine what it will be like and you plan for what it will be like. with blog camp, it was the same. only it was difficult to really imagine what it would be like. it was a little strange to think of meeting five people who i'd never met in real life, but felt like i knew through their blogs--what would they be like for real? what kind of chemistry would be there between the group? or, even worse, might there not be chemistry between the group members? yikes. so many thoughts.
with all of the personalities and talk of tiaras, would anyone be a prima donna? would we all be? would it make it insufferable? or would there be one nice person who got crushed under the force of stronger personalities? or would one person dominate totally? would the weekend go quickly or drag on endlessly? so many questions.
so, in the end, all i could really do to mentally prepare was get ready in the physical sense...house cleaned and tidied, beds ready for people to sleep in, food and drink supplies laid in. if the house was ready i would be ready.
and largely, i would say that i never second-guessed the decision to invite five strangers to come hang out at my house for a weekend. it was done a bit on a whim and quite possibly began as a joke on husband's part (he should know better by now), but i never regretted it, even if i couldn't really imagine what it would be like.
i headed for the airport on friday with good butterflies. i had a sense of trying to consciously preserve the "first time-ness" of the experience--because you only have one first time experience of anything. and it's not that often that you know you're going to experience something for the first time--most of the time, things just happen and they end up being the first time. this was a unique opportunity. i knew i was going to meet my blog camp friends for the first time. and that felt somehow special.
my only doubts as i headed there were, "oh dear, will i recognize everyone?" i thought i'd know extranjera and B and polly, but i'd never seen seaside girl or kristina, so i wasn't sure. we'd made a plan that i'd buy a little flag from each country and be standing there waving those and they would thereby find me. however, i got to the airport and realized i didn't know for sure what the flags of poland and spain looked like and the shop was out of all of the others! yikes! so, i'd have to hope they recognized me.
i saw kristina first, she was leaning against a big pillar near starbucks, where we had agreed to meet. although she didn't look as i expected, i knew it was her right away from the way she looked at me like she recognized me. she had spotted extranjera, sitting in the starbucks and we went over to greet her. we knew it was her from the murakami she was reading. (oops, still owe a discussion on that one on the hermit book club blog).
i'd had word from polly and B that their flight was delayed, but we knew that seaside girl would arrive soon from gatwick, so we went over to wait. we giggled quite a lot about how we would recognize her since none of us had much of an idea how she would look...we couldn't even really agree on what she'd said about her recent haircut. thankfully, she recognized us and came right up to us. we all immediately started laughing and headed back over to starbucks to wait for B & polly's flight to come in.
we chatted away, only having a couple of minutes here and there of wondering what to say next. but it helped that we felt we knew one another from our blogs. then, it was time for B & polly's flight. while we were waiting, we tried to catch a photo of a weird nu skin cult leader girl for molly's sake, but kept missing the opportunity (ok, it was me who was too slow to get out the damn iPhone at the right time). at last, just when their flight had disappeared entirely from the sign and we were beginning to wonder if they had had to report a lost bag, they came out. and we were off towards the train to the center of copenhagen.
i entered my usual chaos mode and it took extranjera and i quite a bit of discussion to determine how many tickets to buy and which color of clip card was best, but soon, we were on a train and stowing their bags at the central station in copenhagen so we could be free to walk around.
it was so much fun walking around the city, cameras constantly at the ready, seeing copenhagen anew through their eyes. and it was quite amazing how quickly any nervousness and awkwardness melted very quickly away. i suppose because we did, in many ways, know one another quite well through our blogs and everyone proved to be very like their bloggy self.
more later from the first evening...