Coming home from a vacation is a lot like waking up with a hangover. You know you had a good time before the headache started, but you're now wondering if the fun before the headache was worth the headache to begin with. For me, the proverbial pain in the ass would be the fact that I am now in the midst of unpacking three suitcases and three carry-ons between me, The Husband, and Buttercup and our two weeks worth of shit we mostly didn't use because over-packing is, in fact, a highly undervalued gift in today's society. When the husband starts bitching about running low on supplies in our zombie apocalypse bunker after the Mayan deadline hits, that's when I whip out the suitcase I packed when he wasn't looking and voila! Look who brought the kitchen sink! The kicker? I'll be sorting the clean clothes from the dirty ones mostly by smelling them because it's just easier that way while I comb the internet for rental homes in our area that don't suck and that we can afford because our current landlord is an asshole who doesn't know that I blog while I also finalize plans for that conference in New York that everyone seems to be going to. And by that conference, I mean BlogHer. And by finalize plans, I mean look for a freaking plane ticket because I was too busy making sure both my mother and mother-in-law were equally pissed off at me for not spending every waking moment with them while we were in Detroit to bother with booking a flight.
The plus side is that The Husband and I were actually on speaking terms when we boarded the plane back to Arizona because we stuck to our plan of making time for ourselves and friends no matter who got pissed off at us. The bad is that I'm pretty sure my credit card is going to cry when I finally get around to buying that ticket. It's already inconsolable because what I just paid the dog sitter for Finnigan, Fezzik, and Lola for 14 days of Hilton-esque pampering could have funded an all inclusive trip to a secluded Tahitian island.
That last part is only funny because it's true.
And while I should be doing plane ticket hunting right now, I decided to instead share my top six (because I thought I only listed five) list of things not to do while prepping for BlogHer 2012 based on my own experiences at BlogHer 2010. It's okay, you can thank me later.
6. Don't underestimate the power of a cheap pair of flip flops or a decent pair of ballet flats.
Unless you're Beyonce and went straight from crawling to stilettos or my friend Heather who lives in hooker heels but breaks multiple toes only when walking barefoot in her own apartment, you're going to need relief from that cute pair of heels you now hate because every step is the very definition of pain.
5. Don't over think your wardrobe.
Or your shoes. Trust me on this. I spent way too much money on new clothes and pretty things for BlogHer 10 and not enough time with my daughter or The Husband or my dogs before I got on that plane. Also? It really doesn't matter what parties you are invited to when deciding upon that to pack because the person who raises a brow and sticks their nose up in the air because you wore that to this event is an asshole and you didn't need them to tell you how awesome you already are, anyway.
4. Speaking of parties, don't stress about the parties you haven't been invited to.
This is not high school, BlogHer is not the homecoming dance, and you don't need to be measuring your self-worth by whether or not you are popular enough to have received invites to VIP parties. Because why? Because you're awesome, remember? And also because there are three official BlogHer parties happening that don't require popularity votes or sign ups or being present for twitter parties or sacrificing three chickens and a candy bar to the Internet. Feel better now? Good. Cuz I haven't signed up for shit, either.
3. Don't expect time to stand still.
In other words, your List of People I Have to Meet may be three miles long and single-spaced, but BlogHer is a weekend in New York and chances are, you are going to miss meeting up with many of those you would have loved to meet up with in real life. Instead of stressing, focus on getting the most you can out of the conference, cherish the time you spend solidifying friendships forged in retweets and blog comments, and let the rest just go.
2. Don't smoke. Seriously.
I quit a long time ago but maybe not before BlogHer 10 and a pack cost me about $15 back then. Now? You'll probably have to provide a minimum of two references and trade your first born for a pack of cigarettes in The Big Apple because inflation sucks and smoking is bad for you anyway so you are so totally welcome for my consideration of your wallet and its feelings on being empty.
1. Don't forget to bring an empty suitcase.
And yes, I'm totally serious. The swag is serious at BlogHer and two years ago I found myself standing in the hotel lobby handing out the water bottles and product samples that made my suitcase too heavy out to very confused and surprised strangers who probably thought I was the craziest Avon lady ever. Believe me when I say you don't need to bring your entire wardrobe to New York City and 14 pairs of shoes are totally unnecessary for three days no matter what the voices in your head are trying to tell you. While you pack it's probably best to follow this simple method for ensuring a hassle free airport experience on your way back home:
* Pack your suitcase as you would like and without censoring yourself.
* Tell your husband to remove 75% of what you shoved into the suitcase while muttering about the crazy that thinks three pairs of jeans are necessary because they are all different shades, asshole. You should now have plenty of room for all of your swag and still have more outfit options than you are actually going to go through in NYC. Your welcome.
* Make sure your husband locks your suitcase and keeps the combination on the padlock to himself until after your bags have been checked at the airport. Suggest he wear a cup to protect himself and his manhood from your wrath. It's all for the best, really.
* Text husband while at airport waiting to come home. Suggest he put cup back on as it is inevitable he will say something kick-worthy at least once while you unpack eleventy billion product samples you will never use but will always cherish for the simple reason that you were smart enough to pack light and were able to get all this shit home to begin with.
* Celebrate. Because you just did the impossible.
I'm sure there's plenty more to share on the what not to do front that I'll remember as the conference draws closer. For now, I'll let the conversation continue in the comments while I don't procrastinate on buying that plane ticket to NYC. See ya in the Big Apple.