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Just The Way You Are

I think I speak for most of the Northern Hemisphere when I say, any time winter wants to wrap it up and call it a year would work out great for us. Of course, by "us" I mean those of you north of the Cedar City, Utah parallel (it's like the Tropic of Cancer only without any known shopping malls). Down here in Las Vegas pretty much everything is in bloom, with temperatures in the 'not-gonna-snow-neener-neener' range, although I did have to put on a sweater to pick up the mail yesterday. So we're all suffering, people.

The thing is, spring brings so much more than just the need to break out the Lady Schicks and mow through our hibernatory leg hair (which, for heaven's sake, please do before you come to Vegas for spring break).

The arrival of spring means we finally leave our caves, clear our throats, and see if we still know how to communicate with others of our species beyond the traditional grunts and frozen nods of winter. We throw off the Polartec doldrums of February (hasta la vista, stupidest month of the year!!) and make room for the cotton / poly blend of cheerfulness that arrives with the tulips.

And above all, it means we start making plans for the summer, plans which almost always involve lots of other people. Reunions, family vacations, the entire month of July during which the average Utahn works exactly sixteen minutes -- April showers as often as not bring May reservations at the KOA.

Now, I want to share with you an exchange that took place between That Girl and me. A few weeks ago she wrote a post about why she didn't want to attend any of the blogging conferences that were on offer this summer. She left her comments off, which of course meant twelve-thousand of us had to e-mail her personally in response to her post.

She told me tonight that she got a lot of response to that post, mostly from bloggers who said they felt the same way she felt. They wanted to attend, specifically, the CBC, but were hesitant because they were afraid their "online persona" somehow wouldn't meet other bloggers' expectations. For That Girl, she even felt that her readers thought she was skinny and funny when she actually wasn't, and she couldn't face the disappointment she knew we'd experience upon meeting her and learning the truth.

With her permission, I include my very kind and heart-felt reply to her post:

"Oh, you're getting a comment, sister. I'm commenting all over your skinny grass!"

Wait. Let me get to the nice stuff....are you nuts....blah....blah....blah....completely off your rocker....yadda.....yadda.... OK, here we go:

"I don't know where you got the idea that the CBC was some kind of clown convention, or something you have to audition for in order to get in, but YOU are exactly the kind of blogger we want to see there!!"

(Hmmm....that still sounds a little harsh. Really, this e-mail was positively OOZING love and affection. Perhaps I'll just paraphrase the rest... )

Anyway, I extended an invitation to her that I extend to all of you. Here's my vision for the whole event, with regards to your worries about fitting in:

You find me first, on Friday night. (I'll have a big name-tag and a gigantic poster with all of your names on it, like a limo driver at the airport.) We have a secret code all worked out so that, after I introduce you to someone, if you're feeling uncomfortable, you give me the 'high sign' and I say something along the lines of "Please excuse us. Buffy McBlogster here has a urinary tract infection and we really need to find the ladies' room" and we make our escape.

Rinse. Repeat.

Then, on Saturday, you all come to my class because I'm pretty sure I love you way more than those other presenters do and besides, I'll give you a dollar. After that, we all go to the other classes together and make faces at Motherboard and Kristina and InkMom and MommyJ and all the other awesome people who are coming to the event, because that tends to be the way I roll.

And before you know it, you'll be waving me off when I start in on that whole 'urinary tract' thing, because you'll be comfortable and happy, surrounded by people just like you, people who came hoping they could tell you how much they love what you write and how much nicer their day goes when five minutes of it were spent on your blog, and you'll know that this was the best possible way you could have spent that weekend.

Finally, when it's time to drive home, you'll cry all the way, because now you have some real-life friends from blog world whom you are really, truly going to miss.

And you'll understand that it was never about how skinny or fat we thought you were, or how funny, or how deep, or anything.

It was about your honesty, your willingness to share a part of yourself with us, and your beautiful spirit. We fell in love with all of those things when we met you on your blog, and I can assure you, you won't disappoint us when we meet you in person.

So, how about it, girls? Can I put you down for one ticket, at my table?

It won't be the same without you.

*The agenda is up. Have you seen it?

Enjoy shopping for quality baby clothing at

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