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Anthropologically speaking…

Here are the things I loved about the Design*Sponge/Anthropologie book signing I attended on Tuesday night:

1. The book itself. I hadn’t seen it yet, and y’all, it’s freaking amazing. This book, while very beautifully designed, really is chock full of so many great photos, tips, tricks and DIY projects. I’m excited to dive into it more this weekend. If you haven’t checked it out, definitely do so.
2. Anthro went all out on the decor and styling of the space. Everything looked great and the vignettes were beautiful.
3. Grace, while likely quite tired from going to like 20 cities in the past 5 minutes, was very nice.

So this was my first book signing I’d ever been to for anything, and I think I just didn’t know what to expect. In my head, I imagined there would be all these local bloggers hanging out in Anthropologie, flipping through the book together and talking about design and style and our blogs and favorite things and we’d network and exchange info and then all skip merrily off into the sunset (while tweeting about it, of course). In real life, there was a long line of women clustered together in twos and threes, all clearly having just come from work, in an extremely hot room, waiting to get their book signed, and uninterested in talking to anyone.

Which is totally fine. Again, I think in my head, I just imagined it to be something else. In reality, since I went to the event solo (probably mistake #1) and everyone else brought a buddy, I was that weirdo who kept picking up all the housewares and inspecting them like they were the most interesting things on Earth, and also checking my phone every two minutes. This only looked cool for so long, so I eventually split, without even buying another monogrammed mug (for the record I really did like this one). Womp.

When I got home and processed why I felt disappointed, I realized it was for the following reasons. The toughest thing about blogging when you’re first starting out is that feeling of isolation and loneliness, like no one is ever listening to your voice and that what you say doesn’t matter. I’ve so been there! So on the flip side, once you begin getting readers and start building a relationship with another blogger, you really feel on top of the world. Life makes sense again. There’s actually someone out there as obsessed with this stuff as you are! It’s a great feeling, to make a connection with someone you’ve never met. Like all those insecurities that we women face can be set aside, because on the other end of that computer, your fellow blogger or reader loves blazers as much as you do.

But of course, in person and face to face with a room full of anonymous design lovers, all these rules and boundaries and insecurities still apply — or at least, it feels like they do. Which explains why I didn’t feel comfortable introducing myself to someone yesterday. Or saying hi to some bloggers I did recognize. It was like being alone on day one in the blogosphere again. What if they don’t like me or what I have to say?

So I left, which is probably what 95% of people with the same thoughts (read: head case) as me would’ve done too. Still, looking back today, I wish I would’ve been braver and said hi. I put myself out there when I’m here, on the Internet, and when I first started blogging, I pushed through those “what ifs”; why couldn’t I do it in person? What stopped me?

I realize this is a little heavy and maybe semi-ridiculous to write about a simple book signing  (perspective, Victoria), but one thing I have said about this blog since day one is that I wanted it to be real, to be honest and to be genuine. So that’s why I’m sharing with you my thoughts and not writing something like “the event was amazeballs and the cookies were delish!”

On the flip side, I’m glad I went, because the book is fantastic, and in the end, if it got me to think about things like this, that’s still positive. Keeps me on my toes.

The only other blog life to real life experience I’ve had was meeting Morgan last year, and that went fabulously. So perhaps the smaller meetup is the way to go!

Have any of you experienced similar awkward moments taking your blogging life into your real, in the flesh life?

PS, all photos in this post were taken by me as I roamed around the store, trying to look with it. Real smooth.

PSS, here’s a photo of me and Grace together. It’s flippin hot and I’m sweating and wishing I could take my jacket off and I’m also squatting down as low as I can — they had her sitting in a super low chair. The person behind me in line took this pic, and yes, the rumors are true, it took her 3 long, embarrassing “how do I work this thing?” tries. This was the start of a night filled with awkward moments.

12 Responses

  1. Victoria, I feel your pain! But I bet there were plenty of other ladies there that thought the same and did the same! It’s not often that a stranger will come up and strike a conversation so don’t be too hard on yourself — altho I did walk up to a well-known blogger once and I was totally smitten (until she never returned my email…oh well!) This further convinces me we need to hook up either at a conference or at an event if our own making!! You have lots of good ladies around you who would never let you feel this way again. xo

  2. Victoria- I totally understand where you’re coming from here. It’s funny when we all kinda live in this virtual life and then you put us all in an actual room…it’s like preschool all over again or like group blind dating. I will tell you that it does get easier with practice.

    ps. I think I felt exactly like you when I went to the DC book signing. It was also incredibly hot in there and I was gross and sweaty. Ha.

  3. I completely heart that you posted these thoughts! way to keep it down to earth, Victoria. ten points for superstarness. we all appear totally together on our blogs, as if we speak eloquently about our deep thoughts 24 hours a day, walk around perfectly on-trend (natch), and have all of the beautiful things we feature day in, day out. but when real life happens, we feel like we actually have to be all of those things, and that can get intimidating. (not that i’m not all of these things, because i totally am…….)

    really, i think you summed it up well. we put ourselves out there everyday from our virtual homes, and feeling that kind of comfort and confidence should translate into real life! key word: should. i’m going to assume that nikki is right…it must get easier over time.

  4. I commend you for going solo. And I certainly have felt the way you do. I’ve even felt that loneliness behind the computer screen. Reaching out to other bloggers only to be ignored. It’s tough at first, and now I can say after a year, I’m finally feeling a bit of that camaraderie. At yesterday’s event I saw Bri and Anne from Rue and Joy from Oh Joy. I’ve bumped into them before and have yet to go up to them and introduce myself. It’s scary and intimidating. One day.

    I agree with Erika, we should plan our own conference. There’s a pretty big group of us who kinda started out at the same time and are finally just finding each other.

    PS – the cookies were delish. : )

  5. I am so glad to hear that the book is great. It’s on my wish list. And I enjoyed reading about your experience. I am glad I am not the only one who feels like this every now and again.

  6. Yes, yes, and yes! I usually take a friend along to these types of events… but going solo can be so hard! I remember my first blogger events – I literally didn’t talk to anyone. And then people would comment on my posts later, being like ohhhhh, you were there!?!?! Anyway, it gets better as time goes on… I was so nervous at Lucky FABB at first… but it got easier as the day went on. And remember, no matter how fabulous you are… people will still snub you – whether out of insecurity, snobbery, whatever.

    I commend you for posting these thoughts – it’s not easy. (Also love Erika’s idea – let’s totally have our own conference!)

  7. Oh my goodness! I can’t believe you had the same experience that I’m frightened of having at the D*S signing coming up in my area this month! Thank you SO much for your honesty, and please know that you are totally not the only awkward-feeling, lonely, scared blogger out there. We should start a club.

  8. Awww, now I’m definitely bringing a friend to the Dallas event. I have been to two book signings and both times tried talking to strangers in line about my favorite books but it didn’t go very well. I think it scares people.

    I am semi-trying to make more blog friends, but it’s hard when I have so little time for blog hopping. Plus, I get scared that they’ll be uninterested since I’m not into designer stuff like the other locals.

    Yeah, sometimes I still feel 15… :-/

  9. That was a refreshing dose of honesty! I’ve never been to a book signing and would have no clue that you’re supposed to bring a friend. Well – good for you for being brave through it all and I commend your blogging skills from across the internet!

  10. I have the biggest social anxiety when it comes to these things so that fact that you went (alone for that matter) is seriously amazing! My one and only blog interaction was with Erika and Irene and thank God it was not awkward. Your honesty is refreshing and you look great in that photo!

  11. This is the first post I’ve read on your site (found you by way of Pinterest) and it’s led to a bookmark in my “design blogs” category. I’m going to the Design*Sponge event in Austin and I was only able to secure one ticket… BUT you’ve inspired me to buck up and meet people regardless of how I may feel in the moment. I’m so new to the blogging world and even to Austin but seeing your “regrets” is empowering and hopefully I’ll be making up for some other’s missed opportunities.

    P.S. Honest posts are the BEST posts and your sense of humor is disarming. Keep it up!

  12. I found your blog when I was reading the transcript from blog brunch, and I must say, you read my MIND in this post. I’m so glad to have others who can be honest about these things, too. Loving your blog. Consider yourself stalked :)

    lovelovelove

    -Caitlin @ http://www.reverieblog.com

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