Sometimes, bloggers push back from their keyboards, emerge from their basement offices, squint at the sun, and meet in real life (which we like to call IRL, because of Twitter. We’re that cool with 140 characters). Flesh and blood people talking to other actual people. Weird, I know. This happened on Tuesday when the Asheville Blogger Society got together to hear an excellent presentation on Search Engine Optimization, which is a really interesting topic if you are a blogger or a web developer. Otherwise, maybe not so much.
I try to be a grown-up when I go out in public. No I don’t. But every now and then I pull it off and pass as normal for a work event, or when meeting distant relatives. But it’s difficult for me. I lapse. A lot. At the “meet the 4th grade teacher” day at school, for some reason “Is it OK if the parents are sometimes inappropriate?” came out of my mouth. Her response: “I’ve never been asked that before.” Really, I wonder, why?? Because apparently, that was the first and only thing I needed to know about my child’s learning experience for the next academic year.
Or at the preschool meeting last year, when the elfin faerie of a teacher asked us to go in a circle and say our fondest wish for our child that year, other parents talked about gaining confidence, making friends, and learning letters. Me? “I hope my daughter stops crapping her pants.”
So when I went out on Tuesday, it was pretty much a crapshoot. But things were going along swimmingly for an entire forty-five minutes or so until we got to the question and answer session, when my hand of its own accord flew into the air and all of the sudden I was asking how we can build our audience if we blog about things like, say, “vagina cookies.” And since you ask, no, I don’t really know anyone in the Asheville Bloggers Society.
The thing is, you’ve all read the blog. I don’t really blog about vagina cookies. It came up once, in passing, in The Human Body Feast post. And then, because my mother-in-law told me she had been reading my blog posts out loud to my father-in-law (shudder), I wondered if she had read that aloud to him. So I tweeted:
So that was three times I’ve mentioned vagina cookies as a blogger. But it’s not like I posted a recipe or anything. And yet, in front of the Bloggers of Asheville, I decided to make “vagina cookies” my blog elevator speech. And I couldn’t stop saying it. I said it at least three times, like I had “vagina cookies” Tourette’s.
But a strange and beautiful thing began to happen. Other normal people took up the cause. The speaker used vagina cookies as an example. Someone else suggested “aren’t all fortune cookies just vagina cookies?” (Good point). Another person mentioned a friend who had made vagina cookies in medical school. A woman asked, “What are vagina cookies, anyway?”
And something in the room changed. In just a few hopeful moments, we, a group of strangers, shed our twitter handles and our blog URLS, nodded knowingly to one another, and became people. Friends even. Which is the true beauty of vagina cookies: They bring people together.
The next day I wondered what kind of impression I had made. (I was guessing the answer wasn’t “a good one”). I wondered if maybe some people might not have wanted to talk so much about vagina cookies at the blogger meeting. Then I saw this, posted on the Asheville Blogger Society’s Facebook page:
“After last night’s meeting, we will now only refer to them as “Vajayjay cookies”. Thanks. ”
Of course. That would have been SO MUCH MORE APPROPRIATE. That is what OPRAH would have called them.
And one of my friends, who wasn’t even at the meeting, sends me a message:
“Why do I have a feeling YOU had something to do with this?”
There was only one response. I can’t take me anywhere.
It is totally unfair but I just Googled “vagina cookies” and I don’t even SHOW UP in the search results in at least the first three pages, which is all I checked. Clearly, I needed that SEO talk to improve my page rank results.
So I just saw this on Twitter:
Apparently I’m not just inappropriate. I’m lame.
I read somewhere that I am supposed to end each post with a relevant question to my readers, to generate discussion in the comments. But I’m having a hard time. I mean, is a question like “Have any of you repeatedly mentioned baked goods in the shape of private parts at a business meeting full of people you don’t know?” really going to foment conversation? So just comment. Anything works, really.