New York (Songs for Amanda #4 – The BlogHer Would’ve Edition)

Still, I’m staying on to figure out my mid-life crisis . . .

~ U2, “New York”, 2000

BlogHer. Sooo last weekend, right?

Indeed. Such is my life as-of-late, always running late. I make it to work on time, however, so there’s that. But publishing posts about quitting and U2 and those sorts of things? I’m as timely as a leisure suit during Eighties Week.

But let it never be said that I am one to let my lack of punctuality – or, rather, my knack for not being Johnny-on-the-hip-spot – hold me back. I’ll say what I want, when I want to say it, and not one single, solitary minute sooner.

Some things need to percolate . . .

So, BlogHer. I didn’t go, for two reasons:

1) They didn’t invite me to speak.

2) . . .

Number Two. All the real reasons I didn’t go. Too numerous to enumerate.


I would have arrived feeling a bit giddy. My head would have been all spinny and weightless. After checking into my room and donning an appropriately casual yet I’ve Got My Shit Together ensemble, I would have headed out. Only I wouldn’t have had a posse. An entourage. Peeps I know and hang with on a regular basis. Like Pee Wee Herman (and yet so NOT like Pee Wee Herman) I am a loner.

A rebel.

Yet I would have decided to not let this part of me keep me from connecting. Through the match-making wonder that is Twitter, I might have learned of a get-together at this or that bar, or in this or that corner of the lobby, and moseyed that direction. I would probably have recognized a person or two and chatted them up, but eventually I would have made my way to the wall and adorned it with my wallflower self. Ever the observer, I would have relished the opportunity to just sit and watch. And yet at some point, I would have realized that one doesn’t go to New York to be an observer.

One must jump in.

So I would have jumped. I would have attended this or that session and listened to this or that Blogging Superperson and taken some notes. I would have smiled if they glanced my way, and I would have picked their ear if the opportunity had arisen. And at some point over the course of the weekend, I would have surely thought:

I can do this! I can be a maddeningly successful blogger! I can hone my content and gain readers and create a clearinghouse of cheekiness that people will give their right arm to partake in.

I would have gotten all dizzy with this realization and finally have forced myself to leave all my heroes in the lobby and go to bed. They would have begged me to stay, but I would have waved them off and retired. To my room. Where I would spent hours considering these two opposing parts of my personality . . .

One side that wants to be a part of the crowd, and the other part that abhors the possibility. The me in the lobby vs. the me in my room. When I am either, I want to be the other. And the challenge lies in figuring out how to reconcile the two . . .




All this – my ruminations and fumbling keystrokes – come to you courtesy of my contemplation of various U2 songs. They are my spiritual companions during this effort to quit smoking. And “New York” is one of those songs that sneaks into your psyche and says everything you have been thinking about. Dwelling on.

So, I offer this one to Amanda, who went to BlogHer. In New York. I hope she had a better time than I might have. And to @Kat1124. She begins her smoke-free journey today. Here’s to success, my friend . . .

In New York, freedom looks like too many choices
In New York, I found a friend to drown out the other voices

Voices on a cell phone
Voices from home
Voices of the hard sell
Voices down a stairwell

In New York
Just got a place in New York

In New York, summers get hot, well into the hundreds
You can’t walk around the block without a change of clothing

Hot as a hair dryer in your face
Hot as handbag and a can of mace

New York
I just got a place in New York

In New York, you can forget, forget how to sit still
Tell yourself you will stay in, but it’s down to Alphaville

New York

The Irish been coming here for years
Feel like they own the place
They got the airport, city hall
Dance hall, dance floor, they even got the police

Irish, Italians, Jews and Hispanics
Religious nuts, political fanatics in the stew
Happily, not like me and you
That’s where I lost you

New York

In New York, I lost it all to you and your vices
Still I’m staying on to figure out my mid-life crisis
I hit an iceberg in my life
You know I’m still afloat
You lose your balance, lose your wife
In the queue for the lifeboat

You better put the women and children first
But you’ve got an unquenchable thirst for New York

New York

In the stillness of the evening
When the sun has had its day
I heard your voice whispering
Come away now . . .

[Flickr photo is by kennymatic and is protected]

12 thoughts on “New York (Songs for Amanda #4 – The BlogHer Would’ve Edition)

  1. “…As timely as a leisure suit during Eighties Week”.
    That is a beautiful piece of imagery my brother, although frankly, the fact that you feel like an iconoclastic loner just endears you to me more. Rest assured, if we were both at blogher (after either winning the lottery, or knocking over a few 7-11s, because that stuff costs major bank!)we would have made our own party!
    Hang in there on the quitting, whatever it takes – you’re doing great! And in my opinion, U2 as an addiction can’t be that bad for you!
    Love you my brother in spirit!

    1. Brian – I have never been to BlogHer, and with only 67 followers and a year-and-a-half of barely blogging, I doubt I’ll ever be invited to speak. I can’t tell anyone how to make money with their blog, how to be the best Mommy (or Daddy) blogger on the block, or how to balance real life and online life. I don’t have the answers to anything. All I know is that writing has been my mode of expression for pretty much my entire life. I have a picture of me at age 10 with my arm in a sling and my hair pulled into an unruly ponytail. I’m sitting at my brother’s desk with my dad’s manual typewriter he used to write out invoices. I was spending my time writing my first book. It never went anywhere, but it was an incredible experience. I love that picture. I love being a writer.

      You, my friend, are a writer. You may be a wallflower, but the best writers are.

      Hugs – D

  2. Sometimes, dude, you’ve just gotta take the plunge and see what happens.

  3. You could have hid behind me. I would have fed you cheese from my purse and held your hand when you felt frightened. I’m nice like that.
    Next year.

  4. ah come on–you would have worked the crowd and you know it. Next BlogHer you decide to attend, I’m signing up for your posse! You’ve QUIT smoking… you’re not trying. You’ve Quit.

    See how easy I’ve made it? 🙂

    You’re Welcome. hehe

  5. And if I’d seen you at blogher, I would have told you that you’re doing it all wrong. (Not really. If you’d looked happy, I’d have assumed you were doing it right.) But I’m not sure BH is good for recently quitting smokers. So. Next year.

  6. i would have skipped the dizzy and gone straight for the beer… and taken you with me, so we could hide out and wonder “what were we thinking when we did this?” together!

  7. From one wall-decorator to another…I have those opposing parts of myself, too. The watcher, until I realize I have to join in, too. Oy.

  8. You know I am a former-smoker, which, really means I am a smoker, cause damn if this monkey isn’t the fiercest hanger-on. I say this because as you get further in this, I don’t want you to think you are failing for still feeling the longing. I am so very, expletively-laden proud of you for walking this path, even though moments pass when you no doubt hang on by your fingernails.

    I have some very sheepish video of me singing the first U2 song. Not for public consumption, but I am holding up my end of the bargain, lest you think I have forgotten.

    BlogHer. It is what you make of it, and less and more. I made it more by taking less. Honestly, I was just happy to be alive to decide.

    Here’s to another minute.

  9. I’m like you…the two opposing desires–to be the wallflower and observe, or to jump right in and participate. And the one that usually wins with me? The wallflower–every time.

  10. My view … for what it’s worth … nothing substitutes for face time with other people. In a crowd of strangers, it may not be highly meaningful. But to have a few good friends who will hold the mirror up to you in a loving, but firm way: Now that’s priceless! And the only good way to have that experience is face-to-face. Even for a professed loner. Keep up the good blogging!

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