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Almost Famous

Quite a few people have asked me whether I'm going to BlogHer. Folks, I'd love to go to BlogHer. Here's what needs to happen for that to be possible:

* God must drop a bag of gold down from Heaven for me.

BlogHer did happen to choose one of the most expensive cities in America for us to fly to and stay in. As much as I adore San Francisco and have some of my happiest memories there, it is, in fact, extremely pricey, and I voted against it because of that.

I have applied to BlogHer for a scholarship so with the conference fee traded out for manual labor by me, all I have to find is air fare and a place to stay (box? under a bridge? too bad the trolleys don't run all night...). If they want me as a hat check girl or similar, one of three expenses is covered. The only alternative is if I can think up a really HOT topic and apply to be a speaker. What do you think?

Keep in mind that in the last month the following expenses have tragically accumulated for me:

* expensive vet bill

* storm caused a flood that flooded my utility room (that would be two weeks ago)

* storm caused a flood that caused my back fence to fall down (that would be last week)

* public schools utterly failed to come anywhere near our expectations and thus we are applying to a private school (yes everyone who gasped in shock at my shock of the expense, I get it, it's relatively cheap this school but remember we are POOR, Barack Obama SAYS SO)

Never mind. I can't carry on with the list. It's depressing me.

So I want to go. I'm actively trying to find a way to work it out, somehow, largely involving lighting candles and praying, but hey it's something.

And now...our story...

Almost Famous

My sister and her family and my mother came to visit. My sister and I were regaling the crowd with kid stories, a la dueling banjos. She won, for the record, but only because her daughter added the best punch line. Here's the champion story (which she ought to blog on her own blog but never will so I'll steal it, so Flavia, dazzling dahling, bygones, okay?)

Flavia and her brood (four children, for the uninitiated) were in Target on Friday---a school holiday for her city. They were birthday gift shopping for a party the younger kids had the next day and picking up a few items for the house and kitchen (that means food and so forth).

"Against my better judgment, I told the 9 year old and 7 year old they could bring in their littlest pet shop pets," Flavia began, "But in my defense, I had my hands full and the little kids were on the edge."

Ah yes, one of those distracted sorts of yeses that we moms use sometimes. The sort you hand out when you would otherwise say no, but are so busy fighting battles on other fronts that you say yes and hope you don't live to regret it.

Sadly, it was the littlest pet shop pets that caused the biggest problems.

Flavia and the kids went through the store as quickly as possible, but as soon as Sils, her youngest, the boy, saw the birthday present, he became extremely upset that it wasn't for him and he couldn't have it.

You all know what this means: loud angry crying aka a tantrum.

Then the third child joined in.

So Flavia had to manage two screaming children.

"It wasn't one of those days or times in Target when you get sympathetic looks, either. I was getting hairy eyeballs and rolled eyes and I could hear the judgmental thoughts...and of course what's worse is I think I was supposed to hear what they thought, they made it that obvious," she said, remembered frustration ringing in her tone.

We all know how that feels. I nodded sympathetically, "Been there, done that, bypassed the t-shirt," I told her.

Flavia continued her story, "And that's when the worst part of it happened...Mason ran off!" In the midst of the tantrum chaos, her second daughter, Mason, noticed that her littlest pet shop parrakeet's head had fallen off. She decided it was a good idea to go and search Target for it. A plastic head, maybe two inches. Somewhere, in Target. That's a SuperTarget, for the record.

Off she went.

Flavia's oldest---future network broadcaster---announced Mason's departure. By this time they were at the checkout counter.

In the line, two little kids screaming, and panic and anxiety increasing with each passing second, my sister pondered the best thing to do. She asked the guest services desk to page Mason and tell her to come to the front of the store immediately.

Target paged, and within a minute Mason appeared.

Flavia grabbed her, hugged her in relief, and then began reaming her out about dangers, and told her to never run off from mom and all that. As she wound down from her lecture and relief, Flavia asked Mason if she had anything to say about what just happened.

Mason said, "Yeah, can I go back? I haven't found the head yet."

I think you can imagine what kind of no answer my sister supplied.

Flavia finished telling the story and shared her worry that Mason hadn't learned her lesson and might do it again. We all chatted, mostly in a joking way, and while we did so, Mason drifted down from the upstairs playroom.

My mother, the kids' beloved Nana, turned to Mason and said, "Honey, what went through your head when you were wandering the store by yourself? When you came back and saw your mom so worried? What did you think when you heard your name over the paging system?"

Mason---a somewhat quiet and very creative and artistic sort of child---sat up, smiled, and said, "I thought I was FAMOUS!"

Copyright 2008 Julie Pippert
Also blogging at:
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the dragonfly said…
Of course!! Doesn't hearing your name on announced to an entire store make you famous? ;)
Julie - first of all you MUST go to BlogHer!! I am trying to work this out myself right now, but I have a scheduling conflict along with the whole monetary issue (I also voted against SF!). You would make an excellent speaker!! Topic: Using Your Words, of course!! For highlighting issues (like with the environment) or politics, or social change, or maybe just teaching some of us how to write posts in 18 minutes instead of the 3 - 4 hours it normally takes!!!

As for your niece, don't you hate when the kids are supposed to be scared and instead get a different message, like that they are a superstar? Great story.
Okay, you have to laugh or else you'll cry. Famous. Hee!

And I'm with Lori on you going to blgher. It's a moral imperative. "Using Your Words." It's a hell of a topic.
le35 said…
Well, at least you ought to submit something to try to be a speaker. Maybe coupled with the prayers, you could write something to which they couldn't say no. Also, CNN has picked up your blog, and you've gotten some great awards. Doesn't that count something for a resume? (Not knowing anything real about BlogHer, I'm not sure, but suggestions are always good. Advice is free, so you get what you pay for. . .)

As for your FAMOUS story, both your niece and your sister-in-law are absolutely great. Your sister in law is worried that she might do something again, and it's dangerous, and your niece, the lovely 7 year old that she is, had a great adventure. I hope to stick with the 7 year old point of view. Look at life as an adventure and enjoy it anyway.
painted maypole said…
ha ha

i was an extra in that movie. it was a very long and boring day, and effectively ended my career as an extra. the food was good, though.
Karen Jensen said…
This is great! I'm sorry about the BlogHer conference. I won't be going, either maybe we should meet somewhere on I10 and have a margarita instead!
I'm still undecided on BlogHer. I've never been I'd love to go. But yes, flying from Indiana to SF would be quite costly for me.

I couldn't be a speaker, because I don't do public speaking. That is why I blog :) But you can do it!!!!
I get so frustrated because I don't get the chance to go to ANY of the awesome blog get togethers out there, like the Mama Drama ConQueso party for example. I would give anything to be able to hop on down there and hang out with you all. Or should I say y'all?
Kyla said…
(quietly chanting BlogHer! BlogHer!)

That story is hilarious and I can hear BubTar saying the same thing. LOL.
Aliki2006 said…
Everyone needs their fifteen minutes of fame.

I wish I could go to BlogHer, I really do. But airfare to San Fran? Good grief.

But you should go!
Anonymous said…
That is a funny story. I can just imagine your niece's expression as she remembered her moment of fame.

And your sister doesn't blog? How can that be?

As for BlogHer, I am not able to go this year. Again. I will plan on sitting around and pouting at home for the duration of the conference, and then eagerly gobble up any posts by people who either attend, or who sit around pouting at not being able to go. And perhaps I will eat some ice cream, too.
Anonymous said…
That? Is priceless. Mason's got a huge future ahead of him.
Robert said…
I have been the child paged before, and I definitely did not like my fame. It felt more like infamy. But then I was the kid who told all my friends who asked why I never did anything wrong, "My parents have people everywhere!" and they did. I plan to have people everywhere, too, if I can swing it. Sounds like Mason has spunk, though.
jeanie said…
lol - that is so true and funny.

I am trying to work out how to get to BH in SF - ha ha - to make you feel better, it is way more expensive from here - but I think you definitely should apply as a speaker because you are one of the premier bloggers in MY world!
Girlplustwo said…
you would be an awesome speaker at Blogher. And selfishly, I hope you find a way.
Kat said…
Little sass! That is a great story! hehe
Unknown said…
oh, that is very funny.
We also are permanently too broke for BlogHer. Let's sit around and wait, you still might make it there. Good luck!
flutter said…
I would love to do the BlogHer thing too, and am now currently attempting to figure out exactly how I am going to afford it
S said…
i hope you can go. hope, hope, hope. i am going.
S said…
on credit, of course.
Jennifer S said…
Famous, indeed! Great story.

I can imagine you'd be a great speaker. Best of luck...
Lawyer Mama said…
Ack! You must go to BlogHer. I will help you brain storm topics for a Room of Your Own session or something. All you need is a great topic and maybe 3 or 4 panelists and you're golden. If it's something I know anything about, I'm even happy to help.

Adorable story!
SciFi Dad said…
Great story. I'm surprised she didn't take off again, just to hear her name called and therefore make herself "more famous".
Emily said…
Too too cute!

She learned a lesson. Not THE lesson but one, nonetheless.

I've been pondering Blog Her, lately, as well.
OK, that's hilarious! Your sister is to be commended for holding onto her sanity through all of that.
Awesome story. And um, that girl in the poster that you have accompanying this post...I went ot middle school with her. No really, I did.

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