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Top Three Ways to Be Socially Awkward, or Kate Goes to a Conference

(The speakers at this weekend’s conference reminded us repeatedly that Lists Are Good. Also, Big Fan Favorites. Also also, Much Better Than Telling People About Masturbators.)

(Well, no one actually mentioned that last part. But there was a lot of floral-print-wearing going on, so I’m going to go ahead and make that assumption for all of us.)


blog conference tip survival

Pleasant Stranger: Hi, I’m Pleasant Stranger.

Me: Hi. It’s great to meet you.

Pleasant Stranger: I just wanted to tell you how nice you look. Your shoes are really cute. And your dress is lovely.

Me: Thanks, but this is old. I had to dust it off, it’s so old. It’s really very old.

Pleasant Stranger: Well, regardless. You look great.

Me: You should see me the rest of the time. I wear sweatpants constantly.

Pleasant Stranger: Oh, so do I. All moms do, I’m sure of it.

Me: Yes, but I mean I’m always in sweatpants. Always. It’s actually kind of hard to separate us.

Pleasant Stranger: Oh. Yes. Ha…ha.

Me: As it was, I had to trap a particularly stubborn fleece pair under the garage door as I was pulling away. Those suckers are loyal, I’ll give them that.

Pleasant Stranger: I have a feeling that was an attempt at weird humor. I will smile uncertainly and inch away. I might also try to take back the business card I just gave you, since it has information on how to contact me.


blogo conference survival elevator pitch

Pleasant Stranger #2: Hi. I’m Pleasant Stranger #2. My blog is

Me: Nice to meet you. I’m Kate, and I write

Pleasant Stranger #2: My blog is one woman’s attempt to reconcile her meanderings through motherhood with society’s pressure on women to succeed in the workplace. Also, I take a lot of photos of food. What is your blog about?

Me: Um. My blog. Well, it’s kind of a humor blog, I guess.

Pleasant Stranger #2: Oh, a humor blog! I love funny blogs.

Me: Well, I don’t know how funny a humor blog mine is. Actually, I suspect it’s not very funny at all.

Pleasant Stranger #2: Please, I’m sure it’s perfectly funny.

Me: Nope. The more I think about it, the more I realize I am the only one who thinks it’s funny. I am 99% sure at this very moment that it is not funny.

Pleasant Stranger #2: Well, I guess I’ll just have to read your humor blog for myself and decide.


Pleasant Stranger #2: I saw Pleasant Stranger #1 inch away earlier. Seems like a good strategy.


Pleasant Stranger #3: Hi. I’m Pleasant Stranger #3. I have noticed that both Pleasant Strangers #1 and #2 abruptly broke off their conversations with you, yet I am a hardy sort.

Me: Oh, hi! Nice to meet you. Hey, have you seen any snacks around?

Pleasant Stranger #3: No, I haven’t. But I think lunch is in an hour or so. Anyway, what did you think of the last speaker’s–

Me: Sorry to interrupt, but you’re sure you haven’t seen any snacks, right? Maybe just a few bags of Rold Gold lying around, or perhaps an errant pastry tray?

Pleasant Stranger #3: I’m sure. But I know lunch is supposed to be superb. In the meantime, did you agree with the last speaker’s–

Me: Did you check the hall? I’m thinking they hid the snacks in the hall, to keep them away from those less serious about snack-eating. A big hotel like this, there has to be one bowl of nuts around.

Pleasant Stranger #3: I saw the others inch away, but I’m more the fleeing type.

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