Sometimes I’m just so earnest I want to pinch my own cheeks.

Ok, so I’m going to another blogging conference.

Some of you lucky new readers might have missed the breathless blow-by-blow of my last (ok, only) blogging conference experience, last summer’s BlogHer ’08 in San Francisco (aka “The one where I had some kind of weird crisis of confidence and ended up eating my lunch alone in my room every day which seriously?  IS. SO. NOT. ME.”), here’s a brief recap of that one to get you up to speed:

  • I met some great people.
  • I handed out some of my cute new blog cards.
  • I attended a lot of things with conference-y names like ‘keynote addresses’ and ‘break-out sessions.’
  • I learned a lot of interesting, useful stuff.
  • I went to the cocktail parties, which were mostly awkward.
  • I totally surprised myself by getting all first-day-of-school shy.

However I did manage to break out of my shell long enough to party in Suburban Turmoil’s room with a hamburger bag on my head and get busted by security. All in all, it was really good for me.

Which brings us to this weekend’s BlissDom ’09, sponsored by Blissfully Domestic (great site, check it out.) It is kind of like a smaller version of the BlogHer conference, only this time with a couple hundred women instead of 1000. It’s also being held right here in town at the Hotel Preston. I’m thinking this will be a different experience in a lot of ways, and I am really looking forward to a do-over from the BlogHer experience, at least in terms of actually behaving more like, oh I don’t know, MYSELF!! I’ve been psyching up for it, giving myself pep talks and I’m about one step away from doing that whole Stuart Smalley Affirmations thing into the mirror– “…and doggone it, people like me!” I’m ready, ya’ll!

So imagine my chagrin when I start going over the agenda for the conference and I notice that on Friday night, after the day’s meetings and yet another awkward cocktail party, they have something on the schedule slated for 8:00 p.m. that’s listed as a “PJ Movie Party”.  With exclamation points. Now, does the idea of 200 mommybloggers running around a hotel in pajamas conjure up images of pillow fights and doing each other’s hair or is that just me? The whole thing makes me a little uneasy since, hello, apparently I’m supposed to be one of them! But hey, I am nothing if not game, right? And I’m determined to shake off that uncharacteristically reserved version of myself and throw myself wholeheartedly into all aspects of this conference, right?

There’s one small problem, though– I do not own anything remotely resembling pajamas (or as our Carolyn from across the pond would call them, ‘pyjamas.’) I’m more of a nightgown girl. I don’t even like pajamas, it feels like sleeping in a business suit to me. But yesterday I bit the bullet and hit the lingerie sale rack at T.J. Maxx– what, you think I’m gonna pay full price for something I’ll never wear again? I think not! I doggedly started sifting through the selection of ‘jamas, and then with a sinking feeling I began to realize that there are about a MILLION different kinds out there to choose from. There are flannel ones with cutesy things on them like Hello Kitty or snowskiing bunnies. There are silky, Ralph Lauren-type elegant ones. There are utilitarian ones that look more like a t-shirt over sweat pants. There are flimsy, sexy, non-mommy-blogger ones. There are pastel floral ones that your geriatric granny would wear. There are tank top/short-short ones that Madi would wear. There are even ones with feet in them, for crying out loud! I was flummoxed. After trying on about 6 pairs I finally (grudgingly) settled on a kind of classic striped set, in a soft fabric of ivory and pale green with an embroidered insignia on the pocket. (Marked down to $13– I have mad shopping skillz.) I think they would look perfectly at home in an old black and white Hollywood romantic comedy… ok, the MAN would probably be wearing them, but still.

But you know that thing that happens sometimes when you bring something home and tell yourself, “There, that’s taken care of”, but… it just doesn’t feel right? I kept trying to talk myself into it, but every time I looked at those silky little striped pajamas I just couldn’t picture me in them. So today, being the team player I am, I headed off to the mall to try again. This time I went to Dillards and found about an acre of clearance racks sagging under the weight of about a frillion different kinds of pajamas. Apparently I am the only woman in the southern hemisphere who is not a fan of the PJ. I literally and figuratively rolled up my sleeves and plowed in. This time I didn’t limit myself to the classics– honey, I tried on about every variation of tops and pants you could think of! Some of them were lol funny, some were sorta cute and some were quite frankly, depressing– they looked like they should come with the nursing home included. Finally I settled on what I thought were a kind of exotic/sophisticated/striking pair in a beautiful deep amethyst color with some Asian embroidery on them.  OK, these could work. I didn’t exactly feel like breaking into a chorus of “I feel pretty” in them, but at least I didn’t look like a guy.

This afternoon when I got home, after I carefully hung up my new ‘jamas, I checked my email and found one that had actually been sent 5 days ago from the BlissDom people. It was just some basic conference information for all of the attendees, but as I scrolled down through the email, I found this one little innocuous sentence tucked in between the parking instructions and check-in times. It was in reference to the infamous PJ Party, and it said, and I quote: “Oh and don’t worry you don’t really have to wear PJs– but a fun pair of slippers might be more like it!”

*sigh* (And also? CRAP!)

Both pairs of pajamas are going to be returned first thing tomorrow. And since I don’t own any ‘fun’ slippers, either, I think I am going to quit trying so hard to fit in and just be myself– Tori the Non-Conformist Mommy Blogger! Maybe I’ll wear a nightgown after all. Over my trusty yoga pants. With a hamburger bag on my head…

(I’ll take pictures.)

19 Responses

  1. blondie

    Okay, so what I want to know is, once you get your “fun pair of slippers on” will you be showing them off in the Hotel Preston’s somewhat disturbing room-with-a-view? Or is it viewing room, or room to be viewed… (located near the dance floor?) I’ve never seen anything like that! Guess I would qualify as country come to town though, maybe that’s why it was new to me.

  2. themema

    I quickly scrolled down expecting to see a picture of you and was so disappointed. But as one who has never liked jammies, and slept in Tommy Girl jammies as a teennager, because my parents..make that my Mom… insisted on it.

    Now when I am going away and considering what to sleep in, there is only one burning question. Can I wear it down to the lobby for the free, continental breakfast. And what works for me is sweat pants with a t-shirt that doesn’t clash, or…. and this works well… scrubs. If you decide to get scrubs, get some cute scrub pants, and a solid top, grab 3 or 4 sharpies to take, and have everyone sign the backwhile you lean over giving them a table on which to work. And there you are, success and instant free souvenire.

    Now, for the shopping. Around here, Wednesday is 1/2 price day on all clothes at Salvation Army. Thursday is 20% off for Sr. citizens at CHKD…Of course, you’d have to find another discount for another day. You miss qualifying for that.

    You should be able to wrap this up for under $5.00…. plus the cost of the pens which you can then drop in hubby’s bank bag, because he is getting low on them…

  3. auburn60

    I don’t like PJ’s either.I have some lovely ‘Grateful Dead’-type,tie-dyed tee shirts that I sleep in. Also some of my husband’s old football jersey’s.
    That is the very thing that keeps me from going to my church’s Ladies Retreats every year–the Saturday night where they all sit around in their PJ’s and matching robes, drinking tea from antique teacups, for pete’s sake–and looking just too adorable for words. (I’ve seen pictures.) This sounds
    But footwear! Here’s where I can help you out. I have a pair of ‘frog’ slippers, bright green with big,bug eyes. And best of all, they ‘croak’ when you walk. Or–a clear plastic pair that light up when you walk. Or–a tiger-striped,fuzzy pair. I don’t wear any of these. I went through a weird ‘shoe thing’ a few years ago.
    I think with a nice Mickey D’s bag on your head you’ll be all set.

  4. karen48

    I’m not one to wear pajamas either. I don’t like that the legs won’t stay down. They keep riding up. But I have the softest pair of blue fleece ones with snowflakes on them. (My chat name is Snowflake) They make good lounging pjs, but not sleeping.

    When I was younger I wore shorts and tshirts to bed. Now it’s nightshirts.

    Can’t wait to see your pics. And the slippers…..I have a pair of Taz slippers.

    I hope you have a great time.

  5. MostlySunny

    Ditto…no pj’s for me, either; very simple and comfy nightgown. Footwear – wool socks! Not attractive, but comfy.

  6. Chubs

    I totally understand the jama’s thing. My wife feels constricted as well and prefers night gowns. In fact, as soon as she gets home, she puts on her jama’s.

    Now to address the conformist comment. I have a facebook account and occasionally get into political debates with my cousin-in-law who is an ultra conservative Republican. My aunt who is the same got involved in the debate and left a comment that was based on assumptions. My response to her comment “your comments are just a republican hating on a democrat” referring to Obama. Today, I got a comment left on my facebook page by her saying: “No matter what our political differences, I love you and your family anyway.” Yes I tend to lean to the left on some issues. So I have NEVER confomred to my family’s political opinions. So now I think I have been labeled the “black sheep” who needs tons of prayer. LOL!!

    I like you Tori because you are so out there and speak your mind. You go and wear the PJ’s or slipper’s that you want. Why be uncomfortable? God made us all different for a reason. None of us would get a long if we were all the same right? By the way, my bed time wear is Shorts and a t-shirt.

    Tori, people read your blog because you are different, a fresh breeze of air if you will. If you thought the same as everyone else, then what would the point be?

  7. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Well, I wear a nightgown…that comes all the way down to the floor, of course. It’s soft and warm on the inside and silky on the outside. It’s five stars away from the nursing home look. And, when I go to events where some of us will be wearing our bed clothes…I wear my nightgown in a sea of all sorts of pajamas and sweats. About all of the young girls I know wear pj’s…if they wear anything.

    So you are off to another blogging session. Somewhere in the midst of those 200 people there will be someone there for the very first time. So you, Ms. Tori, can approach this one as seasoned and ready to soak up new angles to bring back here and amaze your readers. We’ll be waiting for you in our nightgowns, pj’s and scrubs.

  8. CarolynR


    Ok time I “came out”. Yes I wear pYjamas, big thick baggy winceyette ones with industrial elastic and double gusset!! Doesn’t necessarily make me a better person, but definitely a warmer one!

    BTW no. 1 – I had no idea that blogging was such a thriving industry with it’s own esoteric lingo, conferences …. and awards for goodness sake! This fact somehow has totally passed me by! Are there such things as professional bloggers? I might apply for a job :P

    BTW no. 2 – I also had no idea that Nashville had shifted itself into the southern hemisphere? Would this have something to do with global warming?

    Brill post, Tori :)

  9. tammy961

    Tori, my sweet blogging friend–You have yourself so work up over pajamas/slippers and fitting in that I am afraid you will miss having a great time. I say, Sit back, wear whatever in the world YOu are comfortable in and just be YOU,–Our sweet, animated, friendly blogger who often has treats for us if we sit and listen nicely….. You are so special and precious as you are and the others would be crazy not to notice just how special you are–JUST BE YOU!!

    Love ya girl!

    PS–am a pajama girl all the way-usually shorts and a tshirt(FL doesn’t get way too cold too often)

  10. gracelynn

    I am definitely anti-PJ. I am totally a gown person when I go to bed. Now lounging around is another story. Then I’ll wear a t-shirt and PJ bottoms.

    themema I like your idea about the scrubs. I’ll have to remember that. I hate getting in my hotel room and discovering that I need something from the vending machine or have to get some ice and having to change into something just to do that. And I’ll try and remember to bring Russ some Sharpies when I see him in April. I only have a million thanks to the school. LOL

    Tori, I have some slippers that are shaped like monkeys if you want to borrow them. ;)

  11. chillybean

    Tori, I love pajamas. Any material. Any style. I grew up wearing long nightgowns that twist and tangle, so since I now frequently rise during the night to use the bathroom, I avoid the tangly kind at all costs. However, I do agree that a comfy pair of sweats and an old t-shirt is a suitable pair of pajamas as far as I am concerned.

    I rarely buy new pajamas as the ratty old ones are “just fine” to wear around the house. You know, the kind that require covering if anyone comes to the front door. I did find myself buying a few new pairs of real matching pajamas for this past Christmas in AR. Didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of the boyfriends family! Yikes. I think they actually like me. Let’s keep that going for as long as possible…

    (ha…since I come from Wisconsin where it is mighty cold during the winter, I bought jammies with flannel pants. I about died of heat stroke in AR! but they were awfully comfortable.)

  12. LindaB

    Well, Tori, you are gonna be great at this bloggers conference/pajama and cocktail party/movie event this weekend! Personally, I can’t imagine you getting all shy and needing pep talks and stuff! What’s up with that? Those other bloggers are in for a real treat! As others have said, just be yourself—-nightgown and all. You might think about Alyson’s froggy slippers that croak when you walk though—-that’s a real ice breaker! Who would not love a shy, reserved, insecure blogger who croaks when she walks? We do!

  13. jd2008

    Oh, I wish I was enlightned by the reason someone would wear a hamburger bag on their head and not own fun slippers…Sad day. I was tired so I went straight down to the bottom and read that…ok, well G’night mate.

  14. teegees

    I must say, it’s very comforting to know that someone else is as neurotic as me. My first impulse would have been the same as yours, a take no prisoners shopping trip for the pajamas that would help me fit right in.

    I don’t do the pj thing much either. Sometimes I wear them to lounge about (also known as watch tv) on a cold winter night. Mostly I sleep in a night shirty kind of night gown. I do have slippers, but they’re not fun, they’re AMAZING. They’re the Brookstone memory foam ones. Ugly as SIN, but I have been tempted more than once to wear them out into the real world. Okay, maybe I wore them to Food Lion once, okay three or more times. But, they totally feel like I’m walking on a cloud. Which I guess could be loosely interpreted as fun. But they do make me look like I’ve escaped from the old folks home.

    Have fun at your conference. If you’re your usual charming and crazy self, they will LOVE you!

  15. themema

    When Tori starts a blog entry about slippers, I have a story I am waiting breathlessly to share.

  16. LindaB

    Well, Mema, I hope you haven’t been holding your breath since Feb. 8th! LOL

  17. sandy

    hi tori – your about me page made me smile, we have a lot of similarities.
    i introduced myself to you at bliss – i thought it was a great conference, my first blogging conference :)
    would love to keep in touch.

    sandy (hubs wrote no more christian nice guy)

  18. Barbara M. Lloyd

    You can start breathing, sweet pea, ’cause this post talks about slippers.

  19. » Well, it’s that time of year again… | babybloomr

    […] patience and Christian charity within them as they grit their collective teeth and try to tolerate my endless yammering about going to yet another blogging conference! And then, once it’s over you get to read my breathless post-conference account replete with […]

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