In my previous post, I highlighted the good and the bad of my Bloggers in Sin City (BiSC) and Las Vegas experience. Now, I want to talk about the prize(s) of the BiSC event: the people.
I think it goes without saying that Nicole, Doniree, Rachael, Rachel, and Jamie, did a fantastic job at coordinating events, connecting with sponsors and venues, the design, filling gift bags, wrangling 50+ people, and whatever else we don’t know about that goes into putting BiSC into effect.
My roommates Grace (pre-BiSC), TJ (during BiSC), and KB (post-BiSC) were all fantastic. I knew Grace’s face via VEDA so it already felt like I knew her — we bonded through girl talk, and I’m glad she had a great time. I got to know TJ a little from Twitter, so I knew what to expect. He was just as chill and sage as he is online. But KB was a wild card. And to my surprise, she was incredibly chill and cool to hang out with. In fact, the very first night (pre-BiSC), we connected. It was awesome.
I had no plans of meeting up with the early birds of BiSC the night before. In fact, as soon as I found Grace’s and my room at the Imperial (it was a maze that was not amazing, do not recommend), I swore not to leave because I wasn’t sure I would find my way back, not to mention that I was incredibly tired from flying all day. But I broke out despite my sleepy feeling and hung out into the wee hours with some crazy people. I mean, there was fountain-diving and chronic dancing.
I really enjoyed meeting everyone, even if you don’t think I did. I did. If I ever gave you a stink face, ignore it. I was probably extremely tired, hot, and/or hungry. Don’t think I didn’t value meeting you if you’re name is not included below.
Ashley Writetoreach — After meeting in Austin and knowing each other for almost 3 years, I’m glad we finally had *our moment*.
Meghan, Ameena, and Kelly — We had pre-BiSC time so I felt like I already *knew* you without *knowing* you. Meghan, you were like my comfort zone away from my comfort zone. My little piece of Dallas in a land of weird-”I don’t know what the eff this is”. So thank you for being there even though you didn’t know you were being there. Ameena, your dreamer self had really shown through, and I appreciated that. Kelly, you are a beautiful person inside and out. I hope you are seeing what we all see. <3
Linda — ((( <3 )))
Last but not least, Dominique, KB, and Lauren-my-animal — you guys are fantastic. I will always hold you in high esteem. Every time I randomly dance I know who it reminds me of. And anytime I’m feeling incredibly sex-deprived, I know someone in the Midwest who knows what I’m going through. Also, sorry, I was a grump the last day. When you don’t get any, you get cranky. Just sayin’. <3
I actually made a 25-minute video response to this, but I felt it was harsh. And this may still sound harsh, but I’m a no-nonsense kind of guy. I’m also impatient when people fail to make the best of an experience. I get what I come after, and I don’t let anyone stand in the way of that. (I am gentle and kind-hearted, so don’t mistake me for a bull in social china shoppe). I understand that what I’m about to say will be unpopular, and hopefully it doesn’t rub anyone the wrong way.
I got wind of people saying BiSC was “clique-y” this year. While I will agree there were some groups that stuck together more than others, I will say that shouldn’t have stopped anyone from planting their respective behinds right in the middle of said “cliques.” Essentially you paid $500+ to get to know these random people, so it would’ve been called for. If you let “cliques” ruin your experience, then that’s your situation. “Cliques” didn’t ruin mine.
If you did insert yourself, and you were met with rude behavior, then I’m sorry. And it would’ve been perfectly okay for you to write that person off your list of “Cool People from BiSC.”
There was one occasion where that happened to me and gratefully I didn’t see that person for the rest of the event. Why? Because I wasn’t looking for them.
If you were upset because so-and-so was hanging out with someone else more often than you, that’s high school. Let it go. There were 58 other people to get to know.
I, however, was not a part of any cliques and still got one-on-ones with people.
On the word “clique”: It’s a word that is very juvenile in its use. We use it for high school social groups most of the time to describe the mean girls, the popular a-holes. Needless to say, it has a bad connotation, and I don’t think most of the people there had ill will towards anyone. So why use that word?
When it comes to social behavior, I’m pretty reticent of what’s going on. My personality allows me to assess who is alpha, beta, loud, quiet, funny, reserved, and whatever else in a group before I insert myself into the equation. If there is someone who acts like they need to take charge and be center of attention (alpha), then I let them have that. If I feel someone is being wrongly attacked or misunderstood, then I will defend them. If there is no one to listen, then I lend my ear as much as I can. If there isn’t someone there to mix the crowd, then I’m a social butterfly despite being an introvert.
And introverts have a tendency of being reserved and shy and being in small groups of people they are comfortable with. There was one “clique” that was comprised of these type of introverts. Introverts often get misunderstood for being uppity or snooty, when really they just don’t know you well enough to be smile-y and candid with you. Chill out. They/we don’t hate you.
There were some people who were outright negative to me. But I expected not to get along with everyone and tried my best not to take it personally. Because really, nobody truly knows who I really am. And if they can’t at least see the surface-level cool in you, then they’re not worth it. Move on.
To the people who went: Stop using the word “cliques” ’cause it makes people who are interested in BiSC not want to participate in the future. Remember feeling like a VIP at all the cool places in Vegas, remember how wide your eyes got at buffets, remember seeing naked people at Zumanity, remember meeting that one cool person that you won’t forget? Don’t deter other people from that really cool experience.
Fortunately, BiSC-uits are a gregarious, extroverted bunch and that wasn’t going to fly. It took about a day for me to abandon my original strategy and to just say “fuck it – deal with me.” So I said whatever came to mind, opened up a little, and didn’t worry with offending anyone. I figured they’d judge me to be the same loathsome person I saw myself as no matter what I said – so who cares if I offend or if my jokes didn’t get a laugh?
I say this without exaggeration – that’s when I found out that life is worth living. Holy shit, I told a joke and they laughed. And it was genuine laughter, not the awkward “heh heh” you get when you tell a client you’ve got a case of the Mondays. I walked up to a table and nobody exchanged awkward “who has to sit next to him?” glances. I was hanging out with a group of people who liked me better than I liked myself.
Bloggers in Sin City was a social experiment for me. It allowed me to see how I fared with strangers. How I reacted and responded to other people’s ways of socializing surprised me. I was helpful, supportive, and well, not surprisingly honest. I was kind at times, I was “tough love” at times, I was protective, and I was caring — all to strangers.
I am grateful that I did it and met some incredible people from around North America. I really enjoyed meeting everyone, even the people that think I might not have or only got a second to know them or only remember their twitter handles (ahem, @indevelopment).
If you’re the least bit interested in BiSC, you should definitely do it. It’s an incredible experience.