So yesterday evening I attended the one-year anniversary/Gritty Awards party for the Charleston Grit blog community, held at The Alley. These kinds of events give me a fair amount of anxiety because I'm out of my comfort zone due to not being super familiar with the people there. However, last night was great. NOT having my husband or a close friend with me actually forces me introduce myself and try to get to know new people, rather than sitting there talking to people I already know. I got to talk to a lot of people associated with the magazine and the site, as well as other bloggers that I haven't ever met in person as well. Here are some of my observations:
1. Renae Brabham really is just that nice. I think her only competition in niceness may be Joan McDonald. Renae is like everyone's most favorite aunt—charming, lovely and kind, with a splash of sassy wit. Sweet Joan actually remembered a conversation we had two months ago and brought me a bean plant seedling (prompted by my Gardening For Dummies blog). That may have been one of the most thoughtful things that has happened to me in a while. Fabulous people.
2. Desmond Kinlaw and his wife Amirah are awesome. Got to speak with them for the first time and it was great. Fashion-y people intimidate me because well, I barely get by in the dressing myself department. Totally cool and down to earth, they shared about their kids and lives and again, I thoroughly enjoyed their company.
3. Apparently I'm not the only one who does not like confrontation and conflict. I have resolved to be braver in my writing, but it did make me feel good to know that I'm not alone.
4. I had a thought to talk to Andrew Petersen about keeping your make-up updated as you get older. Then the idea of him actually critiquing my face and makeup made sweat start beading up in all kinds of unmentionable places so I shelved that thought. Someone tougher than me can tackle that.
5. All people who blog publicly are strong and brave. We all want others to like, or at least understand what we do. We share our thoughts, observations, and personal truths, and when I looked around the room at all the people I was terrified to talk to when I got there, it struck me that we are all the same in that one way. Some of us are fashion stars, some know everything there is to know about food, some about music, others about all kinds of random things but we all have commonality of putting our stuff out there for the whole world to see. Carry on, warriors.
Last but certainly not least, the ladies who make Grit happen are amazing. I was told they had been in a power meeting for the bulk of the work day yesterday so I'm sure they were probably wiped. But not only were they charming and delightful hosts, they did a wonderful job making sure that everyone feels welcome and comfortable. My congratulations to them for their ongoing success with the site—personally I think they are doing great.
So next time, I plan to (gulp) introduce myself to more strangers from the Grit island, maybe even the fashion-y ones who I'm terrified of. I'll keep y'all posted.