BlogHer from Afar: BlogHers for Congress?

August 16th, 2011

For the past two years, I’ve attended the annual BlogHer blogging convention, but this August I was across the country in Manhattan, the site of last year’s BlogHer.

While I was too busy enjoying NYC to follow either #HomeHer or #BlogHer11, BlogHer was on my mind. At the Museum of Natural History, I sent twitpix of female science students to @WhyMommy, the woman who inspired this blog, and whom I finally met last summer at #blogher10.

I snuck a few minutes to google  “blogher + blogs,” and to email my green blogger friends, just back from BlogHer 11, to get the scoop.

As always at BlogHer, it appears there were some controversies. The “Anti-Green Movement of Bill My Parents?” – bad joke, overzealous marketing, or actually quite funny? Those Styrofoam plates – ditch them, Blogher! And the HuffPost women session? Whiners or honest sharings?

The fact is, BlogHer is as close as some of us will get to a slice of truly all American apple pie. No, BlogHer in some ways is not as diverse as America – it’s more affluent, more white, and better educated. But the fact is, it’s a place where for several days, in packed conference halls and on dance floors, women interact. The “Queerosphere” group of LGBT women is there, with their rocking party, open to all. So too are the  “Modern Marthas,” women who blog about  hearth and home. There are the Change Agents, radical Moms, activists who want to change the world. Then there are those who pack extra suitcases just for the swag, or come solely to  connect with brands. There are those who refuse to set foot in the exhibit hall because of the rampant  commercialism.  And there’s an entirely different world of private parties for those who serve as brand ambassadors.

But you know what? They all get along.

It’s a civilized gathering.

A joyful society. A respectful confab.

And as my train pulled into Washington, and I glanced at that beautiful Capitol dome, now a symbol of so much dysfunction, it occurred to me…Wouldn’t Congress be a better place if we got more of our BlogHers there?

— Lynn

The Top 10 Things I Loved About BlogHer

August 9th, 2010

I had a great time at Blogher. Some people in my circles asked why, given all the controversy about the Nestle sponsorship and the excessive, sometimes reckless consumption which marred BlogHer ’09.

So here’s why. Here’s a list of the Top 10 Things I Loved About BlogHer.

  1. It’s the only time I get to see my tribe: the members of the Green Moms Carnival and the many other bloggers whose work I respect so much. I tweeted that I was up “partying” with The Smart Mama, Condo Blues, Fake Plastic Fish, Mindful Momma, and The Soft Landing. But actually, we’re a little nerdier than that. Sure we love to party. But you can do that anytime. Looking up municipal water tables and calculating the amount of time a glass of water stays fresh before bacteria breeds? I just can’t do that with my friends at home in Bethesda!

Siel, Jennifer, LynnphotoGreen LA Girl Siel, left; Jennifer Taggert of The Smart Mama and Yours Truly Relaxing After a Session


Ok, Ok, this pic was taken last year at BlogHer ’09. Can you believe we don’t have a group shot from this year?

2.   I loved seeing all the women. It’s a very special experience to be at a conference for women, by women, particularly if you’ve worked in fields, like I have, where there are few women on the conference circuit.

doppelgangersphotoDoppelgangers? It’s been said that Alicia of The Soft Landing and I look alike. What do you think?

3.  It was a better BlogHer than last year from a sustainability perspective. Would I call it a Green Conference? Or even say, “BlogHer Goes Green?” Uh….no. But it was a huge step in the right direction. And I’ll have more to say on that in my next post.

swag exchangephoto

4. Great speakers. My favorite this year was the ending keynote. When I listened to the beautiful 70-year old Marie Wilson of The White House Project and Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, I was inspired.  Her vitality made me think,  “Wow, I’ve only just begun. I’m not so old after all. I have a lot yet to do and to give.”


5.  The Babies of BlogHer

6.  Great dancing. The dance floor rocked. How often do most of us get out dancing? Uh…never. (Except for my recent college reunion!)

7.  Pampering.

8. Never being asked to stop tweeting.

9.  Interesting people. The opportunity to strike up conversations is right in front of you all the time. Every woman there has a story. What’s hers?

bloganthropy photoWith Debbie Bookstaber, co-founder of Bloganthropy.  (Thank you, Corolle dolls for your sponsorship of Bloganthropy!)

10.  Wonderful venues. New York, of course, was amazing. So was Chicago last year (my first BlogHer conference). And next year, BlogHer ’11 will be in San Diego. I’ll be there. Will you?


— Lynn

Copyright 2010

The Babies of BlogHer: The Second Annual Round-Up

August 9th, 2010

In the second of what I hope to be an annual series of posts, I pay tribute to the Babies of BlogHer. Last year, I attended my first Blogher conference, and I marveled about how I’d never attended a conference with babes-in-arms. I spent twenty years working in the tech industry, where women at conferences were definitely in the minority. Babies? Fuhgedaboutit!

photo1_babyJoGreepHow appropriate that the first pic I snapped was of a doula – @outtajo aka of JoGreepChildBirth

As I blogged then,

Much has been written about BlogHer. How over-the-top everything was.  The big sponsors. The huge bags of swag. The blow-out parties.   The larger-than-life amazing, inspirational speakers. The networking.  It’s true – all of that was amazing.

But what really blew me away was something much smaller.

The babies. The babies of BlogHer.

They were everywhere you looked.

Though there were fewer than last year, the sight of all those gorgeous babies with their intrepid Mamas still blew me away.


One of the first Mommy-Baby duos I snapped, Jen from Baby Making Machine and her Lil’ J were gorgeous! Those flowers make Lil’ Baby J look like a tropical goddess! (She’s only a month old!)

This year, I tried to include name tags in photos so that I could link back to the Mamas’ sites, but I’ve still fallen short! If you can identify one of the anonymous Mamas, please leave a comment so we know who she is!

EmilywithbabyBeautiful red-headed Emily (of ??) with her little sleeping moppet.

When I asked why there seemed to be fewer babies than last year, I was told it was because of reports about a baby being bumped at Blogher ’09. What a shame. BlogHer is a great place for babies, and I hope to see even more of them at Blogher ’11 in San Diego! (Particularly BlogHer co-founder Jory des Jardins’ baby!)

MorraAaronMele&friendwbaby photo

Morra Aarons Mele, right, and The Mama Bee with her adorable baby

Did I spot your baby? What was it like to bring your baby to BlogHer? Would you recommend it to other Moms? Leave a comment and share!

And if I snapped your pic, and it’s not posted…check back. I’ll be adding more to the post (including my own tykes) but I want to get up some other posts too! Oh…and real work!

— Lynn

Copyright 2010 OrganicMania

@GreenMoms Take On Cosmetics: Safe or Unsafe? And Should We Support the Safe Cosmetics Act?: It’s the Green Moms Carnival!

July 31st, 2010

We’ve got a wonderful round-up of posts from members of the Green Moms Carnival, women who have been following the debate about cosmetics ingredients for years, and have interesting stories to share.

Let’s start off with Diane MacEachern of Big Green Purse. Diane blogs “evidence is emerging that the cumulative use of these products may be contributing to asthma, the onset of puberty in girls as young as three years old, and even the feminization of baby boys. Because cosmetics, soaps and shampoos are washed down the drain, they get into our water system, where they’re wreaking havoc on wildlife. And what about their relationship to breast cancer?”

But Diane doesn’t leave us hanging – she gives three common-sense ways we can reduce our exposure to the potential risks of cumulative exposure to low doses of chemicals.

Beth Terry of Fake Plastic Fish tells the story of why she tried to get away from a cute seat mate on a recent flight. “His Axe cologne, or whatever heinous product he was wearing, made my eyes water, nose itch, throat close up, and left me with a throbbing headache.”

That’s something I’ve experienced as well. Once you stop using synthetic fragrances, it’s hard to even be around them. A walk down a grocery store aisle – or a whiff of last year’s BlogHer room drops – can leave you feeling miserable.

Lisa from Condo Blues recounts an interesting discussion with a research scientist from a personal care company.

“One of the biggest secrets about what chemicals (or not) is in a product is what makes up the product’s fragrance,” she notes.  “Last summer, I had the chance to talk to a representative from a large personal care company. She claimed that even her company didn’t know what was in the fragrances of their products because they buy the fragrance from a special fragrance house that has a super secret formula and ironclad nondisclosure agreement that says the fragrance house won’t tell the company what’s in the signature scent of their brand of shampoo.”

Katy at Non-Toxic Kids makes a case for showing The Story of Cosmetics to friends who may be unfamiliar with the battle for safer cosmetics. As she puts it, “Why should you care?  There is a growing body of research showing links between many of the chemicals in our personal care products and serious diseases and conditions.  Chemicals like triclosan, phthalates, parabens are in most cosmetics.   Phthalates are often labeled as “fragrance”.  Triclosan is labeled as an “antibacterial.”

And no one is looking at their synergistic effect on our bodies, especially those who are developing and growing at rapid rates:  our children.   The companies who make these products are using many chemicals that have never been independently tested for safety.  That’s right, never.”

Linda from Citizen Green presents a well researched post that follows-up on Katy’s assertion. As Linda blogs, “Only 11 percent of the 10,500 ingredients in personal care products have been assessed for safety by the cosmetics industry.”

And that’s the reason Deanna of Crunchy Chicken blogs “Make sure you start checking your product labels!” 

Karen of Best of Mother Earth pulls no punches when she asks, “How can cosmetic companies like Estee Lauder raise funds for cancer research and produce products with carcinogens in them? Shouldn’t they start in their own back yard and produce a safe cosmetic in the first place?”

I always especially enjoy the contributions of our Carnival members from outside the United States. In Amber’s post at, Story of Cosmetics:  Canadian Edition,  she blogs about the situation in Canada – how in some ways it parallels the situation in the US, and yet how there are subtle differences. For example, Canadian cosmetic makers are required to list ingredients – “but not all of them.” Huh? So what good does that do? But Amber’s main message is one that is universal:

“But we must recognize that the beauty industry is trying to sell us stuff, just like any other industry that markets consumer goods. They want us to believe that we are flawed and need their stuff. If we aren’t concerned about the state of our skin or the shininess of our hair, we’re not going to shell out for products to fix them. Even initiatives like the Dove Movement are marketing campaigns aimed to make us feel favourable towards a certain brand.

My daughter Hannah is 5 years old. I don’t want her to feel that she needs to coat herself with stuff to be OK, and I especially don’t want the stuff she coats herself with to contain toxins. That’s why I want to see change in the cosmetics industry.”

I always see  myself in Micaela’s (aka Mindful Momma’s) posts.  Maybe it’s because we have kids around the same age, and while we are passionately committed to living sustainably, too often our lives intersect with the real world of Toys R Us and Pokemon.

In her post, “Maybe I Just Bought the Wrong Stuff,” Micaela blogs,  “In The Story of Cosmetics, Annie Leonard comes out and says what a lot of us might be thinking when it comes to buying cosmetics and personal care products:  “maybe it’s my fault…maybe I just bought the wrong thing”…meaning it’s our own damn fault for buying personal care products loaded with toxins and petroleum products…because we didn’t take the time to research the hell out of them before we went to the store.

I’m telling you – that is often how I feel.  And it’s very frustrating.”

Frustrating? Lisa from Retro Housewife Goes Green goes even farther when she blogs, “I don’t know about you but I’m pissed off at the amount of work I have to do to keep myself and my family safe from cancer causing chemicals. We need to change the whole system and work together to demand safer cosmetics.”

I’m with Lisa  – the whole system needs to change, and in my opinion, that includes regulation. But I’m not so sure the Safe Cosmetics Act is the answer. Check my post out here, where I blog about what I’ve learned in two years of following these issues – the things people inside the industry have told me – and my surprise and concern about the backlash opposition to the Safe Cosmetics Act that is being led by small, independent cosmetics makers.

Jennifer Taggert of The Smart Mama (and an attorney)  voices her concern that the Safe Cosmetics Act may mean for small businesses. Jennifer has a unique take on this, and her full post is worth a close read. Here’s an excerpt:

“I bring the CPSIA up after watching The Story of Cosmetics because well intentioned legislation can go badly wrong.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t urge you to understand what it is you are buying. To adopt the precautionary principle in your purchasing decisions.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t think we should advocate for sensible legislation and regulations.

But that’s it – the legislation and/or regulations must be sensible. And that is hard to do. The devil is in the details. Overbroad legislation has unintended consequences and collateral damage.

As said by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis:

The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

What do you think?

Leave a comment and let us know!

And did you know you can get ALL of our posts pushed out to you via Twitter? Just follow us here:

— Lynn

Copyright 2010 OrganicMania

Taking Stock

May 21st, 2010

There are moments in life that cause us to stop. To think. To reflect. It can be a life altering event like a birth, a death, or a divorce. Or it can be something simpler, but in many ways just as profound: a meeting with old friends. A peek back at life the way it used to be.

This afternoon, I’ll leave my husband and two munchkins behind  – (hope he’s remembering my Stay at Home Spouse Survival Tips!) – to attend my 25th college reunion at Lehigh University.

It’s hard to admit that the years have gone by so quickly, but it’s true. I still remember, as a young child, hearing the “old folks” around me say, “Life goes by quickly.” It didn’t seem possible then, but like so many things in life, only now do I know the elders were right.

Twenty five years ago, I was a scholarship kid, scared to death that I would lose my scholarship if I flunked Statistics or Advanced Calculus. (I never worked so hard for a D+ in my life!)  I was worried about paying back my student loans – (I did so early) – and I wondered if I would ever meet the right guy.   (It took 18 years of dating experience and a Strategic Plan to Meet a Man, but I finally did!)

I was so busy serving on a million class committees that sometimes it was hard to get my class work done (kind of like how this blog and my online activism with @GreenMoms interferes with biz dev work for my business).  Some things never change!

I wanted to explore the world (22 countries down, 180 or so to go!), make some money (Nasdaq 5000, easy come, easy go), and live an interesting life.

I didn’t expect my life to now be so consumed by environmental concerns.

Online, my friends’ beliefs are well known. It’s easy to complain about the evils of bottled water with bloggy friends like Beth of Fake Plastic Fish or Diane of Big Green Purse.

In real life, it’s far trickier. Those big chemical companies fighting full reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act? They recruit from colleges like Lehigh, and from MBA programs like Georgetown’s. (Hoya Saxa!)

In “real life,” many of my oldest and dearest friends aren’t working for NGOs, showing up for Capitol Hill testimony, or demonstrating in the streets.

Instead, they’re working hard for those same companies we like to challenge in the green blogosphere.  I know what it’s like. I’ve worked in marketing and PR for Fortune 500 firms.

They don’t want to question. They want to believe.

But I know from experience that face-to-face, those differences will melt away. I’ll smile with a skeptical twinkle in my eye, refer them to the EWG’s Skin Deep  Database, and agree to provide some questions they can forward to their colleagues. I don’t want to put my friends on the spot. They’re my friends after all, and it’s a party.

And then I’ll think, and reflect, on all that’s changed in 25 years.

What about you?

— Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2010

The Babies of BlogHer

July 31st, 2009

Much has been written about BlogHer. How over-the-top everything was.  The big sponsors. The huge bags of swag. The blow-out parties. The larger-than-life amazing, inspirational speakers. The networking.  It’s true – all of that was amazing.

But what really blew me away was something much smaller.


The babies. The babies of BlogHer.

They were everywhere you looked.

I’m old enough to have  graduated from college at a time when I thought I needed man-tailored suits, a leather briefcase, and  short hair to make it in the Big Apple.  My first byline was the androgenous “L.A. Miller,” lest I appeared like a “Southern Belle” for using my full name – Lynn Anne Miller.

I remember being one of the few women in the room at most of the 300 or so conferences I attended during my years in corporate marketing.

I’ve never, ever been to a conference with babies.

It was amazing.

Amazing to see women free to pursue their own interests, all while caring for their babies.


So now you know who I am. I was that woman running all over the place taking pictures of the babies of BlogHer. I wish I had captured them all. But here are eight of the wonderful babies of BlogHer, some pictured alongside their smiling mothers.

If you recognize the babies (or their mothers) please leave a comment so I can add a caption to each picture. (Or similarly, if you would like a picture to be removed, just let me know!)








This last picture is of my Big Boys and their Dad at the airport, soon after my return from Blogher. After looking at all those little babies, it  made me realize that my boys truly are not babies any more. They’re growing up much too fast.


— Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2009

Greenies in BlogHer Land: SwagHer

July 27th, 2009

I arrived at BlogHer, the world’s largest conference for female bloggers, excited to write a parting post about how to find cheap, eco-friendly gifts to bring back to the kids as souvenirs of our time away in Chicago.

I was going to include this photo of the postcards and maps my husband brings back as gifts from his meetings in far flung places.


And I was planning to include this picture I took of the many great free maps and guides that could be picked up around Chicago.


And I even snapped photos of local “Chicago chocolate” in case some greenies just couldn’t resist the impulse to bring back more of a traditional gift for the kids – a little box of something consumable.  Hey, at least it would be local and cheap (although not fair trade).


I never wrote that post – it didn’t seem appropriate at BlogHer.  And I’m embarrassed to confess that I left the conference loaded down with “BlogHer swag.” (Swag= stuff we all get).


My children? They’re getting the Chicago maps and brochures I picked up at the train station. But they’re also getting a teddy bear, a DVD about puppies, and a book about Spiderman. My husband? He gets a new backpack (eco-friendly of course, made of recycled plastics). And me? Books, a T-shirt, and a new water bottle.

And that’s considered a “light load” from SwagHer. (I mean, BlogHer).

What happened?

I didn’t really need any of this stuff except for the backpack. My husband’s backpack is hanging by a shoulder thread – he’s been putting off that purchase. The kids? Yes, they’ve wanted to visit Build-a-Bear, but I’ve never taken them. Now we have discount coupons and bears to “dress.” And me? All I really wanted was an autographed copy of my friend Jennifer Taggert’s new book, Smart Mama’s Green Guide. (Thank you, Jennifer!)

Call it the “herd mentality.”   We follow others’ leads.  And there were very few women at the conference who didn’t participate in the conspicuous consumption.  At times the blow-out parties and swag made me wonder if it was ’99 instead of ’09. It sure didn’t seem like the Great Recession at BlogHer.

Hey, I knew my kids would love those teddy bears even though they already had bears at home.   Everyone else was taking bears back to their kids! And they were blogger bears! And I was right, wasn’t I? Doesn’t Boo look cute cuddling that bear?


The notion of feting women bloggers, of celebrating their achievements, and of giving gifts to women who may not treat themselves to much in life (especially the Moms) – was heartwarming. But with so many extravagant parties and suites, the evening scene at BlogHer turned into a combination of Halloween trick-or-treating and Mardi Gras. And with so many sponsored bloggers  interrupting others conversations to give a product pitch, heck, at times BlogHer seemed like a crazy reality TV show that was interrupted by sponsored programming!  Don’t get me wrong…a lot of it was fun. Who doesn’t like parties? But somewhere, somehow, things seemed to become a bit…excessive.

Aside from the environmental implications of all “that stuff” we really don’t need, the other major impact of “SwagHer” was that for many women,  all that time lining up to get into swag suites came at the expense of deeper  conversations with the women we commune with online everyday.   It’s sad that so many women left Blogher bemoaning the fact that they didn’t have time to really talk and connect with the women they met.  What were we doing?

I think next year BlogHer will be different…many of us “greenies” — and even those who don’t consider themselves “green bloggers” have been emailing and tweeting  about options for next year – everything from a new track within BlogHer to swag-free conference to a separate online or “in real life” conference. We’re in the brainstorming stages.

Still,  BlogHer was a fabulous experience. Although I personally thought some of it was over the top, everyone is different. In fact, one of the great things about BlogHer was to see how diverse the blogging community is – something you could get a sense for at the “Birds of a Feather” luncheons.   (No, it’s not all about Mom bloggers…And full disclosure, I’m co-authoring a marketing report about the conference with Maryanne Conlin, aka @mcmilker. )

Here are some pix of the fabulous women I enjoyed so much at Blogher .

gmcphotoPhoto: Some of the Green Moms Carnival Members at BlogHer: Top Row, LtoR   – Lynn of OrganicMania; Micaela of Mindful Momma. Bottom Row, L to R: Maryanne of Not Quite Crunchy Parent; Lisa of Condo Blues; Beth of Fake Plastic Fish and Diane of Big Green Purse.  Missing: Sommer of Green and Clean Mom and Jennifer of The Smart Mama.

greenleadershipphotoThe Eco-Leadership Panel at BlogHer. L to R: Diane of Big Green Purse, Siel of Green LA Girl, Sommer of Green and Clean Mom , and Jennifer of The Smart Mama.

My trip to BlogHer was made possible by my sponsors. Last year I missed BlogHer. And as I blogged here, I wasn’t even planning to go to BlogHer until Stonyfield Farm approached me about a sponsorship. Getting to a major conference and back is expensive – especially for someone with a small business still in “upstart” mode. So a huge thank you to wonderful @StonyfieldSarah from Stonyfield Farm. It was great meeting you at BlogHer! And thanks to my other sponsors – my former client Mom Made Foods and Snikiddy, a local Mom-led company based right where I live and work in Bethesda, Maryland. Thanks to them, thanks to Blogher’s corporate sponsors, and thank you to the founders of BlogHer for pursuing an incredible vision of blogging community that has brought so much to so many.

See you in New York!  I think we’ll all be treading a bit more lightly on Mother Earth at the next conference!

— Lynn

Copyright 2009 OrganicMania

Why I Hope the EWG is Wrong

July 20th, 2009

No one makes a habit of displaying the inside of their medicine cabinet. But I’m doing it to make a point.


The other night I took my skeptical husband to watch the filming of what’s being billed as “ ‘Inconvenient Truth’ for environmental health.” The Environmental Working Group’s  President,  Ken Cook, has presented “10 Americans” to countless groups across the country, and it’s even available on the web. But at this filming at DC’s Source Theatre, the EWG captured the reaction of a group of Washingtonians who gathered  to hear that:
•     82,000 chemicals were declared safe for use in household and personal care products with little or no data to support their safety;
•    the US has the highest cancer rate in the industrialized world;
•    industrial chemicals are showing up in the womb. In other words, embryos are being exposed to chemicals in the mother’s body before birth;
•     chemical exposures in people are increasingly associated with a range of serious diseases and conditions from childhood cancer, to autism, ADHD, learning deficits, infertility, and birth defects.

So why am I showing you my medicine cabinet? I’m like most Moms – my heart is “deep green,” but my buying patterns are a lighter shade of green.   The items I buy organic and green are those that my family consumes most often, particularly those items that are most often used by my children. But we still buy plenty of conventional  products (although we try to use them sparingly).

When I first learned about the linkages between probable human carcinogens and everyday personal care and household products,  I was shocked. That’s why I reached out to industry representatives to get some reassurances, as you can read here. And their reaction? While they spend hundreds of thousands to court Mom bloggers at  BlogHer and other conferences and launch fancy viral advertising campaigns, they still haven’t answered these three simple questions I posed here.

– What is your stance on the Kid Safe Chemical Act?
– What do you think about the adverse affects of long term exposure to the thousands of chemicals used in personal care products?
– Is this issue even being discussed at the industry level, through groups like the Personal Products Council?

In fact, as I blogged here, the Industry reps did everything they could to discredit the Moms asking these questions.

So now you know why I hope the EWG is wrong. Because like so many of you, I still use a lot of these products.

And as for my skeptical husband?

As he put it after watching Ken Cook in action,

DDT used to be called safe too.”

Watch the video yourself and tell me what you think.

@ Yahoo! Video

If you want to do something now that you’ve seen this video, visit the EWG’s Action Page.

And please leave a comment and let me know  your thoughts!


Copyright OrganicMania 2009

BlogHERs Worrying About What to Wear

July 17th, 2008


On Friday the BlogHER conference, expected to draw more than 1,000 female bloggers, gets underway in San Francisco. It’s the “it” event if you’re a woman who blogs. In a sure sign of giddy anticipation, some tweets and blog posts are full of questions from women wondering what to wear to BlogHER.

For a while, I considered attending, but something stopped me. Among my reasons for skipping the conference was the realization that although some of my anonymity has been stripped away as my blog has matured, I enjoy being just a voice in cyberspace, with a tad of mystery still attached. And frankly, the fact that I still haven’t taken off “the baby weight” makes me feel self-conscious when meeting people.

Of course, I’ve reached out to some of my new bloggy friends by phone or email, but for the most part, they’ve never seen me. These friendships are pure. They’re based on a meeting of the minds, shared ideals, an appreciation of the other’s good humor, and in some cases, the kinship of motherhood.

At times, alone in my home office, I’ve wondered what it would be like to meet my bloggy friends in person. At a luncheon for local power blogger Geoff Livingston, I got my answer.

“Lynn,” my neighbor and bloggy friend Julie Power called out as we walked into the hotel, “Lynn, is my hem straight? Does this dress look okay?”

Now, if you’ve ever read Julie’s witty posts about Internet marketing, you would surely believe that this is a woman who could care less about hems and dresses. She’s got so much else on her mind!

After assuring Julie that she looked just swell, I settled in to listen to what Geoff had to say. But something distracted me. It was all the people in their business suits. I was listening to their voices, as I do when I make calls from my home office, but I was also noticing their appearance. I was making mental notes of who was old, who was young, who was slim, who was overweight, who was well spoken and well dressed and who was not.

It actually shocked me that I focused on appearance so quickly, but I know all too well that this is normal human behavior. I noticed that instead of intently focusing on the words forming from this person’s inner core, I was focused on the external packaging as well.

It reminded me of a time a few years back when I telecommuted and had met very few of my work colleagues. One of the writers I shared a warm banter with shyly confessed one day, “It would be funny to meet you, Lynn.”

When I asked him why, he said, “Well, I’ve worked with you for years but never met you. And in my mind’s eye, I’ve decided that you look just like Catherine Zeta Jones.”

I laughed and confessed that like Catherine, I’m a brunette, have roots in Bermuda, and am a Mom. The similarities stop there, but I didn’t want to quash his dream.

So have fun at BlogHer, ladies. Don’t worry about what to wear. And as for me, just call me Catherine. Catherine Zeta Jones.

Copyright 2008 OrganicMania