Friends Without Modifiers
Catherine was the perfect partner in crime with whom to attend the Greenstone Media launch Tuesday night. I can't think of anyone else who, in the company of so many boldfaced names, would decide that Dee Snider is who she really wanted a picture with.
So let's cut to the chase: Who did we love talking to? Gloria Steinem, of course. Susan Ness. Erin the photographer. Rolanda Watts. Emme. My new favorite funny person, Mo Gaffney, and her also funny cohost Shana Wride. Lisa Birnbach, who offered to autograph my dog-eared copy of The Preppy Handbook. Many cool blogging women.
Who did we not love talking to?
Oh, no you don't. I'd have to be good and liquored up to spill that one.
Okay, I'll give you one. Just one.
When we first arrived at the party, we sort of hovered around the cubes o' cheese table looking rather forlorn, waiting to see who of interest we could stalk. We were approached by another nobody, although a rather self-important nobody, with her dragon nails and big shellacked hair and too taut sixty-something face which trumpeted a litany of plastic surgery triumphs to the world.
She announced that she was here from LONDON and came ALL THE WAY FROM LONDON and who were all these people at this party since she just CAME IN FROM LONDON and didn't know them all.
"So who are you here with?" I asked, avoiding the question she really wanted me to ask.
"Myself," she said casually. "I'm here from LONDON. I just got in. So...what do you two do?"
"We're bloggers," we said, followed by a brief (and necessary) explanation of what that meant.
"So you just basically write about what you did that day?"
"Well sure," I said. "If I want to bore my readers to death."
Behold, the snark! I don't know where it came from, I swear. I usually manage to hold my tongue better, but I think the olifactory insult stemming from her overuse of Eau de Aren't I Fancy was making me cranky.
"I just hate the word blog," she opined through clenched teeth, as she looked over our shoulders for more important people to talk to. "It's such an ugly word, isn't it?"
"So's Botox," Catherine whispered to me afterwards, forever earning her rightful title as Ideal Mommyblogger Date For a Big Time Media Event Where You Might Get Stuck Talking to Weirdos.
Plus, I will always be grateful that Catherine didn't laugh too hard when I looked right at a woman I could have sworn I knew and exclaimed, "Leigh!" Especially considering that woman was Deborah Norville.
It was fun to have someone with whom to be catty (just a little), to gush, to fawn, to think, to schmooze, to talk about politics, to cheer the inspirational speeches, to guffaw at Mo Gaffney, to eat more than our fair share of mini quiches. And of course, to get a few precious uninterrupted minutes with Ms. Steinem, who was more excited to ask us questions than perhaps even we were of her. That's why she's still relevant, my mother said when I recapped the evening for her. Because she has never stopped asking questions.
The event was one of the most memorable of my life, surely, and yet, I found it in some ways overshadowed by the 48 hours spent really getting to know Catherine. Beyond blogging. Beyond the few paragraphs we get onto the page several days a week. Beyond dialogue that's often no more than a quip responding to a posted comment responding to a blog entry. Beyond motherhood.
This morning, I walked her out into the rain toward her waiting cab, and apologized for a bout of gastrointestinal blechiness that kept me from taking on the city with her last night. Instead, we camped out on the couch with Nate and my bulldog (who loves Catherine way more than me); eating real NY pizza and gawping at back-to-back episodes of the train wreck known as My Super Sweet 16.
"I'm so sorry," I said, "for not being able to show you the town on your final night here. I feel so bad."
"Are you kidding?" Catherine answered. "We got to sit around, talk, hang out, watch tv. Which is exactly what friends do."
And I stood there in the rain and beamed because I realized she was no longer my blogging friend. She was my friend.
If you're interested in hearing last week's conference call between Gloria and the bloggers, you can download the mp3 here. Disclaimer: Each of us think that we sound like dorks.
If you're interested in pictures of the party, go here. No, they're not mine. Or there'd have been far more pictures of Catherine posing with celebrities.