Friends Without Modifiers

Catherine, better known 'round these parts as Her Bad Mother (a moniker which I would like to contest, by the way) has just returned to Toronto after a lovely visit here, where Nate and I made her as comfortable as one can be, what with sleeping on the couch amidst pounds of bulldog hair and random filth. Nothing like a spray bottle of Urine Gone! on the kitchen counter and a fresh cat poo stain on the carpet to make a stellar first impression. I am not ashamed to admit that I am not a candidate for the Housekeeping Hall of Fame.

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.

Actually overheard as he introduced himself to Susan Ness: Hi, Dee Snider. I was in this band...oh forget it. It was an 80's thing. So anyway...

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.

Hey, the side of Jane Fonda's head!

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.

Me 'n Mo. I'm the not funny one on the left.

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.

Gloria Steinem, as photographed by a stupid blogger who went to a big media event

without having learned how to use the indoor function on her new camera.

Sigh. Good enough.

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.


Blogger PunditMom said...

Sigh ... envy!

Can't wait to hear about the next chapter ... radio stardom, perhaps?

9/14/06, 10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simply fabulous!

And NY Pizza with MTV sounds just wonderful to a girl who hasn't had anything but Papa Johns in FOUR years.

Soon, my friend. Soon...

9/14/06, 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Damn! This only confirms how much I love you, Catherine, Mo Gaffney and My Super Sweet 16. Hell, I think this post even makes me love Dee Snider! It's funny. His brother used to work at Elektra and I used to hang out with him at the MTV awards. He was so normal. Such a nice Long Island boy. I could never get over the fact that he was Dee Snider's brother. By the way, what the hell was Dee Snider doing at the party? Is he a secret feminist?

9/14/06, 10:50 PM  
Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Sigh. It sounds perfect to me. Right down to the bits o' snark. I hope you didn't hold back while watching Super Sweet 16. If you can't pick on a teenager on television who can you pick on?

9/14/06, 11:00 PM  
Blogger the stefanie formerly known as stefanierj said...

Jeez, I only saw Gloria Steinem speak at Penn State when I was a student there and it changed my life, especially the way she reached out to this one young guy who was asking some really hard questions during her Q&A. She totally GOT him and was able to help him articulate what was bothering him about feminism (which was that it hasn't done as much for men as it should; as she put it, we're now allowed to treat our girls like boys, but we still can't treat our boys like girls. Except she was, like, eloquent and shit.) She blew me away.

I can't imagine being on a one-name basis with her.

9/14/06, 11:04 PM  
Blogger metro mama said...

It is a fine thing to be able to read such thoughtful, intelligent women every day. It is even finer when you can meet them in person.

9/14/06, 11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW. It sounds like a wonderful experience all the way around. Thanks for giving us the play by play...it kinda made me feel like I was there getting my picture taken with Dee Snyder too :)

9/14/06, 11:10 PM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

This brought a tear to my eye. Not kidding. This is really wonderful.

9/14/06, 11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That comment about relevance and its inherent connection to inquisitiveness totally needs to be on my fridge. Lovely.

9/14/06, 11:43 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Twisted Sister, No Way! Maybe "We're Not Going To Take It" has a hidden feminist agenda.

9/14/06, 11:45 PM  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

Envy to the enth degree!!!! Oh my god does all of that sound like the cat's meow and then some. "So's Botox." Hehehe!!!And those wobbly photos! I love it all. *sigh* I need to check out that conference call. I need to get a life. LOL

9/15/06, 12:11 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Wow, Gloria, Mo, and Catherine - fun, food, and thought-provoking all in the same day. Who could ask for more!

9/15/06, 12:22 AM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

Awwww. You're making me tear up. I will stick my tongue out at you, tearfully, to try to show that I am too ironic to be moved, which is of course untrue.

The bestest thing about bloggers, I am beginning to find, is that they generally really are as cool as they seem in print.

9/15/06, 12:33 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Friends without modifiers... I love that.

And I didn't hear any dorks in that conference call.

9/15/06, 12:45 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

And now I feel like I should now refer to myself as the OTHER Catherine.

9/15/06, 12:46 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Damn you, lady, for making me tear up JUST when I'm getting over the chokey weepy feelings spurred by reliving the last 48 hours for my own post.

That I spent that evening with someone who understood exactly why a pic with Dee Snider was exciting made all the difference in the world. That, and the MTV.

9/15/06, 12:46 AM  
Blogger S.T. said...

Ahhhhh...eating REAL New York pizza and watching My Super Sweet 16 sounds just heavenly to me.

9/15/06, 12:52 AM  
Blogger LBA said...

Aww .. that's so sweet...

And why am I thinking "Joan Collins" when I think uber-stretched London uber-bitch.

All those old episodes of Dynasty ?

C'mon .. who was it ? :)

9/15/06, 7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are both great.

No matter what the bitch from London said about the word blog, I have made several real friends this way, and I wouldn't trade them for a prettier word.

9/15/06, 8:00 AM  
Blogger karengreeners said...

Thanks for representin'.

I'm trying to figure out who the british botoxed beauty is, but all I can think of is Jennifer Coolidge guest starring on Friends.

9/15/06, 8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, when you told Dee Snider you were bloggers, did he know what that meant? My first guess for the British snob was Joan Collins as well.

I love the post title and what you said about Catherine being your friend as opposed to your "blogging" friend. I don't think it matters where we know each other from or how we met, what matters is common interests and that comfort level that lets you be yourself.

9/15/06, 9:54 AM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

It'a always good to have a like-minded friend with you at these things for sharing snarky comments and secret squeals!

Sounds like you two had a fantastic time.

9/15/06, 10:26 AM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

HBM always has the snappiest comebacks - that Botox one, while said under the breath, was PERFECTION. As was your description of the Eau de Pretenious lady. You ladies rock (oh god, I'm so 80's).

9/15/06, 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I already loved you to pieces, but I think I love you even more now.

What a fantastic evening, but even more so, a fantastic two days between friends. I'm so glad that you two had these opportunities.

9/15/06, 10:57 AM  
Blogger Vikki said...

"Eau de Aren't I Fancy" made my day. I admit that I first skimmed over it, thinking stupidly to myself "I've never heard of that one". About two lines later, it hit me. My only defense is that I haven't finished my coffee yet!

9/15/06, 11:15 AM  
Blogger Sandra said...

Sounds wonderful. I loved reading about the par-tay and so glad you and Catherine had such a great time.

I spent an hour and a half on the phone yesterday with a dear friend that has become much more than a blog friend. I so get that.

9/15/06, 11:58 AM  
Blogger Binky said...

It's another example of the worlds blogging can open up for people. What a wonderful thing! I'm so glad you shared the story with us.

9/15/06, 12:32 PM  
Blogger LoriHC said...

"Eau de Aren't I Fancy" + "I'm the not funny one on the left" = [does not compute]. I'm going to be saying Eau de Aren't I Fancy all day, just to amuse myself.

9/15/06, 12:52 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

That's so cool. Thanks for sharing the deets but, of course, I wanted more dirt. He, he!

9/15/06, 1:08 PM  
Blogger j.sterling said...

YAY! love that you and HBM got to hang out!!!

9/15/06, 1:33 PM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

How totally cool is that?!?! I'm more jealous of you meeting HBM than I am of you meeting Gloria Steinem. But it sounds like an all around awesome experience. Hey, my 8 year old is obsessed with New York City right now. Can we come stay on your couch too? ;?)

9/15/06, 2:41 PM  
Blogger MrsFortune said...

Hot mamas in the city. Dee freaking Snider! How cool is that? Way cool.

That would be fun if you'd do that one day, just write about what you did that day.

9/15/06, 3:37 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

Lucky ladies, indeed. I'm so excited for you... wearing your shades, cuz DAMN yo future be BRIGHT, bitches!

9/15/06, 4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Dee Snider! That's who I would have wanted my picture taken with, too, hands down. I once caught a kid plagiarizing when I was teaching 10th grade and had the kids do poetry notebooks because he tried to pass off a Twisted Sister tune as his own and I had been a TOTAL metalhead (or what passed for metal at the time) in the 80's. Kids never had any idea thanks to the suits, glasses, and bun (what can I say, I'm 4'10", most of 'em were bigger than me - I had to make myself look like the teacher somehow).

Anyhow, what a gift to be able to hang out with a "new" friend like that - it sounds delicious. And what a privilege to be able to schmooze with so many strong, wonderful women to boot.

And I'd read you even if all you did was write about what you did that day, because you'd make it funny and exciting, even if it wasn't.

9/15/06, 4:04 PM  
Blogger Virtualsprite said...

That is so cool! I'm so glad you shared because now I can totally live vicariously.

What a fun, exciting thing! Hooray for you guys!

9/15/06, 4:56 PM  
Blogger Pecos Blue said...

from london indeed it really is not that far at all. Thank you for the words of wisdom on blog. He is crying as I write.... sigh...sounds like a great event.

9/15/06, 4:59 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I can tell from this that you two had such an AMAZING time. Love the pic of you and Mo!

9/15/06, 5:23 PM  
Blogger Ruth Dynamite said...

Beyond the inherent coolness of being at this event, and rubbing elbows with Dee Snyder, and chatting up Gloria Steinem, the two of you got to hang out together and gawk at weirdos "from London" and watch riveting TV like My Sweet Sixteen. (And it is riveting.)

I'm glad for you both.

9/15/06, 6:57 PM  
Blogger Karyn said...

So. Freaking. Jealous.

Every part of that (excepting the G.I. Woes) sounds good to me.

I do not like admitting that I am oddly fixated on My Super Sweet Sixteen, but it is damned nice to know that I'd be in such stellar company.

9/15/06, 9:37 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am squirming in my seat with excitement, not a little jealousy, but mainly a sense of--"dear lord, these are my ladies, and THERE THEY ARE!"

I have been so out of the loop lately that I feel like I have shitloads of catching up to do. Steinem, Catherine (whom I hope will be watchign bad t.v. and boozing it at some stage soon too) Nasty ladies who have just got back from LONDON. It's delicious!

9/15/06, 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're so CUTE. Everytime I see a picture of you, I kick myself for not having met you at BlogHer. Damnit.

9/15/06, 9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you had fun at the media event.

I know that Gloria is an influencial woman, but there's something about her that rubs me the wrong way. What was she really like? I mean REALLY like? Dish!!!

9/15/06, 10:11 PM  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Cracking description of the party, Liz. I am beyond green with envy, I've passed right out of green and am into blue which means I can swear: Fuck, I'm jealous!

I admire Gloria Steinem so very much. And there you are, with Mo Gaffney! Bloody hell, Liz! What a night!


9/16/06, 1:01 AM  
Blogger Cristina said...

Wow. Wow. Wow. That is so cool about Gloria Steinem, but what really got me was this line about HBM:

"And I stood there in the rain and beamed because I realized she was no longer my blogging friend. She was my friend."

*sigh* that is so sweet.

9/16/06, 3:40 AM  
Blogger Girl con Queso said...

Very cool. I love it.

9/16/06, 9:46 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Dana, she should not rub you the wrong way. She was kind, thoughtful, inclusive, wise, knowledgable and sensible. She made an effort to include the men in the audience and to point out that this network was not just for women, since men too have a voice in all this. She blew all of us away, and not one person left that event with anything but the highest praise for her.

9/16/06, 9:55 AM  
Blogger J said...

That was a great post. Glad you got to meet the amazing Ms. Steinem, and the amazing Ms. Badmama. :)

Sounds like I'm living on the wrong coast...

9/16/06, 11:47 AM  
Blogger carrie said...

When I grow up, I want to have your life!!! You lucky, lucky ladies!! Sounds wonderful, even the snark!


9/17/06, 2:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gloria rules! Thanks for the pictures and the sweet new/old friend story.

9/19/06, 5:39 PM  

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