Doing Stuff Offline

A few months ago I was given the prescription “stop living your life online and go be with people in person.” I took that advice to heart and have been trying to up the ante from an RSVP of Maybe to an RSVP of Yes. It must be working, because now people say to me, “you go out every night, don’t you?”

My knee jerk reaction to that is to say, “No, I’m a total homebody, I never go out.” But then I go home and my cat yells at me, “Where have you been all week? I need some attention and a treat!” Then I give him a treat and crawl into bed with my computer, open up my blog and fall asleep without writing again.

(Oh no, she’s blogging about not blogging. Loser Alert.)

This week has included a blogger going away dinner for Chavi the Kvetching Editor . It was cool to see Alan and Miriam from Stereo Sinai there as well. Tuesday night was a fun night out with Olga from our Moscow office and some staff from Edelman Digital. We went to the Signature Room in the Hancock Building, a first for me, and then to dinner at China Grill. Wednesday was more low-key, back to Matilda’s for dinner with Dondi.

Last night was an EPIC Tweet-up organized by the Chicago Tribune. I got a lot of congrats from people about being invited to speak at the Chicago New Media Summit. Thank you to everyone who remembered, because it had slipped my mind when I first arrived. I actually asked, “What for?” when Ryan congratulated me.

I’m an asshole sometimes.

Or I’m just so distracted by the rest of my life that it slipped my mind.

Later I was thinking about the night. I know there was a time when I went to local Geek Dinners or Tweet-Ups and didn’t know anyone. Now it takes me two hours (and two pints of Guiness) to get from the bar to the seats by the windows, because I have two hours worth of people to talk to. That doesn’t count the two hours worth of people that I didn’t get a chance to talk to.

When did that happen? When did I get to a time in my life that I can walk into a cocktail party and chat with people all night?

Flashback

One night, about 3-5 years after high school, I was in a bar in my hometown with a friend from marching band whom I’d lost touch with quickly after graduation. She brought along another woman who remembered me from a class we’d taken together. Not only did she remember my name, but she knew where I’d decided to go to college and wondered what had happened with my music career.

I could not remember her at all. I felt like a jerk. I had this moment where I realized that I might have been popular in high school, despite feeling out of place no matter how many leadership roles I had. I was someone that people remembered, but I didn’t remember them back.

I don’t think I was popular, but I was well-known and mostly well-liked by teachers and students. If I’d been popular I would have had dates to prom (hell, I would have had dates) and been elected to jobs, I was appointed to things by teachers who knew I could do the job.

Popular people are voted in, I was appointed.

For a moment, it totally recast my memories of high school. All that time wishing I was popular and maybe I really was popular or something like it.

End flashback

My point is that last night had that sort of moment for me. I’m not an Internet Celebrity and I’m 99% sure I don’t want to be one. Do I ever want a blog from the Gawker Network to write about my love life?

Um… no.

But having people say things like, “Finally, the infamous Leah Jones!” in two countries (US and Israel) makes me look around a little and say, “Wait a minute, am I popular?”

Have I said too much? Is it totally gauche to say that out loud? This is what happens when I do things like “spend time with people in person” and “not update my blog for a week.”

ALL THAT SAID… it was great to see Jeff, Jeff, Jeff, Rod, Scott, Andrew, Kim, Liz, Mike, Stan, Yan, Blagica and her hubby Michael, Andrew, James, Dan, Bill, Edgar, Laura, Andy … BIG BREATH… I know I missed people, cause those are the people I had actual conversations with and doesn’t include the awesome people that I waved at or just got to say a quick hello.

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