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It happened in Vegas: Observations from the Bloggers at Midlife conference

April 25, 2016

We’ve all heard the line “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” right? Well, when you’re attending a conference in Sin City with nearly 150 midlife women bloggers (#BAMC16, held April 15 – 16), all bets are off.

It’s not that any of us did anything that was so outrageous it shouldn’t be shared (at least that I’m aware of). Disco dancing with women in hot pink go-go boots or silver lamé bell-bottoms is simply de rigueur at an event like this. Shouting at a male presenter to “jiggle it” makes perfect sense when you realize we were referring to the wonky wire that kept knocking out his PowerPoint presentation.

Frankly, the most startling occurrence to me was when one of the speakers defined a blog as where you tell people what you had for breakfast and other details of your daily life (versus a personal essay, which she felt was more literary). To a roomful of bright, entrepreneurial women whose blogs address travel, lifestyle, fashion, humor, aging, sexuality, sustainable living, the art and business of blogging, health and fitness, and more—I thought that was pretty outrageous. But I digress.

When you have that many wise and witty women of a certain age in one room, some of the conversations and comments you hear are just plain hilarious—especially when some are taken out of context. Here’s a sampling:

Attendee #1: “I had two vodkas last night and didn’t even have acid reflux.”
Attendee #2: “Yeah, tequila’s pretty easy on acid reflux, too.”

“That was the first time I said ‘fuck’ from a microphone.”

Attendee #1: “You look good!”
Attendee #2: “It’s the Restylane.”
Attendee #3: “What? Oh…I thought you said ‘It’s the mescaline.’”

“Oh. My. God.” (Spontaneous utterance from a woman at my table when a speaker was being introduced and her bio said that her way of dealing with an empty nest was to have more kids, and there’s an 18-year difference between her oldest and youngest.)

“You wouldn’t believe how many hermaphrodites there are in the Louvre.”

Since I don’t eat red meat, I requested a substitution at lunch one day. When a luscious dark chocolate dessert was served after our meal, I happily accepted it—and the woman to my right commented, “You may not eat red meat, but you’re not stupid.”

“She earned her way through college as a go-go dancer.”

“My first husband was defective, so I had to send him back.”

In a presentation about sponsored blog posts, a speaker said, “If someone approaches you about clown school, you probably don’t want to write about that.” (Well, maybe not if you blog about sex or fashion…but hey, if you write a humor blog, never say never!)

“If the first thing people say about you is ‘What is she wearing?’ then you’re doing it wrong.”

From a male presenter who began his presentation with this line and got one of the biggest laughs of the day: “If you forgive me for what I don’t know, we should have a wonderful next 45 minutes…at least that’s what I tell all my girls.”

This second annual Bloggers at Midlife conference was an affirming experience in multiple ways, not the least of which were the camaraderie, connections and genuine pleasure that come from spending time with like-minded women. My takeaway? We’re not getting older—we’re getting funnier (as well as savvier, more self-assured and self-aware).

I came away from those two days feeling enriched on so many levels. And—no offense to the fitness experts in attendance—my core got an amazing workout from all the laughter, inspiring this haiku:

Taking things out of
context is an exercise
in hilarity.

What about you? If you were at BAMC16, do you have some funny memories of the event to share? Or have you overheard remarks out of context that had you doing a double take—or doubling over in laughter?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  • 48 thoughts on “It happened in Vegas: Observations from the Bloggers at Midlife conference

    1. Carla says:

      I had such an amazing time. No one knew who I was 🙂 so I have no great and funny stories. But I will be back
      <3

      1. Roxanne says:

        Carla, I think you underestimate your “visibility!” I’ll wager your table generated more than a few laughs. And I look forward to seeing you at BAM17!

    2. Haralee says:

      I love these out of context remarks. The conference sounds wonderful!

      1. Roxanne says:

        It was…and you were there in absentia with your generous giveaway. Maybe next year you’ll be there in the flesh? Thanks for commenting, Haralee!

    3. Sounds like such a fabulous conference. Much more intimate than a big convention. So sorry I missed it!
      Thanks for sharing Roxanne.

      1. Roxanne says:

        The camaraderie was truly special. Perhaps you’ll be there for BAM17?

    4. Hi Roxanne! I think one of the funniest things I heard and we all laughed at was when our friend X said she “downsized” to a 3,500 square foot house! Poor thing! She didn’t know she was talking to a crowd of rightsizers! So nice to laugh and have fun with friends regardless of what triggers it right? Thanks for all the laughs and I look forward to the next time when our paths cross. ~Kathy

      1. Roxanne says:

        It’s all a matter of perspective, right? We had such a fun table…and I look forward to our paths crossing again soon (Hubs and I are already talking about spending at least a couple of weeks in the desert next year).

        1. T.O. Weller says:

          Roxanne, so are we! I say we plan a special getaway in the desert … right around February? 🙂

          1. Roxanne says:

            Sounds good to me! Maybe if BAMC17 ends up in Long Beach, we can piggyback a desert getaway onto the conference…

    5. I had such a fabulous time at BAMC16 and cannot wait for next year.
      I absolutely agree about the essay comment too.
      A week later and I’m still trying to recover:)

      1. Roxanne says:

        Thanks, Doreen! Yes, I’m still adjusting to “real” life and east coast time. But it was so worth it!

    6. Those were great! Clearly I wasn’t paying enough attention—though I did hear, and bristle at, the demeaning comment about bloggers. Shame on her. And thank you for citing it!

      1. Roxanne says:

        Yeah, that got my back up! But the funny stuff still has me chuckling…Thanks for commenting, Walker!

    7. Kymberly says:

      Laughing is a great core workout, say i, the fI, the fitness pro. My sis even posted about it awhile ago

      1. Roxanne says:

        Well, then I’m just going to keep on doing it! Thanks for commenting, Kymberly!

    8. Donna says:

      I was just so happy to be with writers for the first time every thing was exciting to me. I loved it all…

      1. Roxanne says:

        It was a terrific gathering of fabulous women–our t-shirts even said so! I so enjoyed meeting you, Donna!

    9. Valerie says:

      What a great wrap-up, Roxanne. As one who blurted out at least two of these, and heard many more, I can attest to the wonderful sense of electricity in the air at BAM! I enjoyed it from start to finish.

      1. Roxanne says:

        And I enjoyed YOU! Thanks for your comment, and for all you contributed to the conference.

    10. I wish I could have attended, it sounds like it was a blast! We’re not getting older we’re getting funnier sounds like a great motto!

      1. Roxanne says:

        Thanks, Rena! Maybe you can make it next year???

    11. Loved this and loved your takeaways! The “essay” vs blog comment got me going a bit— I have to admit. Thanks for the great recap! Perfect !!!!

      1. Roxanne says:

        Thanks for your great comment!

    12. T.O. Weller says:

      Oh. My. God. I still laugh out loud at the thought of that one! That and our dear friend the “downsizer”.

      Roxanne, I’ve been eagerly anticipating this post and it made me laugh as much as I knew it would.

      Like everyone else, that blog vs essay comment got me too. I think we all demonstrate that there is much more to our online writing than that.

      I can’t tell you how much of a pleasure it was to meet you and to have the chance to share our laughter in such good company.

      I eagerly await our next chance to do it again!

      1. Roxanne says:

        Tracey, it was SUCH a pleasure to meet you IRL and share the laughs and honest conversations that we did. I’m looking forward to the next time, too…and in the meantime, we’ll keep in touch virtually!

    13. Margo Mead says:

      I’m all for the best ab workout–hysterical, infectious laughter! So glad that you got on that plane and that you had a memorable time.

      1. Roxanne says:

        Heaven knows we’ve had times like that when we get together, right, Margo? You would have loved this group of women!

    14. Anna Palmer says:

      Jiggle! Context is totally overrated in humor. Great post!

      1. Roxanne says:

        Thanks, Anna! I would certainly agree. It was great to share a table with you at BAM!

    15. Barbara says:

      OMG, LOL! Blog vs. essay. HA! You are so right on. May I suggest, before you venture back to the desert you try a short(ish) trip down the Jersey shore? We would have a blast!
      SOOO happy to meet you IRL. We have to do it again!
      xob

      1. Roxanne says:

        We WOULD have a blast…and think of the blog material we could generate! Maybe in the fall…?

        1. Barbara says:

          Fall is great for the shore. Not too crowded and great weather! Come on down!!

          1. Roxanne says:

            I’ll talk to Hubs…

    16. Norma says:

      Ok reading this weeks Haiku and all of the comments I need to become a mid-life blogger. Well, older than mid-life. I am jealous beyond words.

      1. Roxanne says:

        There’s just nothing like getting a roomful of women together–bloggers or not!

    17. Rosemond says:

      Two vodkas and no acid reflux! LOL! That’s a perfect quote for midlife women living it up in Vegas!

      1. Roxanne says:

        Isn’t it? If I had wandered around more, I’m sure I would have overheard more gems! Thanks for commenting, Rosemond.

    18. Jennifer says:

      Sounds like you had a great time at BAM. I’m sorry I missed it.

      1. Roxanne says:

        It was such a fun conference…hope you can be there for the next one!

    19. Paula says:

      Yes, there were several weird comments from presenters but the best part was that all of the women at the table would look up at each other with eyes that said, “Really?” So much fun!

      1. Roxanne says:

        It really was fun, wasn’t it? Hope to see you again next year!

    20. Hahaha! Totally owning up to the hermaphrodite quote! -Veronica

      1. Roxanne says:

        And it was a great line! Thanks for commenting, Veronica!

    21. I’ve so enjoyed reading all the posts and looking at the pictures from BAM, Roxanne. Like I told Kathy, I was even a tad jealous!
      So glad you all had fun!

      1. Roxanne says:

        Thanks for your comment, Corinne…you’ll just have to be there next year!

    22. You know…”jiggle it” just hit all of us as funny, all at once, didn’t it?
      Glad it wasn’t a man yelling it at a female speaker.
      Enjoyed reading your recap. 🙂

      1. Roxanne says:

        Thanks, Susan! Yes, I was glad, too!

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