Mr. Squiggle's Wonder Emporium: Being Dad Zero at Mom 2.0 - Part 3

*This is the third in a three-part series about this outsider's brief experience at the Mom 2.0 Summit held in Houston, February 18 - 20th. You can read Part 1 and Part 2.

Part 3: Dooce

Despite the suddenness of the grenade explosion set off by Finslippy (read Part 2), I managed to resuscitate myself long enough to counter her “twenty-top-posts” challenge with a question about the timing of her collaborative book with Fussy. Although I could just make out that her lips were moving, the ringing in my ears prevented me from hearing the answer. A few moments later my vision cleared, and I snapped back into full consciousness even though my recollection of previous events was still a foggy blur.

The small gaggle of mommy bloggers I once stood in was now breaking up, and I remained in the middle of the lobby for a moment before finally heading to the bar and ordering a drink. I was still feeling the effects from my recent bout of memory loss which caused a mild panic attack prompting me to call my wife. “Quick, honey,” I said. “What’s the name of the Michael Chabon book I’m reading right now?” I could hear her giggling through receiver. “Come on, honey, this is serious. One of these ladies might accidentally talk to me again and I have to sound interesting.”

“It’s Summerland, dear—with that kid and the elves who play baseball,” she said, pausing so I could let the answer sink in. However, what she didn’t tell me until the following morning was that I had succeeded in replacing every part of speech (to include pronouns) with the F-bomb while simultaneously loosing the ability to harness anything even close to resembling an “inside voice”every time I talked.

This is entirely possible given who I saw after glancing over my right shoulder—Heather B. Armstrong. (Yes, people—Dooce. Try to contain yourselves.) She was wearing an elegant leopard-print jacket and high black heels, the combination of which gave her a movie star-like aura, further enhanced by the noir feel of the bar’s dim lighting.

Despite the week’s worth of sexual favors my wife was now promising me in return for getting Dooce’s picture, I couldn’t bring myself to even give her a modest, friendly smile much less ask for a photo. And really, what was I going to do—strut right over, claim to be her biggest fan, and then ask to snap a picture for my dying niece? Yeah, ‘cause everyone wants to be “that” guy. Just my luck, she probably would’ve asked what my top twenty favorite posts were.

Aside from possessing a Wikipedia-esque level of information on Dooce, I really don’t know that much about her. Were it not for my Dooce-groupie wife, I would’ve been clueless as to Heather B. Armstrong’s alter ego, and even now, I’ve only read a smattering of her posts. Still, of what I do know about Dooce, it’s more than enough for me to sincerely respect who she is and what she’s accomplished. So, to go all papparazzii on her right then would only belie that respect. Besides, to me there has always been something about Dooce’s eyes that seem sad, as if they are the collection point for an accumulated weariness that she’s been carrying around since entering the blogging limelight. By no means did I want to add to the weight of this with a surprise photo op.

About that time, it occurred to me that I was only one sitting at the bar, unintentionally turning myself into a target for speculation among the other patrons. My prearranged meeting had fallen through due to some crossed wires, and so, to avoid becoming the very embodiment of seediness in everyone’s mind (Hey, how yooou doin’?), I relocated to an open table with a vantage point that allowed me to observe the entire room.

In the far corner I could see Dooce who had since joined Alice Bradley (you remember her--"The Una-blogger" KAPOW!) and Rebecca Woolf (Girl’s Gone Child) for drinks around a low square table. They were highlighted by the warm glow of the wall sconce mounted on the maple paneled wall behind them. The sight of this, along with the way they leaned in over the table to talk, gave me the impression they were plotting something, like perhaps knocking off a Vegas casino or crashing the European markets.

I imagined them living in immaculate homes where they throw entertaining dinner parties seven nights a week atop pristine glass dinning tables free from grubby handprints. Such a notion of course was ridiculous for many reasons, not the least of which being that we are all parents, and there’s no better equalizer than having children.

Surveying the entire bar, I studied the other Mom 2.0 attendees clustered throughout the room. Based on the blogs being represented and the scope of the sessions being offered at the summit, it was clear these were women who take what they do seriously, a sentiment underscored by one person who remarked that Mom 2.0 isn’t a slumber party like BlogHer. In other words, the Crocs sales rep probably wouldn’t need to bring a pair of nunchucks to fend off extortionists.

No, these moms are the exact mommy bloggers I “hate” (click, you’ll see) who have taken their expertise, their interests, their voice, their talents and their creativity and parlayed them into a viable profession. But this also raised the burning question as to whether daddy bloggers could achieve this same thing. Possibly, but a great deal of the say so would depend on both marketers recognizing that the dad-o-sphere’s readership is largely the same demographic reading the mommies, and on the media portraying fathers as confident, credible parents. Without these, dads will have a steeper hill climb.

Or maybe there’s another route. Maybe we dads need to jump in along side of the moms and learn what they are learning like the increasing number of daddy bloggers showing up at BlogHer and like Superjohn and Jon the brain behind Daddy Scratches, who were both brave enough to attend the Mom 2.0 summit. (They were the only dads that I am aware of anyway.) Maybe if we made our presence felt at more of these events, brands and marketers would become familiar with us and see that we take our blogging seriously too. I mean, the only disqualifier to our attendance is the registration fee, not a va-jay-jay, and after all, we are parents. Like I said before, children are great equalizers.

Finishing my Absolut and soda, I realized there was nothing more I could do here at Mom 2.0. So, I stood up and walked through the hotel lobby out onto the streets, out where the rest of the blogosphere lurks.

*There. Three days of posts from a guy who was there for only a couple hours. Guess that makes me a real A-hole, huh?*

Photos: Dooce photo from Mom 2.0 official website. Jon's picture taken from Daddy Scratches profile page.

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