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July 27, 2008

A Cinderella Story: My BlogHer Confession

Jpd0504a_ol_full Last weekend's conference was incredible; educational, inspirational, a social smorgasbord.  But I have a confession to make.  The most amazing thing that happened to me at BlogHer'08 was by far the most unexpected...

I fell in love...
    ...with a woman.

Yes, I am straight.  Yes, I am married.   I also have two kids.  But meeting this woman turned life as I knew it on it's ear; forced me to re-evaluate where I've been and where I am going.

Was she strikingly beautiful?
No.

Was she off-the-charts intelligent?
No.

Was she accomplished, rich?
Somewhat.  No.

So why did I fall so hard for this woman and ache when she was not in my company?

Because she was everything I wanted to be but wasn't. 

Starting with free.  She ate when she wanted, partied when she wanted, was able to have long, uninterrupted conversations, and stay up all night if she wanted.  She was responsible to no one.  I envied her.

She was confident.  In spite of feeling awkward at times in this estrogen-dominant fishbowl, she forged through her insecurities and blazed new and interesting social trails.  She walked into a room and talked with anyone, smiling and cracking jokes to put herself and others at ease.  She generously doled out praise to those she felt deserved it.  She wore makeup. She styled her hair.  She wore cute clothes.  She even accessorized.    She was comfortable, enjoyed being in her own skin.

When we met, she reminded me of an old friend.   We immediately bonded like long-lost sisters.  But while she clearly captured all the attention,  I was the polite afterthought.   I loved her and hated her at the same time.

It was easy to fall in love while being away from home.  To feel emboldened by the affection and appreciation of someone new.  But what good would it do to act on passion and embrace a reverie that was doomed to disintegrate on Sunday -  like Cinderella's gown at the stroke of midnight? 

Where this woman was free, I was enslaved.  Where she had dreams, mine had long-ago dimmed.  Where she was enervated by life, I was exhausted.  We each began woven from similar cloth but circumstances and environment had turned her into silk and me into cotton.

Cotton has it's place.  Especially being a mom.  It's easy to care for, sturdy and dependable.  But silk, while fragile and less practical, embodies life.  It sparkles with energy, is lit from within.   After my experience this weekend I was no longer satisfied with the suburban status-quo.  I was tired of being cotton.  I wanted to be vibrant, glorious, sensual silk. 

This woman was my ideal.  She was my fantasy.

She was me.

For one diaphanous weekend, I was the woman I always dreamed of being. Instead of a toy cable car or Ghiradhelli chocolates, my souvenir was a twinkle in my eye and a glimmer of hope.  As I return to the mind-numbing drudgery of laundry and dishes, errands and carpools, I hope I can find a way to integrate the sparkle of this love affair into my real life. 

I hope my royal coach never turns back into a pumpkin.

This is an original Los Angeles Moms Blog post. Fran B. is a mother, blogger, wanna-be writer living in Los Angeles.  You can also find her at www.merlotmom.com.

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