I had bangs back in the 6th grade. “So what?!”, you might say. I’ll tell you what! My hair is naturally curly, and it took me many, many years to learn how to tame it – curly, straight, or otherwise. So back in the 6th grade, when my mother so cruelly let me walk out of the house with BANGS, they were curly bangs – little, tightly wound tendrils that I slathered with gel (so they wouldn’t get frizzy, you understand) and which hardened quickly, sticking unattractively to my forehead.
As I’m sure you can imagine, this greatly contributed to a decrease in my overall middle school popularity.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say as I was without friends – and, even if I were, I doubt the cause could be solely contributed to my hard, curly bangs; I had a great many other dorky features and characteristics that helped me out. But I will say that middle school was a tough time. It was a time of constantly feeling anxious, of trying desperately to fit in with a “cool” crowd, and of being intensely aware that you were being judged first by the way you looked, and then by the way you acted. And I couldn’t seem to get either quite right.
Luckily, those feelings have mostly dissipated as I work my way into adulthood. I usually feel relatively comfortable with who I am – what I look like, how I act, the friends I have, and the fact that even still, some people may not like me. I’ve (mostly) grown up – and forever rid myself of bangs – and it feels lovely.
But there are still a great many times when I want desperately to fit in; when I want to be liked and accepted immediately and I fear that something about me may just not be right for that to occur.
Bloggers in Sin City was, at first, one of those times.
Bloggers in Sin City was one of the first things Nicole bullied me into (followed soon thereafter by running and healthy eating and other such offensive things), though it wasn’t very hard to convince me. This was last fall, when I still spent a few days a week co-working with Nicole and Amber from Nicole’s apartment. I remember sitting around her glass table, undoubtedly eating something delicious Nicole had whipped up for lunch, as they regaled me with tales of BiSCs past. I had very quickly fallen in love with the two of them – bloggers turned in real life (IRL) friends over the prior few months, so I was hopeful that BiSC would be that feeling times 60.
I drove out to Vegas on my own on Thursday, May 17th. It was a long, hot drive in which my cat-like reflexes helped me narrowly avoid a speeding ticket time and again (sorry, mom!). By the time I arrived at The Flamingo Hotel, I was a bundle of nerves. I quickly realized that, all in all, I knew about six of the sixty people who would be going on this adventure with me. And while that may be more than many BiSCuits knew, it still made me feel uneasy. What if my six other friends banded together without me? What if nobody talked to me? What if they did talk to me and hated me?! Again, there was that unfortunate, stomach-churning, WILL EVERYBODY BE MY FRIEND feeling that often accompanies the entirety of grades 6-11.
Luckily, the feeling was entirely unfounded.
After a good hour spent trying to check-in (apparently, The Flamingo is THE PLACE TO BE in Vegas), I made my way up to the registration suite which was fucking bustling. I remember stepping off the elevator, wondering briefly which way to turn, until I realized the incredible amount of noise coming from the hall on my left. I turned to follow it and walked slowly into the BiSC registration suite. There were people EVERYWHERE – hugging, laughing, gasping at the immense amount of swag in the goodie bags. I walked in, scanning quickly for the faces of people I recognized, but it was hard to distinguish between my friends and strangers because everyone was so damn friendly. We smiled, we hugged, we introduced ourselves by our Twitter handles and blog URLs. I felt like I made at least 15 new friends in those brief moments.
And that’s kind of how the rest of BiSC went. It was a blur, the BEST blur – all of these moments, flying by way too fast, where I made so, so many new friends. Amongst many, many other things, over the course of those four days, I…
- …was shot in the eye by a water gun full of booze (thanks, Adam)
- …was forced (/jumped at the opportunity) to learn and perform choreographed dances with the staff at Carlos ‘n Charlie’s
- …jumped into a fountain (multiple times) – for a picture with Katelin, Nicole, Drea, Doni, and Amanda – as the cops stood perilously nearby, yet somehow completely unaware of our innocent trespassing
- …took lots of shots – lots of frozen hot chocolote shots at Serendipity
- …stood mouth agape watching the lengths some “ladies” will go to to win a booty-shaking contest near the pool (Luckily, the classy, BiSC booty-shaking contestant won. Also, apparently I am an old lady.)
- …found what appeared to be a man’s wedding ring at the bottom of said pool and later, after his friends identified the jewelry, watched him vehemently deny it belonged to him as he stood in front of a woman who seemed less and less likely to be his wife
- …thought my roomie had been kidnapped on the Vegas Strip when she failed to come back to the hotel one evening and spent approximately fifteen minutes under the covers deciding how I might find her and how much money I could offer to get her back without alerting and alarming any of the other BiSCuits (Note: she was not kidnapped, she was still out living the life. Girl knows how to do Vegas.)
- …became an artist, drawing and presenting an incredibly accurate caricature of CrushHub founder, Chris Biggs
- …ate some melt-in-your-mouth, ohmyfuckinggod delicious caramel from Le Bon Garcon for breakfast every. single. day.
- …watched two “Mean Girls” turtles continually kick a third turtle off a rock in a pond next to the breakfast buffet at The Flamingo
- …danced under the (fake) Eiffel Tower with 59 of the most impeccably well-dressed folks in Vegas
- …made so many new, wonderful friends.
Each of the people that attend this event – at least in my sole experience – are so unique, but so incredibly (scarily) similar too. They are funny, they are supportive, they are great dancers, they love buffets, and they are so wonderfully, unwaveringly kind.
That lurching feeling of unease and nerves I initially felt? Gone, in an instant. I can’t ever imagine not being friends with these people. I just wish I had met them all back in 6th grade. They would have loved my bangs.