I've gone every year since I got shot. I spoke on a panel one year. I saw bloggers whose words I knew but whose faces were mysterious creations of my own imagination, until I ran into them across a table, or in an elevator, or over the buffet line.
I've gone with Little Cuter and on my own. I've used it as an excuse to see old friends, sharing languid lunches by the Pacific Ocean or in the MOMA Cafe. I've collected more swag than any woman my age should care about (and yet I do).
I've shared champagne with strangers as we listened and cried and shared moments so real, so fragile, so honestly shared from the podium that the air in the room took on its own dimension. It was filled with hope and enthusiasm and encouragement and intelligence - always with intelligence.
Over the years, the Main Attractions were just that - Main Attractions. Sheryl Sandberg borrowed Little Cuter's pen. Indra Nouri shared my table. Martha Stewart talked about everything (except prison) and Barack Obama addressed us via video conference. The women whose email exchange created the Black Lives Matter hashtag shared their wisdom during a panel and in front of the stage for much longer than we had any right to keep them but they were so passionate and articulate and so willing to help us understand.
Ava DuVernay and Gale Ann Hurd opened my eyes about the battles still being fought on the large and small screens in Hollywood. Queen Latifah introduced exceptional bloggers at the Voices of the Year presentations; she was really really late but we were really really glad that we had the patience to keep our seats. She was a celebrity, for sure, but she also had a brain.
Last year, I walked out of Gwyneth Paltrow's address. The woman has fabulous legs and a flawless complexion but her business seems to be deciding that she likes something and then trying to get me to buy it. She offered no insights, no charming anecdotes to make an important point, no, not one thing. I went to MOMA and stared at The Bather; it was a much better use of my time.
This year, the keynote is Kim Kardashian West, according to the breathless email I received from SheKnowsMedia, the entity which subsumed BlogHer few years ago.
I checked the details on the sender, then replied, wondering Have I been Punk'd or is this for real? The sender wasn't receiving email.
And then I went to the website and was reminded that Sarah Michelle Gellar was the opening act, and that, even though the subtitle for the event is Experts Among Us, Mayim Bialik is speaking at lunch on Saturday.... the same slot once occupied by Sheryl Sandberg. Mayim Bialik may be an expert with her blog on parenting as a modern Jewish woman (it is much glossier than The Burrow) but she's not the COO of Facebook.
Oh, did I mention that there will be a Q&A with Sheryl Crow before Kim Kardashian's speech?
The more I typed, the easier my decision became. I'm staying home.
Kim Kardashian? Really?