1) 350+women ( and a handful of men) in a room, bus or hotel is very loud. Pack earplugs. And pray for the poor bus drivers.
2) Food, especially chicken and desserts, are plentiful. Bring more elastic waisted pants.
3) The currency at this conference is business cards. And Erma Bombeck-etched wine glasses. And laughter.
4) It’s possible to make new and instantaneous BFFs. Even so, introduce yourself to someone new every chance you get.
5) There’s so much to learn besides writing stuff. Be open to possibilities. Presenter Shannon Olson had the cutest haircut and she let me take pictures of it so I can show my hairdresser how to cut my hair.
6) Don’t bring any books, crossword puzzles or any other personal pastimes. You won’t have time for any of them.
7) But bring an extra suitcase for all the books you will buy.
8) Dayton in the spring can be windy and cold (2016) or warm and sunny (2014). Pack accordingly. Everything you own.
9) Take the day off Monday after the weekend. You will not be useful to anyone. Not even your pet.
10) Remember that no one cares what you write (or don’t write) or what you wear. And if you are cold, Gina Barecca will loan you her coat and Hermes scarf. (Emphasis on loan — she will chase you down the hall if you “forget” to return them).
11) The name “Trump” was said 134 times. Please, God, let that not be a name we discuss next conference.
12) Bring a case of reading glasses next time. Even though I brought four pairs, I only came home with one.
13) Laying in bed after a long day, reading all my new friend’s blogs, with the strawberry yogurt Chex mix that was provided as a snack after lunchtime, was divine.
Oh, and one more: Don’t get caught using the men’s restroom. The next time you try, there will be a sign on the door that says, “This restroom is for men only.”
— Rebecca Sydeski
Rebecca Sydeski writes a (hopefully) humorous blog on the subject of airline passengers, from her perspective as a flight attendant for a major U.S. airline for the past 37 years. Her blog can be seen at http://galleytalk.blogspot.com.