Waitress, I've Been Overserved

March 7th, 2014, 9pm

I helped plan a conference. This is a big deal for me. Super fun planning out a dream list of speakers who all enthusiastically agreed to come to another country to talk about ebooks. An awfully auspicious sign. A brand new conference, an unknown, and we sell all the seats available. Wait, what? Yes, that’s right: a full house for the first year of a conference. Many people taking a chance on us. I feel the pressure to make it work out. I’m sweating.

At the speaker’s dinner the night before the conference, I am seated between a much-loved and respected mentor and a far-flung influential developer whose work I admire deeply. I am so happy, so pleased that we’ve pulled this together — it’s almost an out-of-body experience for me. There’s a glass of wine in front of me that never seems to empty. It’s the weirdest thing. I am getting chatty, I am having fun. I keep sipping my impossible-to-empty wineglass. Eventually, I realize I have been overserved.

That’s okay. I am a grown-up. I hold it together. I think. Mostly. I’m pretty sure.

A day-long conference the next day in front a packed international audience. I am the official host. I am on-stage and helping make the event flow. I am welcoming, talking, engaging. I chair a panel on the stage of standards development even. I manage to sound smart?

I am hungover as hell. Needles behind my eyes. Drinking water, smiling, smiling. I am actually having the time of my life despite the needles. I down some hardcore migraine medication and keep on trucking.

The day is a raging success. A professional pinnacle for me. So happy, so tired.

Two days later at a friendly dinner with my fellow ebook developers, I saw this picture behind the bar and realize what had happened. I guess I survived being overserved. Maybe, now, I can do anything?

Kris, Carlos, Lia, Adrian and 15 others said thanks.

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Laura Brady

A techie mom negotiating the world.

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