1. This was not a convention. This was not a conference.
This was a collection of about thirty peddlers hocking their wares to the eleven people meandering up and down the aisles during the hour that I spent there. Jewelry, body lotions, photography paraphernalia, and cooking products dominated the selection, though there were two prominently displayed medical screening companies and a bookseller there as well.
Think flea market. Only smaller.
And in a hotel conference room.
With a $15 cover charge.
And $3 for parking.
Mom’s the Word? I don’t think so.
Cheap crap being sold under the guise of an event dedicated to mothers is more the word.
2. I did not pay the $15 cover charge, opting instead to confidently walk by the registration table like I owned the place. I’ve come to realize that a man pushing a stroller can get away with a lot.
Besides, it was better this way.
Had I been required to pay the admission fee, I would’ve been forced to steal something worth at least $15 to morally justify my presence.
3. The first two convention center employees who I encountered had no idea what I was talking about when I asked where the Mom’s the Word convention was being held. One mistakenly directed me to a middle school dance competition and the other asked if I had the wrong day.
4. The signage indicating the location of Mom’s the Word convention explained the employees’ confusion and left a lot to be desired:
The signs were essentially sheets of computer paper randomly taped to the walls.
4. The entrance to the room also left a hell of a lot to be desired:
Seriously. This was the main entrance to the convention hall. I have seen maintenance closets decorated better.
5. Want to see the entire event? Here it is:
Right side of the room:
Left side of the room:
The whole thing was smaller than the gymnasium in my elementary school.
6. I was too late to attend the panel of expert moms, but based upon the seating for the event (a total of ten chairs), I can’t imagine that they expected (or received) much of an audience.
7. I stopped at the bookseller’s table and asked Clara if she wanted a book. Despite my disgust with the whole situation, I am always in favor of supporting booksellers.
Clara said no. She wanted no book. This was odd.
I showed her several books, attempting to entice her with pictures of things I knew she would like. Cats. Moons. Buses.
Each time she said no.
The woman behind the table showed Clara her favorite book and asked if she wanted to see it.
Clara said no.
She was apparently as disgusted with the event as me.
8. I stopped at a table covered in soaps and asked the woman sitting behind it if there was anything else to do except buy stuff.
She replied, “What did you expect? A song and dance?”
For $15? Maybe a song at least?
I moved on.
9. I was the only male attendee during my hour there. I was asked by one woman if I was looking for my wife and told by another that her jewelry would make a great Mother’s Day present.
“My mother’s dead,” I said. “And my daughter’s mother left me.”
Sadly, I couldn’t get out the second half of the statement without starting to laugh, so I scurried off with my tail between my legs, feeling mean and stupid.
10: The best part of the day was spent outside the convention center, staring at the tulips with Clara while she enjoyed some milk and I finished my Diet Coke.
It was almost worth the trip. Except I still had to pay for parking.