The Quest for the Golden Ticket

OK before I actually start this post I need you to do a little visualization exercise with me.

Yeah I know. I don’t show up here for weeks, and then when I do I ask you to do some wanky new-age astral travelling bullshit, but please bear with me because I DO have a point.

So 2013 was my first year as a blogger, and I was learning heaps of things and making friends and having a generally awesome time.

I`d been going about five months when suddenly in early March the Twitterverse was ALIVE with the news that Problogger tickets were on sale.

It didn’t occur to me that I should get one. But jump forward to August that year and I’m kicking myself that I had let this opportunity slip past.

And this is where the visualisation kicks in….

Cast your mind back to highschool – or maybe even primary school.

There`s a party – it doesn’t matter whose, all that matters is that it is THE party.

The party that all the cool people are going to…

The party that all your friends are going to…

The party that everyone is going to EXCEPT YOU!

And while I was lucky enough to meet up with some people I`d been dying to meet IRL – most notably Tegan – it wasn’t quite the same.

I swore that in 2014 it would be different. What I didn’t realise was that it would prove to be a herculean quest full of obstacles so vast that even Achilles would have wept. But instead of glory or over-rated Trojan totty, I was in search of a golden ticket that would get me to Problogger.

I always thought Achilles was a bit of a sook, actually. He would NEVER have gotten a  Problogger ticket.

I always thought Achillies was a bit of a sook, actually. He would NEVER have gotten a Problogger ticket.

My quest gets off to a pretty good start. I am smart and make sure I clear the expenditure with Brook early. I don’t know how things work in your houses, but in mine neither of us is making a $400 outlay without at least discussing it with the other person.

The discussion went something like…

ME: “Babe there’s this really, awesome blogging conference one this year and I really, really, really want to go…”

BROOK: “OK… *pause* … When is it? And how much does it cost?”

ME: “It’s in August. And its $399”

BROOK: *mildly* “That`s quite a lot”

ME: “Yes. Yes it is”

Brook looks at me…

Brook, trying to decide if $400 is really a small price to pay for peace and harmony in the land...

Brook, trying to decide if $400 is really a small price to pay for peace and harmony in the land…

And I look at him…

I learnt this look from a colleague at work and have found it surprisingly useful ;)

I learnt this look from a colleague at work and have found it surprisingly useful 😉

Then I say, “How about, if I can go to Problogger you can get those fancy new wheels for your car that you’ve been eyeing off for the last few months”

And we have a deal.

Little did I know things were about to go pear shaped.

After stalking the Problogger website daily and trawling twitter for any action on #PBEVENT feed, the on-sale date for tickets is finally announced. Tuesday 2nd March.

This was nothing short of a disaster.

The date falls smack in the middle of the most expensive week of the year for our family apart from Christmas. My oldest son`s birthday is on the 27th February and my youngest son`s is on the 4th March.

Two lots of presents, parties and family dinners had made a dent in our finances, but it was the two payments for school camps that wiped us out.

The upshot is that come the morning of 2nd of March there is no way I can afford the ticket. I am devastated but stoic, and comfort myself with the fact that the boys both had an amazing birthday.

L-R: Jack, Ethan (my nephew), Max and Oscar celebrating Max`s birthday

L-R: Jack, Ethan (my nephew), Max and Oscar celebrating Max`s birthday

But THEN on 11 March comes the announcement that 100 more tickets will be released on 12 March. You would think this would fill me with renewed hope and determination to achieve my quest.

And you would be right… if I had known about it!

Yes that`s right. I’ve been busy at work so have missed the news on twitter but worse still Junkii* the God of Spam has chosen to send the announcement email TO MY JUNK MAIL FOLDER FFS!!!

So about 10.00 pm on Tuesday night I am idly sorting through a my inbox and decide to clear out my junk folder. I have no idea what cosmic force directed me to do this but thank god it did.

I head straight to the Problogger website, hoping against hope that tickets weren’t sold out. At 10.45 pm there were six tickets left.

The thing is… since our bank account is still recovering from the double Birthday blitz I need to wait until payday, which luckily is the next morning, to actually purchase the tickets. I go to bed and hope that the last six tickets don’t sell overnight.

Which brings us up to yesterday morning, 6.00am. I wake up and grab my phone, not even bothering to get out of bed. I go to the Problogger site, half hopeful, half dreading what I might find.


There are zero tickets left. “Well, that’s that”, I think, and try to put it out of my mind as I head off to a work training course feeling more than a little sorry for myself (I know, first world problems etc.)

However, by lunchtime I`m still stewing about it. And suddenly I think, “What if someone already wants to sell their ticket. What if someone has buyers remorse? That could happen, right?”.

There`s only one way to find out. I bring up twitter on my phone and tweet…

A cry in the wilderness! Will anyone heed my call?

A cry in the wilderness! Will anyone heed my call?

I check back a few times but no one answers. And then sometime mid afternoon my phone dies.

I get out of my training course on the dot of five and hightail it to school to pick up the boys from after-school care. I hook the phone up to the car charger but it always takes forever so I don’t bother to check on it.

The boys and I burn through the weekly grocery shop and by the time we are finished at 6.30 pm we are exhausted and hungry. Hungry Jacks is conveniently located in the shopping centre carpark and we all agree that it will do for dinner tonight.

Standing in the cue to order I decide to check twitter. I feel my eye physically bulge out of my head when I read…

It seems that fairy god mothers do exist!

It seems that fairy god mothers do exist!

Praise the lord its a motherfucking MIRACLE!

The wonderful Ms Laney Galligan of Crash Test Mummy and Problogger had obviously been monitoring the #PBEVENT hashtag and seen my tweet of desperation!

Apparently there had been a minor glitch with Eventbrite and there were actually still 4 tickets left!

There was not a second to waste. With shaky fingers I type the Problogger URL into my phone to see if any tickets remain.

ONE. There is ONE ticket left.

I hit the BUY NOW button so hard I nearly crack the screen. And this is how I found myself in the middle of Hungry Jacks on busy Thursday night madly trying to type my details in with one finger, with a tray full of burgers in one hand and my credit card clenched between my teeth.

I get the burgers back to the table and let the boys attack the food with their usual ruthless efficiency. I finally get my credit details in and hit REGISTER. After an agonizing wait of whole seconds I get the confirmation message.

SUCCESS! And I have literally a whole 2 seconds to bask in it before… my phone dies AGAIN. I shudder briefly when I consider how lucky I was that the phone didn’t die mid-transaction which would surely have been fatal.

My quest is nearly complete except for one last problem…

How can I tell everyone I got the last ticket for Problogger 2014 when my phone is dead?

I tell you good old Achilles would have been crying in his gin like a baby by now! And so since I was denied the immediate access to social media that such a momentous achievement demands, I wrote this long-winded post instead.

And God it feels GOOD!

Are you going to Problogger or have you been to one in the past?
Has a fairy godmother ever saved you from dispair?
Let me know 🙂

* Junkii is the little known Norse God of divine irritation. He really deserves wider recognition than he gets.

27 comments on “The Quest for the Golden Ticket

  1. What a great story! Hope you enjoy pro-blogger. I’m sure it’ll be worth it 🙂

  2. Ness says:

    Congratulations! So glad you got your Golden Ticket! Can’t wait to hear all about it. And that kitty cat thing is hilarious.

  3. mumabulous says:

    Wow – well done you. Of course I will be missing the party. Its like High School repeating itself over and over. I’m not doing DP in Sydney either as the husband is unlikely to give me a leave pass even though he sooooooooooooo owes me one. Hope you have the most awesome time and cant wait to hear all the gos.
    PS: That Troy movie was awful but Eric Bana was smokin’ hawt in it. Junkii? Does he look like Loki?

    • Rachel says:

      What you need to do I think is merge Problogger with your family vacation (provided it is at the GC again next year). Do the conference with your blogging gang then do the theme parks with the family afterwards.

      And yes Eric Bana was at his peak in Troy – and Ajax is such a manly role it suited him down to the ground! Junkii looks a little like Loki except he is less concerned with the tesseract and more concerned with deleting important files and demanding you restart your system at inconvenient moments 😉

  4. Cinderella, you shall go to the ball!

    Thrilled to hear it lovely. Looking forward to it already.

    Love the way you tell a yarn!

  5. Firstly WHOOP bloody WHOOP that you are coming, I’m so excited! And secondly that long drawn out post was fab and I was waiting with baited breathe (and a bottle of wine in hand ;)) Talk about nerve wracking 🙂 x

    • Rachel says:

      Lol Em that’s exactly what I felt like doing in the middle of Hungry Jacks – WHOOP WHOOP! Its going to be awesome – I cant wait 🙂

  6. muminsearch says:

    I loved the suspense in this story, you got me hooked! And I love that you got your golden ticket 😉

  7. Robomum says:

    Enjoy darling! You’re going to have such a great time :o)

  8. Alicia says:

    Lucky you! Have a ball. Had to laugh with the ‘collapse'(with relief of course) bit after the tweet that there are more tickets 😉

  9. Carla says:

    You were so very obviously meant to be going this year! I decided I wasn’t going to go, and then in the middle of playgroup, with all the children painting and using mass amounts of sparkles I decided yes I wanted to go, and madly purchased one of the last few tickets on my phone. Not the most relaxing purchase in my life but I didn’t want to miss out!

  10. mummywifeme says:

    OMG! Great story. You had me on the edge of my seat. Thank God you got a ticket. I am really looking forward to meeting you and so many other amazing bloggers there.

    • Rachel says:

      Thanks Renee. Really looking forward to meeting you – you have gone from strength to strength over the last year with your blog!

  11. Glad you got a ticket. I only hit “publish” on my first post over at 2 weeks ago. Boy that scary. I might try to make it to Problogger next year once I’ve got a bit of experience under my belt!

    • Rachel says:

      Sandie that was me just over a year ago. Believe me it will get under your skin and by next year you`ll be dying to go too xx

  12. Emily says:

    YAY! You’re coming! You made it! Roald Dahl CLEARLY stole the story of the golden ticket from you. (He invented time travel, didn’t he?) Can’t wait to meet you!

  13. meetoo says:

    Have fun – it sounds amazing… I am going to get my S’;ite together and go next year ;-p

  14. I think the correct term for this would be Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwww! See you there chick! So glad you got your ticket after ALL that you went through. Man you deserved that ticket! lol xx

  15. Kimberley says:

    Oh great story, Rach. You really should write fiction, you know how to build suspense, girl! Now, I am STOKED to be finally meeting you after last year’s ballsup (i.e. too tired to move my arse out of an early hotel bed). So, I’m excited. You sound excited. This is good. You will have a ball. Word. Kx

  16. I can sooooo relate to this post! I am relatively new to the blogger community and also missed out on attending the event last year because I was such a newbie. However, I am going this year! It will be lovely to meet you there. Leanne x

  17. That must be the most well earned ticket in the history of Pro Blogger! I hope that golden ticket was worth it. I’m looking forward to a follow up post with all the juicy PB details!

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