itsallovernow: (No-Kerne)
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[livejournal.com profile] boofadil asked for my best convention story.

I have two, I think.

The first is not really a convention story, per se. When M. and I had first fallen in love (in that deep, knowing you're committed to each other, can't be without each other way, had just realized we were spending the rest of our lives together way and were mostly revolting everyone around us) he had to go down to Comic-Con for work. We'd been planning for me to go down on Saturday anyway because I'd never been, and this way I'd have him to show me around and keep me from freaking out about the crowds. Part of the surprise he had waiting for me were press passes to the Doctor Who panel (this was post "A Good Man Goes to War" but before the show had come back for the fall). He had finagled them from some BBC-A folks and was super excited to surprise me. He had watched about half of the beginning of that season and various episodes I'd shown him, but was mostly just trying to woo me, and his enthusiasm at the time had a lot to do with my enthusiasm. Since we actually had press passes, which meant we didn't have to wait in line, we dawdled, and then decided to head over to the room about 15 minutes before the panel started. I kept tell him that we needed to hurry, that it would be full, but he didn't really understand the scope of New Who love, and so we got to the room that he thought it was in and...empty. He checked, and realized it had been moved to Hall H on the other side of the universe from where we were. We then had to dash across Comic-Con (a difficult feat at the best of times) and arrived BARELY on time, to slide into the last available press seats. 30 seconds later and we'd have been shut out!

I was delighted and the panel was wonderful, and M was desperately spoiled for the big reveal (even though I told him to close his eyes). But that present was such a sweet gift, and the panel itself turned him into a huge fan, to the point where we had wonderful Dalek cake toppers (knit by the marvelous[livejournal.com profile] rubberneck) on our wedding cake. Even if our love for the show flags, we'll always feel fond and nostalgic, and he still gives me little Doctor Who gifts on the holidays (this year was a Fez and Bowtie necklace, and tiny sonic screwdriver earrings made out of beads).

The second--oh it's so hard to come up with a single second. Possibly [livejournal.com profile] cretkid,[livejournal.com profile] crankygrrl,& [livejournal.com profile] rubberneck and I slugging bourbon out of a flask hidden in the trunk of my car at 9:30 in the morning to steal our nerve up to go get a photo taken with Ben Browder and Claudia Black for [livejournal.com profile] fbf. None of us are autograph or photo with or breaking that fourth wall between character and actor folks, but we'd decided to do it, and we had to steal our nerves, and we had our Hussy shirts on, and we could not have been more sweaty or nervous or unsettled, and yet we trooped on in, and got our photo, and swooned a little (both by just how good BB smelled) and this declaration of us as "a fine group of hussies."

I think my other favorite memory, though, is more complicated. The first Farscape convention I attended was a wonderful, and terrifying experience. Wonderful because I met so many online friends, and terrible because I was riddled with nerves over being fannish in public, and because of the crowds, and so many small things that truthfully attending the cons helped me over come (although it's never helped with my squick-by-proxy thing at fans, or people, asking absurd and thoughtless questions or acting like there's not a difference between media and reality. Fandom can be life, but the source material is still media. Worthy of discussion, but not a blank slate to bring poor socialization to a public forum and inflict it on people). One of the people I met at that first con was Emily, via [livejournal.com profile] cofax7 and I had no idea how that meeting would influence my life. She lived in LA, but we didn't really have friends in common (yet) in a day to day, non-fannish way. But it was Em and she was always eager to welcome new people into her life - a skill that challenged me.

A month later, I'd posted about wanting to see Jude and Tom McRae (at the height of his influence on fandom) and she asked to go with me. I was already going with a non-fannish friend, but I said sure, and then sweated all night about the meetings of those two worlds. How on earth would I explain Em? I even thought, briefly, about ignoring her phone call about where to meet, but ultimately, I steeled my nerves and called her back. But it was Em - cool in any situation, unflappable, good-natured, and embracing of everyone. Unashamed of fandom, unashamed of her love of anything, and she just...stopped me in my tracks. I was so grateful for her, for those qualities of hers, the way she made everything feel both utterly normal and like an acid trip.

And the next year, at the next con, she was someone who was part of my orbit, who I had slowly and carefully come to love and admire, and be flummoxed by and worried for, but adored. She was this shining star in a crowd, and she sat down at dinner (30 minutes late) and ate half of what I'd ordered, and was just...more herself than anyone I've ever known. It made me want to start folding in and out, bringing in the parts of me that it had seemed so important to hide, and to re-examine judgements and secrets and fears.
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