Many of you often mention in your e-mails that while you'd like to go to a convention some time, you just don't have any geek friends to go with. I can totally sympathize; John and I can count our local geek friends on one hand, and I'm not sure either of us would be brave enough to go to a con alone.
But then I got this e-mail from Catherine, and no lie: I was so inspired I actually got a little weepy. Fortunately she's given me permission to share it with the rest of you, so without further ado, here 'tis:
Hi Jen (and John),
I just wanted to write to let you know how awesome I think your blogs are and how you encourage everyone to let their geek flags fly.
Like so many nerds, I am quite shy and hate large crowds. I also don't have any friends that share my love for all things sci-fi, so I never thought I would attend a con. Then I saw all your cool posts and pics about all the ones that you attend but still wasn't sure if I was brave enough to go alone.
I finally decided to take the plunge when I heard about the Calgary Comic Con and the fact that the entire cast of Star Trek:TNG would be there!
I had the most amazing time and met so many really great people who love all the same kind of stuff I do! Plus I got to meet Sir Patrick Stewart and listen to him speak in that AMAZING voice of his, as well as hug Wil Wheaton ( girly sigh! ).
(I just had to include a couple of photos cause I have no one else to show them off too.)
So thanks for pushing me to try something new, now I want to go to as many Cons as I possibly can. Maybe someday I'll meet you at one.
SHE HUGGED WIL WHEATON, you guys. (Sooooo jealous.)
And you know what's even more awesome than the fact that Catherine went to her very first convention by herself?
The fact that she went IN COSTUME:
Oh yeah, she just crossed the Star streams - and I love it.
Now THAT is a magical moment. (Sorry, Disney.)
You know, having been to my fair share of cons I know just how friendly the people are - heck, at Dragon*Con if you don't make a new friend in every line it's because you're actively trying NOT to - and yet I still have this lingering fear of ever venturing out by myself. Seeing Catherine overcome that fear, though, and how happy she is that she did, makes me want to jump out of my comfort zone and try to get out there more. The fact is, cons are where "our people" are - so if ever there was a place to make new friends, it's at a con!
Also, if you're a bit shy like Catherine and me, then I really can't recommend going in costume enough. I know it seems scary, but costumes are instant conversations starters. Not to mention they'll attract fans of the same flavor, so you'll already have something in common to talk about!
If a costume feels too ambitious, then at least go with a geeky t-shirt, bag, or accessory - the more obscure, the better. I've had people cross a crowded room just to talk to me about my t-shirt at conventions before - and I've done the same for an especially nice ray gun or piece of jewelry. It's all about breaking the ice, so don your finest geekery, and get out there!
Thanks again to Catherine, my newest hero, and here's hoping her story helps inspire some of you out there, too!
So tell me, peeps, have you ever been to a con by yourself? How was it? Any tips for newbies?