This past weekend hosted one of the few semi-larger sci-fi conventions (Super MegaFest) in New England. I did not go. I can’t explain it…I’m feeling a little guilty, little relieved…not sure. I’ve gone to this convention almost every year and this year I just didn’t feel like it.
For instance, last year they had Sean Astin, Sir Patrick Stewart, and both Jeremy Bulloch and Daniel Logan. That’s an awesome lineup. I was so excited to meet Samwise Gamgee who is pretty much my favorite character in the Lord of the Rings movies (talk about loyalty in friendship; I admire it so much) and though I had seen Jeremy and Daniel before, it had been about 8 years.
Sean Astin was amazing and I even got a photo with him, which made my day. His panel was actually with Sala Baker who did a lot of stunts in the lotr trilogy and was the man behind the mask of Sauron. Hearing about all this behind-the-scenes jokes, moments, etc really made that panel the best one I had been to in a long time.
So this year had a headliner of Stan Lee, with David Prowse as the Star Wars guy. It was tempting, don’t get me wrong. But David Prowse is not enough of a Star Wars character to win me over and he had tons of drama with Lucas which is just not needed. I can’t stand drama in the Star Wars world, though I do very much enjoy it on the Kardashians. There’s a place for everything. Stan Lee is famous and renown, but comics are not necessarily my thing…I’ve enjoyed them, but I don’t place Stan Lee on a pedestal like others do. To top it all off, I am exhausted down to my bones. This whole buying a house thing has me completely stressed out. Why am I writing about this?
Why am I writing about a convention I didn’t even go to? I feel guilty, that’s why! I can’t believe I feel guilty, but I feel as if there’s something inside of me that needs to prove my geek cred. It’s not like this is the Celebration or San Diego Comic Con or DragonCon, which are not in my price range right now, but this was a convention right down the road from me.
Being tired doesn’t seem like a good excuse to not go to a convention, right? C’mon…lots of people are tired but they still go to conventions. I’m sure I would have enjoyed it, but instead I found myself making up excuse after excuse. “Oh, David Prowse doesn’t interest me enough,” or “There’s not enough people I’m interested in this year,” or “I have housing matters to attend to,” (semi-truth, but I still could have gone) or “I have a dinner I’m going to that I need to cook for” (also a semi-truth, but the cooking only took an hour).
I can’t just say “No, I don’t want to go this year.” Honestly, no one cares if I go or not, I know that. But I feel the need to explain myself and validate my reasons. I have this drive to prove myself and say, “Seriously. I’m a geek. Look – I go to conventions.” Why do I not feel confident in myself?
A lot of it is driven by twitter and facebook. I’m always faced with people I follow on twitter live tweeting about conventions or talking about the NEXT convention they’re going to (like they haven’t already attended 5 or 6 this year). Facebook is filled with geek acquaintances in the area who were all posting their status relating to SuperMegaFest, and then later, full of tagged photos of them at the convention, along with their super-fun after parties. It creates this insecurity within me and that by not going, I have declared myself not geeky enough to be part of their social clique. I’ve read so many articles about how online social media actually, in turn, can have a devastating effect of making someone feel more left out. That’s exactly what is happening to me. Though I feel generally immune to this feeling, conventions are my Achilles’ Heel.
Yet, anyone who knows me, knows how much I love Star Wars and knows how much I know about a lot of different sci-fi realms (excluding Star Trek, sorry. Not a Star Trek fan). In fact, compared to almost all my close friends, I know too much and I’m just a tad bit weird. They wouldn’t bat an eye if I said I didn’t go to SMF.
So is there a solution to this? Do I go to every sci-fi convention that I can? Do I close my twitter and facebook accounts? Or, more simply, do I only go to the conventions that actually interest me and not go for the “geek cred”? That’s the easy, yet terribly hard solution. P.S. At the dinner I went to this weekend, someone in marketing and someone in advertising were having a discussion and they brought up how blogs are “supposed” to be 600 words or less. I apologize to everyone reading my blog who has had to struggle though 600 words or more. 😉
P.P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers in the USA (sorry, Mark).