FEATURE: Au Revoir Conventions

I can’t do it any more.  I’m now too old, too sick and too grumpy to go to conventions.  At least, not in costume or walking the floor.  I’m done.  There’s no life left in this old bird and it’s time I was put out to pasture.  Recent health scares have meant that I’m having to cherry pick what I expend my energy on and alas, Cons are something that I can no longer do.  I need to focus on other things and if I’m being honest, my back just can’t cope with the crowds and the standing up all day.

I’ve been going to conventions for around 30 years now and boy have they changed.  I remember when they were underground, secretive affairs.  A few trestle tables at the back of a pub, or if you were lucky, a local village hall.  They were like secret clubs and were advertised by word of mouth.  In the days before the internet, you had to know someone who knew someone who knew about a convention, or live in the US. Now, conventions are advertised seemingly everywhere, the internet acting as loud-speaker to all nerds, calling us to assemble.  And assemble we do, in our thousands, hundreds of thousands even.  It’s utterly insane just how big conventions in the UK have got since I started out as a Con goer all those years ago.  I could only have dreamed of joining huge amounts of people to celebrate all things geeky.  Back in the day, Cons weren’t so generalised, so it’s great to see events like MCM and LFCC getting bigger and more popular. There are still countless small, specialised conventions out there and if I’m being honest, those are the ones I prefer these days.

 

I was lucky enough to be able to go to San Diego Comic Con back in 2014, something which I thought I would never get to do.  And if I thought that MCM was big, then SDCC is gargantuan.  It is a convention on a whole other level and is an experience that I will never forget.  I would eventually like to go to New York Comic Con to complete my convention bucket list, but until the US gets a new president, that’s not going to be happening any time soon sadly.

And the size of conventions is exactly where my problems lie.  They’re just so huge now that I become overwhelmed and end up spending a lot of my time outside where there is air and fewer people.  Thanks to my anxiety, I find huge crowds of people very difficult to deal with, and by the end of the weekend I am emotional and physically exhausted.  My feet and back ache, I need to sleep for an entire day and it can take me weeks to get over it.  That’s not to say that I don’t have an amazing time, because I do.  I meet up with friends that I only get to see at Cons because they live so far away, and that is something that I’m going to miss.  But for the sake of my health, I need some time out from conventions.

Having recently been diagnosed with spinal arthritis, fibromyalgia, asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), I need to work on sorting out how to get fitter and healthier before I consider doing any more big scale events.  I just don’t have the stamina at the moment, which makes me sad because as exhausting as Cons are, they’re in my blood.  Perhaps in 2018 I’ll get on the Con train again, but for now my health is more important.

I’m also going to tell you all a secret so sshh, don’t tell anyone: I’m officially an old lady.  How do I know this? Because each convention I go to, I remark to myself that everyone seems to be getting younger and younger, and that is definitely something that an old lady would say.  And I shall be brutally honest, the over zealousness of youth has started to wear thin for me by the beginning of day two of a convention.  By the end of day two, I need to go for a lie down in a dark room with a wet flannel on my forehead after all the over excited screeching that tends to go on.  Don’t get me wrong, I would NEVER begrudge someone being really excited about something, that would make me a truly miserable individual.  All I’m saying is that as I get older, my patience for large groups of excited younglings starts to run out fast.

God, I sound like such a miserable old woman!  I promise you, I’m not like this all the time.  I’m actually quite fun, right guys?

Um, guys?  Right?!

Guys…….?

*tumble weed*

 

GS Blogger: Vix

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