Home Alone: When Everyone’s at the Con… But You

Published on March 31st, 2013

Home Alone: When Everyone’s at the Con… But You

So this is the weekend of WonderCon, the smaller version of Comic-Con which is now held in Anaheim, CA every spring. (It used to be in San Francisco, but that’s a gripe for another day.) Although most of my friends are attending the convention right now, I can’t afford to go, and so I am staying at home.

Naturally, being lonely and whiny, I decided to write an article on the topic: “What To Do When All Your Friends Are Going to a Comic Convention but You Can’t Go With Them.” I know I’m not the only one who’s suffered from Con Jealousy, and I thought perhaps others might benefit from a handy checklist to help them get through the dark times.

Here was my original brainstormed list of brilliant activities:

  •  Print a life-sized cardboard cutout of yourself ahead of time and pressure your friends into taking it with them so that your likeness, at least, can appear on the con floor. If they don’t have the room in their already-packed-to-the-Aqua-gills hatchback, just give them your face on a tongue depressor to hold up in group photos.
  • Offer to look after your friends’ pets while they’re gone. They get the help, and you get the company. Bonus points for dressing up the animals in silly outfits and taking pictures to post on the Internet in lieu of your own cosplay shots.
  • Use your bitterness and rage to fuel costume-making. Start on your next cosplay and make it harder, better, faster, and stronger than those of the schmucks who are actually wasting their time WEARING costumes this weekend.
  • Help your friends out by Internetstalking for pictures of them. Repeatedly search Twitter for the hashtags of the convention’s name, and pay special attention to any tweets with pics attached. At the end of each day, head to Flickr and watch as the uploaded photos roll in. Bookmark every single one that has a friend in it to send to them later, even the horrible ones, or the ones with just a corner of their elbow.
  • Drink whiskey.
Now one of my best friends, Mia Ballistic, figured out that I was about to drown my non-con sorrows in alcohol, and she gave me a good talking-to. Sure, Mia IS going to the convention this weekend… but last year, while our third bestie Psykitten Pow and I were at WonderCon, she was the one who stayed home. So she knows the feeling of being left out; but she has a slightly different, and possibly healthier, tack than myself.Here are Mia’s Rules For Staying At Home During A Con:

  • Rule #1: Don’t check the Internet incessantly.
  • Rule #2: Plan a fun activity to look forward to, even it’s simple and free – a bath, a movie, etc.
  • Rule #3: Don’t check the Internet incessantly.

“Make it a celebration of what you get to do instead of con,” she wrote on my Facebook wall in a brilliant strategic move against my public self-pitying. “Wear comfy shoes, leisurely go place to place, eat EVERYTHING. Make this weekend You Con. Time to enjoy your own space and time.”

I like the way she thinks. So here’s a few more ideas I’ve had, based on Mia’s admittedly sensible foundation of self-care:

  • Instead of making something for cosplay, use your sewing, crafting or building skills to make something for “real life.” Alter a dress that’s never fit quite right, make a sculpture of Serenity out of resin and toothpicks, or take the time to repaint your boat. (You do have a boat, don’t you?)
  • Walk around the house barefoot. Better yet, no shirt. Better yet, no pants!
  • Prepare yourself a luxurious meal. Perhaps a slow-cooked stew, or a big fresh salad. Whatever strikes your fancy, as long as it’s not a Subway sandwich or an overpriced pretzel dog, which is what your friends are probably eating right now.
  •  Enjoy watching an awesome new TV show or movie that your friends can’t see yet because they’re too busy – in my case, I’ll be sitting down with a big bowl of Sriracha popcorn for the Game of Thrones premier!
  • Spend time with non-cosplay friends, who will probably be glad to see you resurface, now that you think of it. How long has it been?
  •  Read something that isn’t a comic. In fact, it’s probably better if you stay away from comics entirely over the weekend. A newspaper might help you get perspective. If that’s too depressing, start a new novel. You’ve got the time!
  • Remember how much money you aren’t spending. Your bank account thanks you, and says “Darling, just think – now you can more easily save up for the NEXT con!” (…As long as I’m translating for your bank account, it also says “Oh, but please remember to pay your bills on time next month, will you? Those late fees are a bummer.”)

Now you’ll have to excuse me, as I’m going to go to bed and get a full nine hours of sleep. Take that, WonderCon! It’s gonna feel so good!

Roxanna Meta