GuiltCon: One Fangirl’s Habit of Ditching Her Family

I may never make it all the way across the country to participate in Comic Con, but that’s okay. Because right here in my backyard (the city of Atlanta) there is an annual four-day extravaganza known as Dragon*Con, which celebrates sci-fi, comics, gaming, books, movies, TV, fantasy, independent musicians, cosplay, robotics, steampunk… Tens of thousands of people attend each year, and I am one of them.

I’ve attended wearing my Sunnydale High t-shirt, covered in vampire bites. I’ve attended in more elaborate costumes as Luna Lovegood and purple-haired Tonks. But why should I feel guilty about this celebration of fandom? For starters, Dragon*Con takes place every Labor Day weekend, which is terrible timing for me. That is also the weekend of a major regional book festival that, as an author, I should be attending for professional reasons. But professionalism takes a back seat to hanging out with fellow Browncoats and Whovians. Also, Labor Day often coincides with my late-August wedding anniversary. I…may have left my hub with the kids on our tenth anniversary because I was busy having this picture taken.

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And speaking of my kids… They may have inherited some of mama’s geek tendencies.

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They keep asking, when will you take us to stay in a fancy downtown hotel so we can participate in all four days of Dragon*Con? Um…never. Some of the evening activities just aren’t child appropriate. Of course, as they enter their teen years, that excuse is starting to wear thin. Okay, FINE, really I’m using the four days as my annual chance to catch up with bestie and fellow Bad Girl Trish Milburn.

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July is a heavy travel month for both me and my husband for work reasons. August is not only our chance to be back together as a family, but it’s the start of school, a whirlwind of buying supplies and chauffeuring kids who are auditioning for band chairs and starting new activities. There’s always a massive call for parent volunteers this time of year. Ever told someone you can’t help with the PTA bake sale because you’re trying to build a Dalek? Dragon*Con is crowded and hot and not cheap. I have every reason in the world not to go–(have you priced school supplies lately?!)–and yet…

It’s something I do for me, completely for me. To see my similarly geek-minded friends, to revel in a few days of out-of-this-world craziness and fandoms and shipping. Will I feel guilty about going this year? Perhaps. But will it stop me from having a blast? Not on your life.

(For the record, I do try to occasionally get the kids downtown for the parade or an hour or so of autograph collecting. I’m not a total monster.)

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