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The Care And Feeding Of Ferretts - The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal
August 12th, 2011
09:17 am

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The Care And Feeding Of Ferretts

I’ll be attending WorldCon in Reno next week, and – as with every convention I attend solo – I’m terrified.

See, if my wife is there, she makes me look good by making the introductions, shoving me into crowds, and otherwise serving as the social lubricant in my sticky New England gears.  But if I’m alone, I seize up.

I have a real issue with bothering people I don’t know that well – “that well” as defined by “would be considered damn near best friends under any circumstances” – and I’m convinced they never remember me, so even at a convention where I “know” a lot of people I often wind up sitting in the corner, waiting to be recognized.  It usually doesn’t end well.

Once invited into the circle, I’m friendly and gregarious, which is in some ways more of a problem; since they’ve seen me merrily chatting away with people earlier in the day, they assume my isolation must be me, purposely wanting some down time.  No, what’s happened is that I’ve become separated from the people I knew, and am alone again, stalking a social experience.  So I sit in the corner making puppydog eyes at everyone who walks by, and then there I am, feeling like the biggest loser in the world.

This happens at every convention.  Every damn one.  Even the really good cons have these moments of “Lord, you are a sad and asocial little bugger, aren’t you?”

So.  If you’re attending Reno WorldCon, let me know now!  I’d love to see you.  We’ll exchange cell phone numbers, text a little, hopefully hook up for a meal.  And if you should see me at WorldCon and I’m sitting alone, feel free to sit down and talk to me – remind me of your name, I’m great with faces but often get lost between people’s three or four online identities – and I will be cheerful.

I love people.  I’m just not convinced they love me.

 

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/138509.html. You can comment here, or comment there; makes no never-mind by me.

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(24 shouts of denial | Tell me I'm full of it)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:rollick
Date:August 12th, 2011 01:28 pm (UTC)
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Cass and I will be there, and I'd love to hang out. Conventions tend to overwhelm me a bit. I'm a gregarious introvert — I love people and am happiest in a small group of energetic talkers, but get a bit crushed under the noise and energy of a con. And this will be a huge one, with bazillions of programming tracks and demands on our time, and I fully expect to periodically go tharn with not knowing where to go or what to do next, and wanting to just sit down and talk to someone and focus on something as simple as conversation. So I could use the social help myself.
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From:theferrett
Date:August 12th, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
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Excellent. Do you have my cell phone number? We'll do a texty-thing, assuming you do texty-things.

And I don't think I've met Cass, have I? That may be a happy first.
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From:rollick
Date:August 12th, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC)
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I do not have your number; I might have once, but that was several phones ago. And no, I don't think you've met him; I think I've only met you once myself, and that was with other people. I do certainly text, and it's a really useful tool for coordinating around cons. How do we get in touch from here?
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From:strega42
Date:August 12th, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)
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I'm very much the same way. Anyone who's going to DragonCon can find me on the cigar terrace of the Hyatt next to the short fat bushy-bearded guy with the pipe.

I usually just park there for the duration, and pretty much everyone comes to me, at some point over the con. Once I started doing that (and there's an excellent view there, as well, to watch all the costumes roam past!) I found I was enjoying the con a hell of a lot more than when I had a checklist of "things I had to see" or "places I had to go" and I was a walking nervous wreck of overload.

And I still get to see most of my favorite people that way, at some point.
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From:radiumhead
Date:August 12th, 2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
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Thats exactly how i am. If i have a bunch of people i know around (or even one) im fine. If im alone i freak out.
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From:jcbemis
Date:August 12th, 2011 01:56 pm (UTC)
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I'll be there. I have no texting, but if I see you, I'll def say hi (I'll probably be on a rental scooter.)
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From:aiela
Date:August 12th, 2011 01:58 pm (UTC)
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Wish I could be there. And this post would be the perfect place for that "Meet a Ferret" picture we took a few years ago. ;)
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From:daemonnoire
Date:August 12th, 2011 03:23 pm (UTC)
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I'm not going, but most of my fellow vendor friends are. It makes me a sad. Have fun! Take pictures! Stop by the Instant Attitudes booth and tell them Squirrel says "Hi!"

(You don't have to do that last part, but it would totally tickle me if you did.)
From:simulated_knave
Date:August 12th, 2011 03:47 pm (UTC)
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This is basically how I work. With less gregariousness overall, perhaps.
[User Picture]
From:kehrli
Date:August 12th, 2011 05:07 pm (UTC)
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You know I'm going to be there, right?
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From:theferrett
Date:August 14th, 2011 11:26 pm (UTC)
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I do, but I'm irrationally convinced that when we're not roomies, you'll be embarrassed by me and won't want to see me and will avoid me in the hallways.

YES I KNOW.
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From:taerin
Date:August 12th, 2011 05:59 pm (UTC)
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Are you planning to go to other WorldCons? I won't be at Reno, but I will be in San Antonio in 2013.

I'm just as bad as you are, but if I see you, I'll know it's ok to say hi. :-)
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From:gfish
Date:August 12th, 2011 06:08 pm (UTC)
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Of all the years I should have gone, it's this year. But I just couldn't bring myself to skip Burning Man, and I don't have the vacation time for both.
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From:triskelmoon
Date:August 12th, 2011 10:34 pm (UTC)
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No, what’s happened is that I’ve become separated from the people I knew, and am alone again, stalking a social experience. So I sit in the corner making puppydog eyes at everyone who walks by, and then there I am, feeling like the biggest loser in the world.

This very literally happens to me EVERY social event outside my normal circle. Evar.
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From:delosd
Date:August 12th, 2011 11:07 pm (UTC)
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I don't suppose sitting in a comfy chair in a public area with a little sign that says "Visitors Welcome!" would help? ;)
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From:theferrett
Date:August 14th, 2011 11:26 pm (UTC)
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Much like the "FREE HUGS" option, at my age it's a little creepy.
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From:mair_aw
Date:August 13th, 2011 12:09 am (UTC)
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take some knitting, in my experience if you are knitting everyone in the world thinks they have an excuse to come up to you and ask questions.
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From:p_m_cryan
Date:August 14th, 2011 12:02 pm (UTC)
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I concur. Happens to me in many a venue.
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From:lady_kathana
Date:August 13th, 2011 02:09 am (UTC)
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We haven't met, but I've followed you for years. In fact, you are one of the few reasons I still read LJ every day. My husband and I will be at Renovation. If I see you, I will definitely say hi. I'm on a couple panels under the name Jennifer Liang if you'd like to counter stalk me.
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From:donsimpson
Date:August 13th, 2011 08:56 am (UTC)
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I plan to be there, and I love your blog, but I have no cell phone and will likely be running around trying to find old friends I haven't seen in years. But if I see you I'll say "hi" at least, and if you see me, please introduce yourself, I would consider that a favor.
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From:theferrett
Date:August 14th, 2011 11:27 pm (UTC)
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And should you sniff my nametag, also say hello!
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From:donsimpson
Date:August 15th, 2011 09:29 am (UTC)
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Good point. Maybe I can find my old nametag from Bill Rotsler, who believed that people's nametags should be readable from several yards away. If not, I can make my own.... :)
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From:shipofools999
Date:August 13th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
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Damn, Reno is a relatively local Worldcon for me but I am not going due to lack of money. I have a very similar issue. So much so that my therapist suggested that I set up a buddy for going to large social events. Their role is to help me when I feel like I am going under because at those times I am no longer socially adapt. Most of my friends would have a hard time believing it because I am such a comfortable social creature around them.

Funny thing is that if I am being a back up for others who are more introverted than I, I am on fire. I have no problem introducing and smoothing the way with strangers on behalf of someone else. This is how I handle the huge dealers rooms at places like Comic Con and industry shows. I would love to introduce someone semi-famous like you around to people I know and people I don't know. I love holding court and being the center of attention but at times when I am doing it for someone else, I get a great kick out of getting the spotlight on them.

Good luck finding a buddy to be that first break in the ice. You might find someone you meet early in the con to do it for the rest of the con (if you don't end up in the zone by then). I would love to hook you up with someone I know is going but most of the ones I know are either more introverted or are blazes of social fire themselves. I can suggest looking for the Fanzine after dark people.
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From:p_m_cryan
Date:August 14th, 2011 12:04 pm (UTC)
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I'm still kicking myself for letting you down at Arisia 2007.

Have a good time at Reno, despite those inner voices.
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