Convention Survival Guide, Post #5 – Explaining to Your Significant Other about Cons or So You Married a Muggle

O.K., so the time has come for you to explain to your girlfriend that you were here on an away mission and Starfleet has recalled you for a debriefing and your boyfriend/girlfriend thinks this involves removing your underwear. So you’ve gone native, what the hell is wrong with you? Repeat after me, “I’m sorry, dear, but I am one of those (nerds or geeks, insert appropriate word) that goes to conventions and I absolutely have to go to this one this weekend to complete my Ducky Momo collection.”

I have dated girls who were not part of the science fiction convention scene and run into a number of problems. First and foremost in problems I encountered were so-called “friends” who were more concerned with getting into her pants than our friendship. They were lying to her about what I was doing at these conventions. While I was sitting at a table rolling dice and running role-playing game tournaments all weekend they were telling her that I was getting laid every con. The only conventions I ever got laid at were ones where I went with a girl I was seeing, and not always then. A decade or two after we broke up we were having a conversation where I pointed out to her that they weren’t even going to cons so how the hell were they supposed to know what I was doing there.

I must admit that after many years of neither dating her nor running tournaments, one of the guys who used to hang out with me all the time informed me that the main reason he hung out with me was that I would attract girls and fail to notice so he and the other guys would pick them up on the rebound and go get laid. If he had been a real friend he would have continued to do that and pointed out to me that some girl like me from time to time, say the one he had decided not to pick up.

I must admit I don’t think I have ever dated anyone who was not at least a fringe fan. My ex-wife once prevented me from going to Chattacon. Note the fact I said ex-wife.

I must say at this point that you should never, ever prevent a fan from going to one of their favorite conventions that has already been paid for or go to a convention without your significant other and rub it in their face for months afterwards.

It should go without saying, but probably can’t, that you need to be considerate of your partner’s feelings whether or not you go to a convention together and remember forcing someone who’s not interested into going to convention is not considerate once they’ve tried it before. Honestly the guiding principle is that if you’re in a relationship you should be considerate of your partner’s feelings. If you are completely self-centered and don’t care about anyone but yourself you don’t really deserve to be in a relationship, but that’s okay because you won’t be for long anyway.

If you have different interests but are both con goers, try finding conventions that cater to both of your interests if possible. Not only is it more romantic but you save money on hotel rooms and don’t have to go to a convention you don’t like. If you make your significant other go to a convention they don’t like then you better be willing to go to their convention that you don’t like as well.

Your significant other may not understand why you like conventions. If they ask you why you like conventions, if you’re like me the answer is, because that’s where I’m at home. I don’t have to talk down to people there. Honestly, I don’t understand why anybody would want to watch football or an opera but many people like these things. I am sure that you can think of something they like that you don’t and ask them, “well, why do you like .” I, on the other hand, am now having to suffer through imagining a football opera. Oh God, oh God, make it stop.

I do not recommend lying. I don’t recommend telling your significant other that you have a business conference out of town unless of course you are a movie actor, science fiction author, or dealer. Still, you might want to let them know what the business is.

If you’re dating another serious con goer the conversation goes something like this:

“Hey, there’s a convention this weekend.”

“Cool, where are we going?”

Try not to be too disappointed when, upon revealing to your significant other that you are a wizard or alien, they are not actually surprised. I remember a complete stranger walking up to me and calling me by name because he knew an ex-girlfriend of mine from when I lived in another city who had once described me to him with a description the core of which was, “he looks like a Martian trying to pass.” Most of us think we’re pretty normal-seeming and are just dead wrong. The strangest of us will try and dress and act normal, but that just makes us stick out all the more. Despite Starfleet directives that we should not let anyone know we’re here or interfere with the culture, it is honestly unavoidable.

On a final note, con going women are a rare and precious item. Do not waste this unnatural resource if you don’t want the rest of the con going guys to waste you.

Copyright © 2012 Julian Thomas Reid III

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