The kids and had the absolutely amazing opportunity last weekend to attend St. Louis Comic Con.
I had been looking forward to this for a long time and it was pretty much as awesomely amazing as I’d anticipated. In addition to the photo shoots we got to sit in on a panel with local Doctor Who “experts” whom had access to behind the scenes information and spoilers.
And we sat in on huge-fill-a-theater panels with some big name stars who discussed upcoming projects, behind the scene stories from past projects and answered audience questions.
Of course there were lots of people cosplaying, including Kya.
In the days leading up to to this event (and even in the car on the way there) Kya and I kept bringing up that the people there would be “our people”. People who are just as
obsessed with interested in Doctor Who, Sherlock, Firefly, etc. as we are. Sean Astin even called us (as in the crowd, not us specifically, lol) his people in the panel we sat in on with him. And it was true. Lots of people commented (to us or just to their friends as we passed) on Kya’s cosplay or Jace and my t-shirts. And we, of course, commented on the t-shirts and cosplay of others. A few times we even had short conversations with people about items we were looking at on the exhibit floor or actors we were waiting to see. It was an atmosphere where we could definitely be completely open about how excited we get about the things we love. But, when I’m being perfectly honest, I’m not sure I’d say I actually felt the “my people” connection I was anticipating. A lot of that has to do with how introverted we all are around crowds. None of us are the outgoing, strike-up-a-friendship with strangers type. And I suck at small talk. I’m okay with that though and I do enjoy observing the people around me while remaining safely in my bubble.
So, instead of connecting with “my people” I did a lot of observing. And what I found (or I guess reinforced really as this isn’t exactly new information) is that sharing a common interest with someone doesn’t necessarily make them “my people”. The people who attended this convention where a diverse group, as diverse as any sampling of the general population. Some people were friendly and outgoing, others were quiet and introverted. Some people were laid back and others seemed stressed by all the people. Some people were happy to interact, others seemed to want to be left alone. We encountered people who amused us as well as some who annoyed us. The only thing that brought us together was the fact that we all happened to like similar things, though even this wasn’t exactly true because while some people where there for their favorite sci-fi actors, others came because they love comics, cosplay, or video games (or any combination of these).
With all of these observations floating around in my head I had a very brief existential moment late in the evening when we were tired and had a few minutes of downtime before our next scheduled activity. As I looked around the room full of people who love, love, LOVE the same things that I love, love, LOVE I thought, “These aren’t really my people. ” And then I momentarily wondered where my people are.
Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of friends and family that I care a lot about, have fun with, and feel connected to. But I don’t ever feel like I completely fit in with any particular group. My interests, values, and beliefs are too varied (as many of you who read this blog regularly have probably noticed- I’m a bit all over the map) and I make references that people just don’t get, no matter who I’m with because of these varied, sometimes seemingly incompatible, interests. I had a very alone-in-the-crowd moment but then I realized, I do, at least for now, have a group who understands all of my references. A group who will go to Comic Con and fangirl/fanboy out over Matt Smith with me one day and watch the Country Music Awards with me the next because we want to see The Band Perry perform. A group who will spend hours analyzing the nuances of Sherlock and Doctor Who but also enjoy a completely mindless Friends marathon. A group where we can all just unabashedly be ourselves.
Yep, I don’t just love my kids I love hanging out with them. Don’t worry, I’m not a sad, clingy, smothering mom; I have other friends and so do they. But we also genuinely like each other and pretty much like most of the same stuff. They are my people. And that’s more than enough.
Disclaimer: It was VERY hectic and crowded at times. The best I could manage with photos, aside from those professional photo ops, was quick snapshots with my phone. Sorry for the blurry, pixelated pics!