Guest Post!!~ Attending Conventions as a Senior

18 Dec

Barbara is back to share her thoughts on attending conventions at a certain age…

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When I was younger (much) I took my kids to Star Trek Conventions… little ones in neighboring towns and big ones in LA. The three of us were on our own a lot and cons were a cheap way of spending the day together, having fun mostly looking. Turns out both kids were incipient nerds and enjoyed themselves very much. He got into comic books and she got into fandom.

Now I am considerably older; with the attendant aches and pains and she takes me to the cons.

They’ve changed. More star oriented and with signings and photos and cosplay all day not just at the parade.

And, instead of me carting their junk in a huge over the shoulder bag, she plants me in a wheelchair.

It works well. I can usually manage the first foray into the dealers area but then I start feeling the knees and aches in the lower back and need a place to sit. Viola! I use it as both a walker and a chair. It puts me at butt height on some of the taller cosplayers and that is a revelation.

In LA at the end of October there were a number of Poison Ivy costumes that left very little to the imagination. Especially from the seat of a wheelchair. There were also a number of very well tailored Sups and Black Panthers.

Being in the chair made me feel older but I wasn’t the only one seeing the world from a set of wheels. In both LA and, more recently San Jose, there were others in chairs and the cons seemed to welcome them. That was nice but both cons need to consider widening the aisles and seating their wheel chair bound guests in the panel rooms. Some of the fans could use a little training in common courtesy…look where you’re going.

We accidentally rammed a few ankles when people walked into us. (editors note: “accidentally”)

A side effect of being in the chair is that it encourages people to take a moment to talk. I had a lovely time in LA sitting and chatting with Smallville’s “Lionel Luthor”; John Glover is a charming man with gorgeous curls (I ran my fingers through those locks!). He is very active in NYC doing all kinds of theater work and was really nice to talk to. Up to that point I had been thinking I was the oldest person there. I wasn’t.

In San Jose I took advantage of the chair and wheedled a picture and autograph out of Colton Haynes of Arrow for the men my daughter works with. He (Colton) is very interested in mental health issues and was very kind and obliging. Brandon Routh was equally sweet and interested in her work. Both young men seem really interested in their fans and in meeting them.

The bad thing about using the chair is that it makes me feel old. But then, I am older and those huge halls with their concrete floors and no place to sit… well, for me it’s an idea whose time has come. If I want to experience what she enjoys about fandom… the chair is the way for me to go.

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