Fandom Family

Over the past four days, I had a hectically wonderful weekend in Washington D.C. attending another Supernatural convention, and for the first time I felt like a true veteran of this fandom. If you’ve read my early blog posts, you’ll know I was a late-comer to the show, but I’ve been attending conventions for three years now. My previous SPN cons with this company had all been solo excursions, but this time around was different. This time I had friends whom I had met online and from a previous convention. This time I had my own SPN Family.

Our con together started out rough and rocky. Weather and flight delays stalled my friends’ journey to the capital, and only stubborn perseverance brought them halfway across the country when everything seemed to be working against them. Several of the guest actors and actresses also ran into travel issues, sending the opening evening into a tailspin of chaotic reorganization. Despite driving rather than flying, I was not immune to issues myself; I got lost in the parking garage before managing to get checked into our hotel room. Then it took several hours for me to get my credentials.

Friday turned into relaxed chaos as half my friends were still stuck at airports trying to get to D.C. I went to the main floor of the convention to meet the one person whom I knew had made it into town only to find two of my friends! The person I had roomed with during Sci-Fi Valley Con surprised us by keeping it a secret that she was coming this weekend. And it truly was one of the best surprises I’ve gotten in a long time. The rest of the day included an amazing Meet & Greet, sitting in on a few panels, getting some autographs, and waiting on the last of our crew to arrive.

Once we got everyone settled, we joined the cue line to get into the evening’s karaoke party. Friday night karaoke is one of the highlights of any SPN con as many of the celebrities join in with the fans onstage. Song selections vary between cities, but there are also fandom favorites that never change.

Saturday morning started another day of organized chaos. We ran down to the mall attached to our hotel to grab a quick breakfast before preparing for the day. We skipped several panels to get photo opportunities with several of the guest actors and actresses. We returned to the mall to get supplies for our private Saturday night party. We sat in on a few of the later panels and grabbed the autographs on offer that evening. Then we ordered pizza, met with some more friends while we awaited its arrival, and finally headed back to our room to play cards and celebrate being together again.

It was during our night of revelry that something of a revelation occurred to me. I was sitting there with four people who not only lived in different cities than me but also different states, and we had all decided to meet up together. SPN D.C. Con was not so much about this TV series we all love as much as it was about us. I’ve met many people while attending these conventions, but these are the people I stay in touch with online and choose to room with at these meet-ups. We accept each other as we are, flaws and issues and everything else. We count down the weeks and days until we’ll see each other again. We support each other even when we can’t be there in person to see each other through the difficult times. And we never would have found each other if we had not all loved the same characters and held interest in the same actors from the show.

I have had many friends over the years who have come in and gone out of my life. But this is the first time I’ve had friends who have deliberately chosen to be a part of my life rather than be here only because of circumstance. My past friends drifted away from me as distance separated us. But this group of fandom friends doesn’t care about distance. We are willing to travel, to take time away from family, jobs, and responsibilities, to meet up and celebrate our shared humor, values, and loves.

So thanks Minx, Aprille, McKenzie, and Logan for becoming the friends I’ve been missing from my life in these more recent years. (There are a few others who belong in this group, but these are the four who made it to D.C.) And thanks to David Haydn-Jones, Adam Fergus, and Mark Pellegrino for being the locus that drew us together in this wonderful, crazy, expansive SPN Family.

Hezzie

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