300px-WilWheatonSDCCJuly10I figured something out this weekend. Age isn’t about getting old. It’s more about the past getting farther away. It’s about the gap between how old you are, and how old the people around you are. If you are 16 but your friends are 12, then you are old.

This weekend, I was old.

I had volunteered to work a booth promoting a pop culture / science fiction convention I attend later in the summer. Essentially I stood around and tried to notify people at one convention to attend another one.

Conceptually, the two conventions are similar, but demographically the one I was standing at, is much younger a crowd than the one I was promoting.

I am told a generation gap is 7 years. This crowd was 30 years younger, and full of fans of Anime and other cartoon characters I’ve never heard of. It was a whole new universe.

It quickly occurred to me that Star Trek next generation went off the air before some of them were born. They knew who Will Wheaton was because of his role on The Big Bang Theory, and knew nothing of Wesley Chrusher her at all. He’ll be a guest at the Polaris convention.

When I was watching Star Trek, my folks were telling me how much better the original series was. Today, people talk of the new movie with that guy from Heroes that plays Spock.

I don’t feel old, until some kid tells me they’ve never seen star trek.

Today, on my way to lunch, my radio station was playing classic oldies, from the 90s.

Convention Observations

I sit on a bench, watching people at a fan run authors convention in Toronto.  I see people walk around aimlessly, which makes me understand, and happy to realize it’s not just me.

Doing things alone sucks, because memories don’t get stored as well as stories.  One can see and maybe even participate, but until you interact, its almost pointless.

I sit here, writing on my cell phone with a teeny keyboard.  Recording what I observe… My lonesome way to storiy-ize the con experience for me.  My sights might make me smile, my words do not.  Writing a blog entry while sitting at a convention isn’t like sharing. It isn’t like being with somebody and pointing and smiling and laughing.  Well, I should not laugh AT people at a convention.  They’re supposed to be free of ridicule at a safe place like this, but sometimes they’re just funny.  Writing about it takes my eyes away from the fun, and actually makes me feel a little sad, not happy.

I seek a base buddy. One to tag along and turn sights into stories.   Make the memory into a story, better than just the experience.

To be true to myself, I get all weird in my head at events like this when I am alone. I think my purpose in life is at least partially, to make people smile. When I am alone, I feel without purpose. I feel weird. Not just alone, but without a companion, my experiences are not turned into stories.  This post is an attempt, but a weak one.  Notice how I am talking less about the convention, than the experience of being alone at the convention.

I get tearful. My eyes almost swell up, my stomach turns, and I want to run away fast. It is discomfort at a mental and physical state. As much as i enjoy observation, and take pride in my writing, I sit here knowing that it would actually be fun to be doing this with a partner, shared.

It is 11:15 in the morning now, on a day where I am scheduled to work a booth from noon to 4pm.  There, I will smile, and share stories from a different convention.  I’ll explain with happiness to con goers why this other convention is worth coming to, without offending or bashing the event we’re at.  That moment of work, is actually the fun part of my day.  I won’t be alone, and although my companions will be strangers I don’t actually know, they’ll come to me so I won’t have to worry about how to mingle or break the ice.

So I sit for a few more minutes, awaiting my transition from social to active duty.  I am not enjoying the convention experience alone.