What does one do on a random Friday night during Dragon*Con when you have an itching for a true people watching experience? Pretend you’re an urban anthropologist and partake in Star Wars Light Speed Dating, of course! Why sit at a hotel bar when you can interact with people who may not have all of their people skills?? Count me in! Ok, ok…I have to admit, this was not my idea. Walking Girl was set that it would be an EXPERIENCE (all caps) while I was more concerned about some of the people we were going to meet and their personal hygiene. It turns out I was both pleasantly surprised and also completely right. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
So as we trekked over to the Marriott Marquis (yes, I said Trekked – see what I did there?) we maneuvered through the crowd and saw a long line of guys along a wall. Surely this wasn’t the line for speed dating? Where are all the girls? After about 300 feet, we finally got past the people posing with R2D2 and mouse droids to see that there was, in fact, a girls line. About 1/3 of the length of the guys line. :::gulp::: We got into line behind 3 adorable collegiates who weren’t even old enough to drink. Walking Girl and I are skilled in the art of conversation with random strangers so it wasn’t long before we were like, BFFs, with our new girlfriends who went to an all girls college and BY GOD they were going to meet some mens while they were at Dragon*Con. One of them had made her own True Blood tank top with sharpie pens the night before. "We got high on the fumes!" Bless! I wanted to turn around and yell, "JAIL BAIT!" So after a lot of yelling about numbers and letting the girls go first (and telling some of the guys to get back in LINE – stop checking out the girls!) we were finally granted entrance to the room. It was like stepping into a 2nd grade classroom. Bless their geeky hearts, they had decorated each wall as a different planet from Star Wars! Tatooine, Hoth, Dagobah, some other stuff I didn’t know, and the Cloud City where I’m not geeky enough to know what planet it was on? Ok, yes, geeky enough to know most of the other planets yes… We were seated in a row of chairs that formed a circle, the ladies on the inner row facing outward. The ladies were to remain seated while the gentlemen rotated. Walking Girl and I were somewhere between Dagobah and the Cloud City, next to the college girls on one side and some VERY enthusiastic late 30-somethings on our other side. They were loudly asking all the ladies around them how old they were. When they asked me I asked them how old I looked and they said 28 without batting an eyelash. WHOOT. I could have left right then and there. That made my night! Let the games begin!
The guys and gals were each given numbers as they entered and you were supposed to write down the number of the girl or guy that you liked and leave your list at the door when you left. If you had a match, you’d get that persons email address sent to you. After looking around, I realized that the odds of that happening for me were slim to none. However it was a nice self confidence boost to realize that even being in my early 30′s, I still felt that we were easily in the top % of ladies in that room. There was, amazingly, not a single girl dressed as any version of Princess Leia, but there was an AWESOME Codex from the online web series, "The Guild". She was amazing! I’d rank her as #1, hands down. There were probably 80+ people of each sex, and I’m fairly certain guys were being turned away after we ran out of seats (and they added extras). We had one minute to speak to each person and it was REALLY LOUD, so half the time we were yelling. Here are some of my conversations:
- Some dude: "So, why are you at Dragon*Con?" Sassy: "I’m a geek. I love most of the movies, television, and author panels. The costumes are amazing. The one thing I don’t get is the gaming. Not into that. What about you?" "Gaming." "What else?" "Nothing." "Oh."
- Some creepier dude: "Wow, you’re from Atlanta too? Do you like cats?" :::I can literally see this guy mentally planning out our future lives together, he was practically telegraphing it at me::: "Um, I like cats but I have a dog." "A dog? Hmm, that could be a problem. I have THREE cats. I’d have more but I live in an apartment and they won’t let me have more." "Yes, my dog hates cats."
- :::dude sits there staring at me::: Sassy: "Ok, I’ll go first? Hi, I’m so and so, and you are??" "You’re PRETTY!" "Uh, ok. Thanks? Your name?"
- "I love your dress." "Thank you." "Its really pretty." "Um, thanks." "I especially like your necklace." :::staring at my boobs the entire time, if you’d asked him what color my eyes were he wouldn’t have been able to tell you:::
- Sassy: "Wow, you’re brave to be wearing a Star Trek costume to Star Wars speed dating!" Scary dude: "I just got out of the military, no one here will mess with me." :::seriously a bit of a scary look flashes in his eye for a second:::
- :::dude grabs his chair which is only a few feet from mine and pulls it forward till our knees are touching and then LEANS in::: "You’re GORGEOUS." "Well, thank you! You just made my night." "Where have you been all my life?" "Um, here?" "Do your feet hurt, because you’ve been running through my mind the entire time I’ve been in this room." Ok, seriously, someone needed to tell this guy that you use only ONE pick up line and then you have to actually carry on a serious conversation.
- Guy: "Where are you from?" "Here." "Really? I’m from Kennesaw, do you know where that is?" I stare back at him and reply sarcastically, "No, tell me about it." He did. And there were at least 10 guys from Kennesaw there but only one who didn’t have the wherewithal to realize that a local would know where it was. Apparently Kennesaw is a mecca for geeks. Who knew??? This whole time I just thought it was the redneck version of Alpharetta!
- Socially challenged individual who basically made me talk the whole time while he sat there and twitched. Seriously.
- "Hi, my name is, " :::interrupted by SHRIEKING of the woman next to me who jumps up and hugs the guy she’s talking to for no reason::: "She’s really excited." :::cringe as she shrieks again::: "I’m sorry, what did you say?" Trust me when I say that it wasn’t just the guys in that room that were highly entertaining. Like, whoah girls.
- Dude # I’ve lost count by now, "Why are you all dressed up?" "I’m not, I’m wearing a sun dress. I normally dress like this when I go out during the summer." "Oh, well its really fancy." "Thanks!" "No, I mean you’re, like, the dressiest person in the room." "Except for the people in costume, right?" "Well, yeah. Them." (That’s me, y’all! FANCY.)
- "Well, I just graduated from LSU." (Sassy’s inner monologue: "Finally, a fellow football fan!") "What did you study?" "Astrophysics." "Wow! I’m impressed. So are you going to the game tomorrow night?" "What game?" :::pause for stunned amazement::: "Um, the Chick-Fil-A College Football Kickoff Classic. LSU plays North Carolina a few blocks from here. Its a HUGE game. There are fans everywhere…" "Oh, I never knew it was game day unless someone in my dorm handed me a beer." And at this point, I realized that I was talking to the Southern version of Sheldon from "Big Bang Theory."
- Hot guy in a Scarecrow outfit with freaky blue contact lenses, "Wow, you’re beautiful." (for the first time that night, I’m truly flattered because this guy was HOT.) "First time at the Con?" "No, its my 2nd year." And just when the conversation was getting interesting, the damn whistle blew. Stupid nerf herders in charge! Boo!
- Smelly dude.
- Dude with bad breath.
- Mr. Close Talker
Etc. Etc. Etc. This went on for over an hour since there were far more than 60 people in the room and after a while everyone started to blur together. By the end I had about 6 numbers written down on my piece of paper. Yes, that was it. Sadly, I’m not sure any of those guys were from Atlanta but it didn’t matter because I didn’t get an email saying that I’d matched with anyone. I wasn’t surprised because it was pretty obvious who was going to write down my number and 99% of the time they were NOT guys I’d be interested in, um, ever. Walking Girl did report that the college girls next to her were blatantly being asked for their numbers while they were sitting there and that some of the things being said to them about, ahem, "meeting up later" were so distracting she sometimes lost track of her 1 minute conversations. Damn, why did I have to be next to SHRIEKING WOMAN?? As for matches, both Walking Girl and I had our hopes up about the Scarecrow dude. She ended up getting matched with one guy (she wrote down a few more numbers than I did so her odds were higher) but they didn’t send her the match email till overnight Saturday night so she didn’t get a chance to email him till later in the day on Sunday. As far as I know, they still haven’t connected so his identity is still safe. I don’t know if she would have even gotten in touch with the guy except I kept asking if she’d contacted her true love and asked him to meet for drinks yet. I know, I’m such a pushy beotch. Its why you love me.
Alas, no true love for me. Gator Mom was VERY disappointed that I didn’t match with a single guy. Me? Not surprised. Yet I still have faith. Heck, next year I may even do it again! You never know when your Han Solo is waiting just around the corner! Its been two years of Dragon*Con shenanigans and I’ve loved every minute of it. So if any of you college football loving, socially adjusted, geeky guys are out there…holler at a girl next year, will ya?
**As a side note, both Walking Girl and I were told by some guy with questionable hygiene (in hindsight, this may have been a sign) that we HAD to attend the BEST panel of the Con the next day, "Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow – 7th Annual Recruiting Session and Bake Sale". I shit you not. We decided why not? Sounds like fun! It was, hands down, the WORST panel we attended. 4 scientists on a panel all talking about their work and how it could save the world, or why it could BUT the stupid bureaucrats they worked for should die many times, blah blah. At certain points they did talk about technology that was coming that could take over the world, but then there would be a tangent or some monologue by one of the panelists and we were off on a tangent again. The only guy who seemed happy worked for NASA. The guy that was a professor at Vanderbilt talked about setting things on fire for fun (which could be cool) and then went on rants about "the man" at his school (highly alarming, faculty of Vandy, consider yourselves warned!) while he played with his fake rat. The guy from Harvard (and he only mentioned it in EVERY OTHER SENTENCE, "At HARVARD where I’m in neuroscience, " "At HARVARD, where I study brains," "At HARVARD you can donate your brain to science!") was about as pretentious as you can get when you’re also socially unaware that you’re overcompensating for being nervous. Bless his little heart…then again, he was a neuroscientist so shouldn’t he have been self aware of said behavior?? Now being a professional organizer of all things geek, this entire panel made me itch. They were all OVER the place, and on top of the random topics there was a group in the back making ice cream so people kept getting up and going to get some. Chaos! You can guarantee that scientists as a collective will never take over the world.
Till next year!! May the force be with you!!
***I apologize if this blog rambled a bit. I’ve been home sick for 2 days and someone told me I could have what they call *Con Crud, whatever the hell that is. I just want it to go away. I’m tired of feeling like poo!
****WDE! Did y’all see Cam Newton last night? Even on cold meds he looked like a badass! And our O-line was fierce! This is new! More football bloggery to come!