Odds & Sods from the Con
(For Day Two, go here.)
(For Day Three, click here.)
(For Day Four, go here.)
Some isolated moments and observations from the NAAFA convention that I’d most likely put within their proper days, if only I could remember which days they were:
- Introducing myself to Randi (a.k.a. SoVerySoft), a longtime fixture in both NAAFA and East Coast size acceptance groups. (Here’s Derrick Fish’s devilwoman version of SVS.) We meet outside the elevator, chat briefly and then head for different floors. The rest of the night, whenever I move from one space to another, it seems like I run into Randi along the way. She notices the same thing, says somp’n about it, and I reply by declaring that “I’m ubiquitous!” The convention dynamic: once you have an interaction with a person – no matter how brief it may be – they pop out at you, even within a crowd.
- Happily watching my wife work and talk to customers as they pick through the bead bowl for their made-to-order “branklets.” She’s definitely in her element here.
- My wife telling me about the dismayed looks some of the convention attendees display when they scan our vendor’s table and ask about the fiction in the Wilson Barbers Newsletter. Near the end of the con, a young SSBBW who has bought a newsletter comes up to me and sez she found the writing “elegant,” though she doesn’t understand the disclaimer (“Despite what some hypocritically self-righteous types may say, the preceding material has been produced for entertainment purposes only.”) that appears at the bottom of the last page. I mutter something vague about how some folks out there have difficulty with fantasy.
- Me chatting with NAAFA newsletter editor Bill Weitze and telling him our history with NAAFA: how my wife and I’d once been active members and then later dropped out for a while during a period of upper level weirdness. Bill tells me that he came to the organization after all the in-house trauma, and as he briefly describes the period from his PoV, it quickly becomes clear to me that we’re talking about two different moments in the organization’s history.
- Sitting in the FA workshop, an event that at earlier cons has sometimes been listed as “for men only,” and hearing plus-sized Chicago chapter president Lisa identify herself as a fat admirer.
- Realizing for the umpteenth time that no matter how much I try to open my eyes to ‘em, I just don’t dig tattoos. Think I might’ve read Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man one too many times. . .
- Me dealing with being more than one name. Because my convention nametag is under my real-life birth name and not my writer’s nom de plume, I’ve penned an “a.k.a. Wilson” beneath the printed name. Not everybody recognizes me – or cares to recognize me – as “Wilson Barbers,” however. Near the end of the con I run into New York BBW social club legend Nancy Goddess, who I remember from a variety of 90’s pictorials. But I don’t identify myself as the writer Barbers because I honestly can’t imagine her caring. I’m just some middle-aged FA who the woman briefly chitchats with while waiting for a friend to come out of the bathroom.
- A comment about hotel rooms in general: I loath the bathroom toilet seats. They always seem to come with a flimsy cover, so when you try to sit down on ‘em to put on yer shoes, say, after spiffing up with the bathroom mirror, they make that distressing popping noise and force you to bounce back up immediately. Damn cheap-ass toilet seats . . .