This past weekend, I attended Calgary Expo. I was asked to participate by Espionage Cosmetics because Bonnie Burton and I designed some nail wraps with them, and by the convention organizers to moderate the SHARKNADO panel since I love the hell out of SHARKNADO. Sadly, the panel was canceled because Tara Reid canceled attending the convention, but I still spent some time in the Espionage Cosmetics booth with Bonnie on Saturday, and then by myself on Sunday, to meet convention attendees who enjoyed our nail wraps and all the other cool stuff Espionage Cosmetics makes.
I have never attended this convention before, but Wil has and loved it so he encouraged me to go, knowing I would have a great time. He was so right. The staff and volunteers were some of the kindest, sweetest people I’ve ever met, and so were the convention guests who came by the booth to introduce themselves to me.
I have gone to conventions with Wil in the past when he is a guest of the convention. A couple of times I’ve even sat with him at his table where people have the opportunity to talk to him or get an autograph or just to shake his hand. Before actually sitting with him to see this experience firsthand, Wil would tell me stories of people he’d met who said he’d helped them because of writing about being a step-parent, or writing about seeking help for depression because he has been very vocal about his own experience with it. Some just want to express their love of his story writing, his acting work, or his board gaming shows. He is always so grateful and so humbled by hearing how much he has positively affected the lives of strangers. It’s a conversation one doesn’t often get an opportunity to hear, but conventions have made it a way for people to share these things, which is really cool.
Bonnie and I had been scheduled to be in the Espionage booth twice on Saturday, both for a two hour time period, and then I was by myself for two hours on Sunday (it was scheduled that way on Sunday because it was supposed to precede the SHARKNADO panel.)There was a steady flow of convention attendees who came by to meet us during our time there, but the topics of conversation surprised me. The surprise was in a good way, but it wasn’t what I expected.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably read my blog before so you know I’ve written about our dog, Riley, who passed away two weeks ago. I’ve also written a lot about rescue animals and what I do with the Pasadena Humane Society. I’ve written ridiculously embarrassing stories of things that happen to me, weird changes in my health that have come with aging, living with someone with depression, finding happiness by doing what I love, being married, and being a parent. Basically, I just write about what I feel, what I know, and what occasionally amuses me. What I never considered was how many people actually read what I write, and how much it has positively affected those readers in one way or another.
I won’t go into the details of personal conversations I had, but I will tell you that I laughed, I cried, and I hugged more people I’d never known before this weekend, and I loved every minute of it. It makes me so happy to know that something I’ve done helps someone I’ve never met before, and I love that we got this opportunity to talk to each other in person. I know there are so many wonderful people in the world who make an effort to be kind, and to be good to others, and who try to make a positive difference in the world. Whether it’s acknowledged on a large or small scale, or sometimes not at all, I love knowing that people are inherently good, and so many of us try to do good with our time in this world.
As much as I enjoyed meeting and seeing all of these wonderful people, I also know there can be people out there who look for opportunities to try to be hurtful and harmful to people who just want to enjoy a convention experience. I know this happened at Calgary Expo this weekend, and the staff and local authorities handled the situation immediately. It’s an unfortunate world we live in where angry and unhappy people try to find ways to take the joy out of life for someone else, but it was obvious by the thousands of people at this convention that it wasn’t going to affect their enjoyment of the weekend.
Thank you, long time internet buddies, and new buddies that came to Calgary Expo and shared some of your time with me. I hope you had a great weekend. I know I sure did.