Marvelette Missives – Find Your Tribe

As a geek, I have a lot of friends who are also geeks (amazingly, not ALL my friends are geeks). Sure, we have different fandoms and levels of devotion, but the overarching geekiness is what unites us. We understand each other not just because of the fandoms, but because we have dealt with being the fringe, the unpopular, the “nerds”. And we’ve survived without giving up what we love.

Having friends who truly “get” you is something that I never really thought of until five years ago, when hubby and I attended our first Dragon*Con. We had been to cons before, but just as a single-day trip and they were smaller, in one building, and had a lot of vendors, some celebrity guests and some cosplay (don’t get me wrong, we still go to those). For those who don’t know, Dragon*Con takes over downtown Atlanta every Labor Day weekend (starting on Thursday) and spans five hotels, bringing 70,000 people to the city. (Your geek life is not complete until you’ve done D*C at least once.)

So anyway, back in 2011 we attended for the first time, not really knowing what to expect. And I can honestly say that, more so than any other event I had attended up to that point, it felt like home. Yes, it was crazy and crowds were out of hand at times and the heat was often unbearable, but these were our people, our tribe. Every person there was a fan of something, they were all immersed in geekdom and it was fan-frickin-tastic!

[Big Marvel moment: This was the year we got to see Stan Lee in person!]

We met people from all over the US and even from other parts of the world (yes, people really traveled THAT far for D*C). And even as “virgins” we were welcomed into the fold, meeting people who are still friends to this day. We have been back to D*C a couple of times over the past few years and we have also attended other multi-day cons (primarily for steampunk), feeling like we’re going home every time.

But that first time, back in 2011, we weren’t prepared for what it would be like when we got home. Sure, we were exhausted and pretty much out of it for days. But we also felt a little lost. Just when we had truly found our place, it was time to go. We had left the tribe and didn’t know what to do next. Sure, eventually the feeling faded, but it makes us look forward to the next time even more. And luckily, we have a local tribe now.

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