Lovefool 03.29.11 | Don’t Be Someone’s Story

Fresh from C2E2, Lovefool offers up her five simple rules to help you find romance at a comic convention, or at the very least not totally screw it up.

So, as we’ve discussed, I went to a convention recently. While I was floating around, I kept a close eye on the nerd mating dances. Of course, I’ve always seen them, but this was the first time I really looked, you know? And it seems like we need a primer. Of course, I’m sure that people have seen this before but listen up, nerdlings. I am here to tell you what you’re doing wrong. This really isn’t a how-to guide, so much as a how-not-to guide.
So, without further ado, Lovefool’s Guide to Not Being That Person:
1.This is pretty much the story that inspired this idea and is something that I just cannot get out of my head. One night, in the bar, a famous nerd told me a brief and tipsy story about an audacious fangirl who walked up to him, tapped his wedding ring and then asked if he “meant it,” which he did, good man. I was shocked, nerdlings! Shocked that some brazen girl just walked up and was basically like “Hey, baby, you don’t mean that wedding ring, do you?” And I do understand that things are flexible. I’m not here to judge. But, if you must, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, always let the possibly/probably-attached person make the first move so you don’t become their Big Con Story. I understand that my moral standards aren’t the same as everyone else’s and I’m down with that. It’s a big world out there. But, when running game on someone otherwise engaged or well past engaged as indicated by their choice of jewelry, let them steer things so you don’t overstep and look silly. Which leads us to rule number two…
2.No means no. Really. It does. I can’t imagine that I have to embellish a lot on this but if someone says “no”, it still means the same thing, even if they are in a sexy anime girl costume or the most popular guy variant, He-Man. Even if they have been drinking or you’ve been drinking or whatever. Even if it’s in the bar and they’re wearing skyscraper heels. Doesn’t matter, any of that. No is no is no. That’s it. Full-stop. Done and done, already. Conventions are becoming far less tolerant of these things and the booth babe seems to be a dwindling species because, apparently, some people have problems with this one. This extends to all areas of the convention, on the floor, in the bar, in your room if you’re sharing, outside in the smoking area. If someone isn’t interested, go quietly into the night. Don’t be a jerk.
3.Speaking of sexy anime girls and strongman dudes, when one approaches a hot cosplayer, be cool. Yes, they dressed up to look awesome. Yes, they probably want their picture taken. They worked really hard on that costume and want some attention for it. But one must be careful with cosplayers of either gender—don’t touch, don’t glomp at random, keep your eyes up and, for god’s sake, don’t make rude comments to your friends within earshot. Wait until they’re a good distance away, which is, like, five feet at a con. You can wait five steps to say whatever’s on your mind.
4.The bar is a magical place at one of these shindigs. Deals of various sorts are made, old friends greet each other and new friends meet each other. The bar, sadly, can also be a danger zone, as evidenced by the example in rule 1. So I propose a solution to the problem that presents itself when you’re granted the freedom of a bar full of strangers and a credit card: the buddy system. Ask, very nicely, the most sober person in your group to keep an eye on you if you have a history of acting the fool once you get a few Logan’s Rums into your system. (For the inquisitive, a Logan’s Rum is rum, sprite, simple sugar, yum.) Frankly, I never roll solo to these things. While I know that I will never cross any lines that I’ll regret later, I always go with friends and I still assign people to certain duties. I think one person kept me from smoking and the other one kept me from general stupid behavior. Oddly enough, the sheer shame that would be involved in someone putting me in check keeps me from getting drunk enough to escape the herd and hit on nerds with cute foreign accents, even if that was a thing that I’d be likely to do.
5.This is the easiest one of all: treat others as you would like to be treated for real. You may think that you want someone to follow you around the con floor giggling with their friends and constantly talking to you while you’re looking at art, but you know what? I bet you really don’t. Don’t stalk. Don’t be a jerk. Be nice. Be polite. Don’t push, don’t invade anyone’s personal space, don’t keep trying to be BFF with someone who isn’t interested. Maybe this last one isn’t so much advice for lovers alone as for fangirls and boys in general, but I feel like it always bears repeating.
Well, that’s that, nerdlings, those are all the things I think we need to remember going into this year’s con season. Be good to each other and wondrous things will happen. Maybe not that wondrous and maybe not what you’re hoping for, but everyone will have a good time. And, really, isn’t that enough?
Speaking of having a good time, or something that’s the exact opposite, I have to warn you that Lovefool might have to go on a brief break this coming week. Your Lovefool and her household will be moving and I’m fairly sure that moving isn’t conducive to writing high quality content. (Relatedly, sorry about the tardiness of this week’s column.) Perhaps I will steal some time away and manage to write something awesome but, just in case, see you again on the 11th. Be good. | Erin Jameson

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