A week ago, when I headed to GenCon, I had no idea what surprises were in store for me, though I knew it would be different. First year going to GenCon alone. Well, I'm not counting 2008
, where my GenCon was abruptly ended when I ended up breaking my leg in spectacular fashion the first day. So this is the first full
GenCon that I did solo. It's also the first one I did totally in my manual chair.Thursday, the adventure begins!
My first seminar was on online dating, an event put on by Geek's Dream Girl
It was a small group, but I learned there that there was a need for more women for the 30 and older speed dating event, so much so she dropped the price to $12.00. So, I rearranged my schedule to go to the speed dating on Friday.
I had a wonderful time my first day, which was filled with seminars, one of which I ended up skipping to spend time going through the hall with my young friend, Tristan, who was there with her boyfriend. I ended up at several book signings and got 5 free books in the process as well as a nifty poster and a drawing made by one of WotC's artists per my request.
I ended up cutting the first day short on account of the weather, as we got a much needed storm and my next two events were in other buildings not connected to the convention center. I probably should have gone and had more adventures, but such is life. At least I had plenty of energy for Friday, which was my day to wander the main exhibit hall at my pace, as well as the speed dating event.Friday, the day of Speed Dating
This was my second time for Speed Dating. First time I did it was 2 years ago. This time it was broken into two events, one for 18 to 35 and another for 30 and up. The guys about doubled the amount of females. I was not nervous at all this time around, being as I knew what to expect. Women stay seated, men work their way around. Each person has a number, you get 5 minutes with each person, and then decide "yes" or "no", turn in the sheet and wait for the email later on who you were matched with. Only mutual Yes counts as a match.Saturday, where I seize the day!
The next morning, Saturday, I got up to an email from the event organizer with one name on it, #10, Jim
. I wasted no time shooting him an email and letting him know my schedule for the day. Now, James was a popular name among the daters; there were 2 Jims and 2 James. The only one of the four that stood out in my memory was Jim the nurse from Toledo, so I was hoping it was him as I really liked him. So I shot #10 Jim an an email with my schedule for the day, and my cell phone in the hopes we could meet up. Never got a phone call from him.
At 5:00 PM, as I I waited for my next event, the D&D Next Playtest, I felt a hand on my shoulder and I turn around, and there is Jim the nurse from Toledo! He wanted to know why I wasn't answering my text messages. Well, because I hadn't subscribed to text messaging on my Assurance Wireless phone. Turns out he and his friend ditched their next event so that they could join me.
That ended up with us heading out afterward with the three of us to find some dinner. We ended up at Panera. I had the chicken salad with the poppy seed dressing and the strawberries. I love salads that include chicken and strawberries. Jim's friend, Justin, went out to get a smoke once we ate, and Jim and I were talking, and evidently Justin got a migraine and headed back to the hotel. Jim and I ended up walking/wheeling around downtown and talking. We were really hitting it off. It was after midnight when he put me in a cab to go home and he went back to his and Justin's hotel room and we planned to meet up the next day, Sunday morning, at 9:30 AM.Sunday, the day of small miracles and angels.
So, while I planned to get up at 5:00, my phone was still on vibrate and I didn't hear the alarm. I woke up at 7:00, threw on clothes, and headed out to Madison Ave. to catch the #31 to downtown. So I got to the stop just before 7:30, and some angel had left a bus schedule kind of jammed into the edges of the glass on the bus shelter. That's when I saw that since it was Sunday, the #31 didn't even start running until 9:30 am.
I took a deep breath, looked up, and there was a Yellow Cab right in the parking lot adjacent. Someone is looking out for me! So I headed to the cab, found out he was not available, but I called the number on the side of the cab and another cab was there within minutes.
It's a minivan cab like the previous one. I assure the driver that I can transfer independently. He said, "No need, I'm able to strap you and the wheelchair in, it will take about two minutes." Sure enough, he opened the back, lowered a ramp, and folded up the back seat to reveal the wheelchair restraint system. I didn't time him, but this guy moved with such speed that it was surely two minutes or less to have me and my chair (Sexy Sadie) buckled in, and I was at the convention center in plenty of time. Thank God for small miracles!
The game we met up for was very fun. And then Jim and Justin had True Dungeon so since I only had one more die to complete my set, Jim gave me a couple generic tickets so that I could play the last game needed to get the collectible die while they did True Dungeon, and then we met up afterward and spent the rest of the convention together in the main hall as he went to get last minute souveniers for folks.
Discovered that the bus stop where the #31 stops closest to the convention center was closed do to construction, so I headed back to the convention center and figured one more cab ride wouldn't hurt me. I told the guy I was paying with a debit card. No problem he said. We got to my apartment and he discovered that he had forgotten to bring his credit card scanner with him, so he didn't charge me for the ride. "Do good for someone, it comes back to you, so don't worry about it."And the days after...
Jim said he'd call me the next day, and indeed he did. We had a nice phone conversation on Monday night, and an online chat on Tuesday. We have agreed to at the very least be friends, and see where it goes from there. I don't know where this is going, but I'm enjoying the ride, and ever so grateful for all the adventures and opportunities I have had and will continue to have.