It’s December, which brings thoughts of Santa Claus, holly berries, mistletoe, festive lights and gifts. Well, for most people, anyway. For me, December meant one thing and one thing only: BotCon.
For many years, the main announcement–of the location and the dates–for BotCon was made in December; some years it was a bit earlier, some years it was fairly late, but it was mostly in the month of December. While everyone else was busy making Christmas wish lists and planning their shopping trips, I had a different agenda.
While everyone else was thinking of hot cocoa and sledding, I was imagining warmer weather and possible tours. While everyone else was vying for the hot toy of the year, I was discussing possible exclusives with my husband and our friends. While others were thinking of skiing trips and building snow forts, I was picking through my clothing, trying to decide which outfit I would be wearing for my trip to, for each day of, and for the return trip from, the convention. While others were wrapping gifts, I had my suitcase prepped and packed.
Those announcements were the one thing that kept me going, which was a light at the end of the perverbial dark tunnel. At the time, I was working as a cashier at Walmart; the Christmas season was always brutal. The customers were always in a terrible mood and I was always stressed. There were days I didn’t want to see the building’s exterior, let alone walk inside.
It was anything but fun, let me tell you. It seemed to get worse every year.
But getting that little bit of news, of learning when “the family reunion” was taking place and where, was a welcome break. I had something to look forward to and prepare for, which made the Christmas shopping season a bit brighter. I could make it through the stress, because I had something in my near future that I loved. It wasn’t simply about the convention; it was about seeing my friends, about chatting with voice actors who gave the characters I knew and loved a voice, of seeing where my money would go in the coming year, of thanking those who had been so influential during my childhood. I would be heading to “Nerdvana” in only a matter of months and I couldn’t be happier about it.
My coworkers knew when I got the news; I would start smiling in glee and laughing, all the while pumping my fist in sheer joy. Some times, I would start jumping. One year, the announcement was made on Christmas eve; I was stuck at Walmart in terrible winter weather. As I approached the grocery entrance, my old–and now very defunct–cell phone buzzed. It was a text from Prime, telling me when and where we would be heading to BotCon.
I squealed, jumped up and down, and immediately started singing Christmas carols, which is something I never do. My coworkers thought I was crazy, until I let them in on the news. Most of them weren’t Transformers fans per se, but they had their own hobbies and they knew that going to the convention was something I dearly loved. My entire personality changed when it came to BotCon; I was happier whenever I got news concerning the convention.
That’s one thing I do miss, now that the con is over, finished: I miss not having that announcement. I miss not hearing that news during the busiest time in retail. I miss not having that,the text from Prime, that always felt so much like an early Christmas present. To me, the convention was the gift, the only gift I ever wanted.
It was like Christmas, only better; I miss it. Dear Primus, do I ever miss it. The best Christmas present I could get this year? Hearing that BotCon has made a comeback, that I’ll have a convention to plan for and attend. I’ve been good this year, so Santa, if you’re listening…