After buying some books from Jennie, I decided to get some bits to make a prop for one of my costumes. This is a complicated story in itself.
Several years ago, while visiting kagetsume and minor_architect, we were at a store and I saw a pair of 8.5" heels in my size on sale for, I dunno, $30? Which I bought because I could almost walk in them and they made me TALL. I could see eye-to-eye with people while wearing them!
They were baby blue and matched nothing I owned and sat at the back of my closet for some years. In 2009, I saw a cheap baby blue slutty-fairy costume, and thought "I'll get that and wear it with the Ridiculous Shoes!"
In 2010, I brought the fairy costume and shoes to Contra and wore them, and walked mostly by leaning on Corwyn for support. So I decided what I needed for the costume was a magic wand. A REALLY BIG magic wand.
So I got an 8' closet pole to decorate and use as the wand. But the hotel ceilings are like 82" -- just a little too low for it. Hence, Saturday afternoon I picked up a 6' closet pole instead, and some blue ribbons and a blue star tree topper to adorn it. I went home to put it all together, and also to eat lunch and take a nap. An hour nap. My body figured I could sleep after the con too. I returned to the hotel at 5:30 and changed into my pirate outfit before Vaudville. I hung out with skyflame for a bit in the lobby, and then by Jennie's table in the dealer/ball room while I waited for Vaudeville to start.
An aside connected to Vaudeville: I don't know why it bothers me to feel old and fat, because I watch women my age and heavier than me in revealing costumes and think they look fantastic. My self-consciousness about my appearance has way less to do with how I think I look than my fears of how other people think I look. There's that 'I don't want to be the person people make fun of for wearing body/age inappropriate clothing' worry. Even though I don't really agree with the concept of 'body/age inappropriate'. I don't know.
Lisi and Lauren and Suzanne and a fourth woman whose name I am blanking on did a delightful quasi-burlesque routine -- they took off their gloves first, and then finally unwrapped Victorian-style skirts to reveal Victorian-style bloomers in vivid patterns. (One of them was two different 'Hello Kitty' patterns). Priceless. :) Jason Carter performed too, telling some terrible terrible Australian sex jokes that he'd gotten from an Australian, in an Australian accent. They were short and funny and I half-want to repeat them here, and half don't because (a) wrong and (b) the delivery is what made them. He also performed a few of his poems -- 'I already did these today, bu what the heck, most of you were asleep then'. Selina was MC with Shelley as her assistant, and their routine in between skits was one of the show highlights. Niia and her backup dancers looked gorgeous as always for their performance. ♥
After Vaudeville, I changed into my blue fairy costume, and ran into Niia and her friends headed back to the ballroom for the dance. I hobbled along to the ballroom and realized that carrying a drink while wearing the Ridiculous Shoes was a mistake, because it was one more thing I had to worry about. I actually did fall down once (but didn't spill my drink!) Sam and someone else -- the Baron perhaps -- helped me back to my feet.
I danced for maybe five minutes in the 8.5" heels with my pole to lean on, then decided I'd proved my point and took off the Ridiculous Shoes.
The music was steampunk and filk, and not very danceable, but I will dance to ANYTHING, so even though most people left after a few songs, I stayed maybe an hour dancing barefoot, using my wand/staff as a prop. Selina came out to the dance floor with a folded dollar bill to tuck in my costume, as if tipping a stripper. I am not sure if I should be flattered that I got a tip when I wasn't even a stripper, or insulted that I only got one. OK, mostly I was just amused.
By the time I left, I was tired of dancing and very overheated, so I went back to my room to cool off, and ran into Jeremy on the way. "We're about to start a dance in Kat's room next door."
So I went to Kat's Improptu Dance Room Party. Which featured Jeremy's tablet computer and Alonzo's sound equipment (from the fire show), being run by the woman who DJs for Conflation. The music was incredible. Like, I kept wanting to go wander somewhere else, get a drink or a snack or to see the people who don't like to dance, but -- 'oh I love this song I'll just stay for it'. Except that was EVERY SINGLE SONG. Jeremy commented on this too: "I shouldn't even be dancing -- I did something bad to my knee last night, and I've been favoring it so now my other leg is hurting too. But -- hey, 'Personal Jesus', I have to dance to this!" At times it was so crowded some of us danced on top of the bed. Niia danced in the corridor for a bit to cool off, as the room was overheated even with the AC running full blast. And it was cold outside!
Also, for a little while Alonzo, Jeremy, and a woman I don't know were taking turns performing with fake fire pots -- basically a length of cord with a glowing ball and cloth streamers at the end to simulate the look of fire. The streamers would sometimes tangle with each other when spinning. I am pretty sure this is not a problem they ever have with actual fire.
At one point, Kat and I and two other women were dancing and singing along to David Bowie's "Magic Dance", from the movie Labyrinth. I don't think Kat was even born when that movie came out."Why do we all know the words to this song?" "Because David Bowie. In tight leather pants." It was awesome.
Eventually, Jeremy and I tore ourselves away for a little while to get something to drink and socialize in the con suite. I kinda wanted to go to the hot tub, but Aaron had come back from there a few hours ago and said the water was opaque, and after that no one was brave enough to go with me. ("Cowards! Surely the filters will have processed ... whatever it was ... out by now.") I'd met Aaron Friday night when he was playing guitar in the con suite and plugging his book. (Four Winds - One Storm. It's self-published but not as an e-book. I wish I'd asked him why no e-book.) I talked to Aaron for a bit while I was still wearing the fairy costume. "You're a very accomplished flirt, aren't you?" he said at one point, which made me laugh.
Because of course I do flirt, all the time, at conventions and even gaming events. And mostly I am COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS to this. No one ever taught me how to flirt, per se, or how not to flirt. So I just have this set of organically-grown behaviors that resulted from positive-feedback loops with my friends and acquaintences and I was probably in my late thirties before I realized OH THIS IS FLIRTING. Even now, I am rarely consciously aware that what I am doing that is flirtatious, or how to stop doing it, or when other people are flirting with me. I often have a subconscious awareness of it: I will have the impression that people are attracted to me or not based on the way they interact with me. But unless they're very blatant, I can't usually pin down what they did or didn't do to make me think that.
In a story ladyperegrine and I were writing, one of the characters asked another how to flirt. And I thought, "Okay, this character not only flirts, but he does so consciously and intentionally. He knows how to do it. I, um, don't. But let me see how he answers." So I wrote out his answer, and it is still funny to me that if someone had asked me that question I would have said 'I don't know', and yet I could actually write a cogent answer to it when framed in the context of story. Apparently, I do know how to do it even if I'm fuzzy on identifying it happening.
I tried to explain some of this to Aaron and failed badly, even as I leaned back in my chair and crossed my ankles on the table next to him. "See, like that. I know that is flirty --" I was wearing tights and the Ridiculous Shoes and the fairy dress has a super-short skirt to start with "-- but I wasn't thinking about that when I did it. I was thinking, 'I want to put my feet up.'"
"You are making this very hard for me," Aaron said. "You've already got that low-cut top, and now your legs are right there, and I'm trying to look at your eyes and not stare but it's difficult. Also, I am drunk. And married." He pointed emphatically to his ring.
"Are you allowed to look?" I asked.
"Yes. I can look. Just not touch."
"Then you're fine." I don't mind if people stare at my body while I'm dressed up in some absurd fanciful outfit. I am aware that people have all different reasons for wanting to costume and some do not like the attention, but for me, I'm mainly doing it for the attention. It's an icebreaker, a way of interacting with people that doesn't require me to figure out how to start a conversation. If people enjoy looking at me, yay. I do not feel slighted by this. When I don't want people staring at me (which does happen sometimes) I wear less eye-catching stuff.
I changed out of the fairy outfit and into a black evening gown and went back to Kat's dance party for a bit. The DJ finally went to be around 2AM or so, so we were all just lounging on the beds in a blissful stupor of drunkeness and/or sleep deprivation. I do not drink alcohol in any quantity, as a rule: I don't care for the taste of alcohol, I don't enjoy feeling tipsy, and mostly it makes me sleepy rather than buzzed. Saturday night I was so overtired that I was even turning down the Baron's shotgun because even a little alcohol made me feel unpleasantly unsteady. At 2:30 or 3AM I finally went to bed.
I woke up at like 8AM Sunday morning, but took my time clearing out of the hotel anyway. It was raining and near-freezing when I carried out all my clothes that were on hangers to the car. Wearing sandals and a t-shirt because it had been warm and lovely on Saturday. I stuffed everything in the car and ran back to the hotel without stopping to think that 'clothes on hangers' included the only coat I'd brought. Oops.
Then I wandered around the nice warm hotel saying goodbye to everyone and collecting goodbye hugs, including from the guests of honor. I ran into Aaron, and was complaining about the weather as I was telling him I was on my way out, and he told me to wear his jacket. So I had him wait by the hotel door with my stuff while I went out to my car in his jacket and then drove back over to the door (since I was hardly going to let someone *else* walk around in the cold wet in only a t-shirt). Very sweet of him. :)
After I got home, I babbled at Lut for a bit, dinked on my computer, and crashed for a few hours. Then woke up hurting all over as my body went "HOW many hours were you dancing last night?" Oh. Yes. Ow.
Still sore today. Totally worth it, though. <3