Among all of the RT recaps out there, I thought I'd put voice to the dark side of the romance convention.
Be warned: this gets real!
- Packing! Between
professional looks for the presentations, business casual for panels,
workout clothes (that I used once), and costumes and formals for the
evening events, I have to pick out no less than fourteen complete
outfits, including shoes and accessories...then get it all into my
suitcase(s). Lots of sweat and heartbreaking shoe decisions involved. My
red Fidji's still aren't speaking to me.
Oh, and I also brought a dress and a corset along for TA.
- Getting To Your Room: This
year we were in Narnia. Seriously. We hauled our incredibly heavy bags
around the fourth floor for about 20 minutes before we found we needed
to pass through fire doors to a staircase, then through another door to
the random back hallway with our room. The upside was that if the zombie
apocalypse happened while in Dallas, they wouldn't have been able to
find us. Last year, we had crazy elevators without floor buttons--you
had to punch it in before you got on and trust the machine...no changing
Yay! We finally found it!
- Trying to keep your swag and books straight:
It seems like every time you leave your room people are giving you
stuff. Then you need to either haul it around or dodge the zombies on
the way to Narnia with it and put it in piles. Eventually the piles
blend together with stuff you brought, usually on top of the one thing
you have only a few minutes between events to find. Multiply times ten
for every roommate you have.
Chris Rice practically forced his books on us.
- Missing people: And I
don't mean missing your kids or partner or barista or pets. I mean, not
seeing your absolute favorite author/blogger/model/editor you didn't
realize was at RT until you're surfing social media at the airport going
home and see that they were hanging around all the same places you were
Who knew when I used to read her books as a teen that I'd ever take a selfie with Mary Balogh? Not that I knew what a selfie was back then. Or a cell phone for that matter.
- Choosing between conflicting events:
Murphy's Law comes into effect here. That's why the developers of the
RT mobile app gave each other secret, evil high fives when they added
the function that says, "This amazing panel conflicts with another
equally amazing event. Are you sure you want to schedule? Maybe you
should just go cry in the corner."
At least the evening events like the Wild West Steampunk night didn't have conflicts.
- Keeping your stomach happy:
You either have zero time to eat or you fill up on a delicious meal
that then expands in your stomach like Gorilla Glue, causing you to rub
it, cursing silently as you field questions from nosy strangers in the
elevator about when you're due.
Yes, I had the tempura green beans at Five Sixty, the Wolfgang Puck restaurant in the "big ball", four times. Don't judge me. They were that good.
- Which books? All the books!
Every year I wince as I try to lift my bags, hoping I don't have to do
the airport luggage walk of shame for being overweight. I practice at
home on the scale so I know about how much upper forties feels like. And
I say to myself as I kneel in front of the airline check-in counter to
shove a pair of shoes, three books and that weirdly heavy wool pencil
skirt into my carry-on, "I'm not going to pick up any books next time.
Maybe two, tops." Yeah, right.
Ariel enabled my Mary Calmes addiction this year even though Mary herself wasn't there.
- Breaking the gravitational pull.
There is a world out there beyond the hotel walls, but it can be hella
difficult to actually leave and go experience it. I was proud to have
gotten out three times this year--once for an off-site reception for ARe, once for breakfast with Amber Kell and her
husband, and once to go out with friends who live in Dallas. Full disclosure: last year
in NOLA was a little different, and I imagine Las Vegas will be too.
Actually went far enough away on Saturday night to need Uber to get back.
- Saying goodbye: I
know that if I actually did live in a small town somewhere with all of
my fellow con-goers that they'd drive me crazy in less than a fortnight.
But that doesn't stop me from being emotional and hugging every single
person I see in the last 36 hours before I leave. It's a special hell,
though, to say goodbye to my "con wife", TA. We have a process for it,
including tandem packing, sharing a ride to the airport even if our
flights are half a day apart, and sad selfies to punctuate an album full of
- Waiting for next year:
Thank you, RT people and Las Vegas hotel people and whoever had a hand
in moving RT to April next year, thus knocking a month off the wait
time. Happy to say that there are only 328 days until I have to start
this list of the worst things about RT all over again. See you in Vegas,
Watch out, Sin City! RT is coming!