DragonCon is this weekend! It’s the biggest show I do and I’ve only ever done it alongside Garth. This year, like last year, I’ll be traveling down to his neck of the woods, and from there we’ll both make the ten-hour drive to Atlanta for what is likely to be an unforgettable weekend. DragonCon always manages to make new and beautiful memories… except when I caught Covid-19 from my trip and brought it home to my family.
It was, however, brought to my attention earlier this year that in past years I’d basically abandoned Garth on the last day of DragonCon, though I didn’t realize I was doing it.
The first time we went to DragonCon together, and several years following (though I may be remembering that incorrectly), Garth had company on his trip down to Atlanta. I, living many hours away from Garth, flew directly into Atlanta those first few years and met him at DragonCon after he had set up our booth with help from our friends. I, being a creature of habit, kept to that traveling schedule even when he wasn’t making the drive down with anyone anymore, nor did he have the help to break down and pack up the booth at the end of the show. When I realized what I’d done those years past, I felt pretty shitty and like a bad friend.
In my defense, however, I had a major commitment to fulfill in some of those years: I had to be home in time to accompany my son to his first days of school. DragonCon falls over Labor Day weekend, and the schools around here have their first days after Labor Day. So, was it crummy of me to leave Garth to break down the show and drive home alone some years? Absolutely. Was I too preoccupied with getting home in time to see my son off to his first days of preschool and kindergarten to realize I was being crummy? Absolutely.
And I didn’t leave him to break down all by himself all the time. Depending on the flight I was able to catch I at least stayed to make sure his car was packed up and he was ready to hit the road. Once or twice.
This year, like last year, I’m making the trek with him there and back again in its entirety. Ten hours is a long drive to make by yourself, and last year we had a memorable and delightful road trip together. This year, unlike last year, I will be missing the drop-off for my son’s first day of school. I am heartbroken, but I can’t abandon Garth to that long drive any more. Plus I’ll be back in time for pick-up, which is equally important.
If you’re going to DragonCon this year, come say hi to us! We’d love to see your happy faces after such a long journey.