Thursday, May 2, 2019


Last year, when I returned from the retreat, I set down a careful accounting of what it was like and what I thought of it. I did the same thing when I went on the first cruise. I suppose that I feel a responsibility to create a review of record for the oldie fans. There is a story arc of fandom that we have all gone through -- and because everyone comes in at different stages, they are at different places on the arc. I can't behave like a newbie or even an enamored fan anymore, and so I don't write for them. But, there is a certain population that I feel I can responsibly represent, and if you want to know what it's like if you are my type of fan, I'd like to provide that.

But, I did that last year -- and it isn't really where my head and heart is right now.  This is really just my own rambling thoughts and feelings. Some of them are probably valid and some of them are probably unreasonable and I'm not sure I'm really making apology or excuse for that. They just are what they are.

I really just didn't want to get involved in silly things this trip. No nitpicking between fan groups (which is still such such such a thing), no indulging in petty jealousies or imagined competitions, and no indulging in those of others. I was there to soak up some music, relax, and spend time with a friend. I do not have time or interest in drama. I don't care where people are sitting for shows. I had my one front row show, and then we just dance in the back. I'm happy with that and I don't care about anyone else or who's flirting with who or etc, etc, etc...  You know?

I'm really not very comfortable in fan groups/cliques. Part of that, I think, is that I've spent more than my fair share of time in them and it isn't where I want to be anymore. Part of it is that my point the fandom journey just doesn't allow for the exultation that makes fan groups click. And a lot of it is that I'm shy. No one believes me when I say that. Ever. But I am -- and groups of people make me nervous and incredibly self-conscious.

So I tend to avoid them like the plague. But one thing I really like about these retreats is picking off 2-3 people to really get to know. I'm a little picky, they have to be mostly normal. But, I really enjoy finding a couple cool people and getting into real conversations with them. I feel like i was able to do that this year, and that makes me happy. Like it was a worthwhile trip.

That bit me in the ass a bit last year. I accidentally befriended someone intimately involved with the talent, and it left me feeling frustrated and really disappointed in them. That was hard on me. It was a bit of a nail in the coffin of a relationship that needed to change anyway, and a lot changed for me after that. I wasn't really sure if I wanted to come at all this year, and how those changes might leave me feeling uncomfortable.

But, I think it was fine. Different in some ways. Not different in others. And I am okay with the way things are now and don't really want or need to change them.

I did let myself into some mild irritation one day, I will admit that. I think that I might just have a 2-day tolerance limit, and in part, this is due to my own habits and decisions. These kind of events, I always give the guys a pretty wide berth. It's their job to mingle and spread themselves around the entire population. And while I would love to take the time to claim that for myself, I very rarely do. I've had a lot of opportunity in the past. I've build valuable relationships based on just that. I don't feel like I need to demand attention here. And I suppose it's because of that that it bothers me so irritatingly when others, especially longtime fans who I feel should know better, hover and hang around and monopolize. Let them do their job.  So I let that get to me.  I mean, I got over it.

I got into a conversation more than once with other women that centered on our families and the importance and blessings of our longterm marriages. Perri and I both have strong and busy family-centric lives -- so it's nice to have an annual trip planned away from everything together to rest and relax and regroup.

But, it's a brief escape by design -- and it's also really nice to get to go back to our families and our real lives.  They're good ones.

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