I’d like to think that I have a pretty good memory. I mean, 1) I know all of the lyrics to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical, “Once More, with Feeling,” 2) I can quote approximately 75% of each of the Hunger Games movies with accuracy, 3) I remember Bruce Springsteen’s birthday every year (and celebrate it appropriately).
And, yet. I feel like I can’t remember San Diego Comic-Con 2014.
I mean, I was there. I remember certain things. Like Buzz Aldrin grumbling, “Stick that in your pipe and smoke it” during the NASA panel, and my sister skipping an entire day of the convention just so she could buy a fucking melon from the farmers’ market, and my mom waiting in the infamous Hall H line for four hours so she could see Colin Firth (or, as she calls him, Mr. Darcy).
But, I don’t really remember it. At least, not honestly.
I am a Selective Rememberer. I omit. I edit out. I brush past. The sweat stains and the blisters and the breakdowns. The missed panels and the line-ups and the stink (yes, THE STINK. You try wearing a costume in the Californian heat for six hours and see how you smell).
It’s a problem. I know it is. I mean, for the past two days since Comic Con 2015 started, I have been CONSUMED with jealousy. Constantly checking Tumblr and Twitter for updates, shedding actual tears over the Mockingjay panel. I would give anything to be in the place that, for one moment on July 26, 2014, I hated so much that I threw a literal tantrum about it.
Yes. You read that right. A literal tantrum.
On that Saturday, I hurled my bags onto the floor of the San Diego Convention Center, threw my fists up to the sky, and bellowed, “I HATE SAN DIEGO AND I HATE COMIC-CON!” (as disturbed convention attendees scurried past and probably cursed me in Dothraki).
But, here’s the thing: I can’t remember WHY I did that.
Do you want to know what I do remember from that day? I was wandering the exhibition hall alone after the tantrum (because, if you’ve read any of my stories, you’ll know that I am an extremely dramatic person), when I came across a surging crowd in front of the Marvel booth. Cameras flashed. People screamed and giggled. Beside me, a man held his child above his head Lion King-style.
And that’s when the Avengers walked out onto the Marvel stage. Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America, Scarlet Witch.
My little geek heart could barely take it.
I took an embarrassing number of shaky photos of Thor, and, when I came home, that was the first story that I told to anyone who asked the question: “How was Comic Con?”
Not, “I threw a literal tantrum in the middle of the convention, and I’m pretty sure that the geek community disowned me.”
No. It was, “Well, I saw Thor.”
And, I think, over time, I started to believe the story that I was telling people. That only the Avengers happened. That my break-down didn’t (or, that it wasn’t as big or dramatic as it seemed at the time).
As I’ve said before, wrinkles iron out in memory. And, at Comic Con, I literally had Iron Man to help me with my ironing.
Let’s be clear: if I had a way to get to San Diego right now, I would be there. But, what would I forget when I came home? Which stories would I tell? Which ones would I leave out?
Do you want to hear something else that I remember from Comic Con?
I was in line for the Hunger Games Experience, when a slew of celebrities started coming in and out of a door leading into a nearby hotel. Everybody in line and on the sidewalk lost their freaking minds and started shoving each other out of the way to take pictures/be in the breathing space of greatness.
One guy was particularly aggressive. He took approximately 30 photos of one apparent celebrity who I’d never seen in my life.
So, I asked him who she was.
“Oh,” He shrugged. “I have no idea. I’ll look it up later.”
Isn’t that funny?
I wonder how he tells that story.
“I saw someone who looked a little less sweaty than everyone else, and I assumed that they were famous, and, guess what? They were!”
“Guys, guys. I went to Comic Con, and I saw fill-in-the-blank-celebrity!”
I know which story I’d want to tell.