As I may have mentioned. I got to meet Wil Wheaton this weekend. It was amazing. He is just as cool as everyone says he is. I have wanted to meet him since I was 13 years old. It truly was the only thing on my bucket list. I guess I will need to think about getting another bucket now.
We went to MegaCon in Orlando. My first convention ever. The most obvious reason for that is duh…people. And just as expected, I hated that part. Crowds of people, E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E. It is a very hard thing for a person who is as introverted as I am to fathom being around that for very long. I was determined to meet Wil. It is the only reason I braved the convention. The con was anxiety inducing to say the least. But, I did it and my life is forever changed because of it.
Did I tell you I got to meet Wil Wheaton?
We got up before the crack of dawn (thanks DLST, you freak). It’s not like I was sleeping anyway. Drove the two hours to Orlando from our town, and arrived at the convention center about one and a half hours before the gates opened. I knew it might not even be early enough. We had our tickets and I had pre-purchased my time slot for the photo op with Mr. Wheaton, but did not know anything about how the autographs worked. Thanks to a wonderful dude who works for the convention, we had a way to get to the spot for autographs as quickly as possible once the doors opened. The gates opened and away I went. I swear I did not full out run, I did walk fast. I promise I didn’t even knock anyone down. I got through the gate and as the nice man said, I took a right at the Rancor. My husband was only a few feet behind me. I saw Wil’s table and quickly scanned the tape on the floor and figured out where to stand. Then it hit me. I was FIRST in line. Holy shit holy shit holy shit. Up until that point, even with all the planning and dice bag knitting and everything else, it hadn’t hit me. I was about to meet Wil Wheaton. I was first in line to meet an artist I have admired for more of my life then not.
There was no one at his table yet. I stood there in my spot to wait patiently. I looked over at my husband next to me and I was all like, “Ohmygoddude, I’m friggin first, how the hell did that happen?” Then, I felt a person walk past me on the other side. It.was.him. That was when I kindasorta may have lost it a little, internally of course. He was walking up to his table, he came in the way the people do, just walked up like he was another con-goer. Typing in his phone, like we all do. Ten seconds after that I felt my phone vibrate…I knew he had just tweeted something. I hurried and got the stuff I had for him and the book I wanted him to sign out of my backpack. I tried to compose myself so I would speak words and not gibberish to him. I was shaking, and excited, and nervous. Mostly, I was hoping I would remember everything that had been going through my head for two weeks, but not be long winded or too fangirly.
Then it was time. I felt like I was thirteen. I’m sure that is how I sounded. I don’t remember squealing like a teeny bopper, though, so that’s good. Our five minute conversation seemed to last only five seconds, but will be forever in my brain. My husband paid the handler (I don’t like that title, it sounds zoo-ish). I gave him the dice bag and explained the story behind the yarn. He looked so genuinely touched that I had crafted something for him. As it turns out, on his way to the signing table, he had stopped at the Chessex booth and purchased some dice for himself. He immediately put his new dice in it, and thanked me. Then, I gave him the picture my little kids drew for him. Sadly, I forgot to get a photo of it before I did. It had a ball of yarn on it and some knitting needles drawn by little K. She had seen me knitting his bag and I think she thought he was one of my knitting friends. Middle K drew some dice, a D4, D6 and a D10 (I think), along with some other various doodles. He had helped me pick out the dice I included in the bag for Wil. I had told him the story of how Mr. Wheaton likes to collect dice when he’s at conventions. They wrote “To Wil Wheaton, We love you! From Karson & Kelsey” on it. Wil seemed to be truly moved by this picture, even more so than the dice bag. He immediately said he wanted to sign a picture for them, and told me to pick one out. I chose one with him from Big Bang Theory, since that’s where they know him best from. Then he signed my book and that was about it. I didn’t want to hold up the line any longer. Wil was kind enough to listen to my gushy stories. I may have mentioned the part about when my friend and I baked him a cake on his birthday back when we were 13.
The rest of the morning was a bit of a blur. The only words I could manage for at least an hour were, “I met Wil!” The adrenaline was great, I have to admit. His panel was great. It was funny and moving. I loved every minute of it. I was overwhelmed by the sea of people in attendance. The room held a zillion people, so once we got in and sat down it didn’t feel so bad. If only I’d known what the dealer’s floor was going to be like in a few hours.
After lunch, I had had enough of feeling like cattle, so I decided to just go sit over where the photo-ops were going to be, while hubby continued to look at all the things. As it turns out, I was first in line for the photo-op with Wil as well.
I met a really cool couple in line behind me and we chatted and commented on the cosplayers as they walked by. They were nerdy like my husband and me. We immediately started chatting like we had been friends forever. We had all the same geeky interests. The actual photo-op was a giant blur. I got whooshed in, Wil came in through the other side. We stood there. I said, “Hi again!” He said, “Hello!” They snapped the picture and away I was whooshed back out the curtain. I have the picture so it happened. The fact that I got to be first for both things was kinda like the ribbon to wrap up my whole experience.
If you are reading this, Mr. Wheaton, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me feel special, like I was your only fan. Meeting you was a wonderful experience. Maybe in a few years we’ll brave the crowds again so my kids can meet you as well.