As I’m sure was the case for many of the people who attended the festivities over the weekend, coming back to real life proved fairly difficult. I was completely unmotivated to come back to work—actually, I was completely unmotivated to get out of bed. Maybe it is a sign I need to do more unexpected and adventurous things. Nah, that can’t be it.
If you are still looking for videos of the event, a great one is here: http://weeklycomicbookreview.com/2008/02/24/x-files-2-wondercon-08-panel/
Also, if you don’t mind spoilers, you check out these:
The flight back to Los Angeles (which had Jason Kyson Lee from Heroes and Rachael Taylor from the Transformers on it—both coming back from the same convention that I was at) allowed me to finish a book by Caprice Crane called “Forget About It”. Essentially, the book was about a girl who has seen life take so many turns for the bad (boss steals her ideas, lousy relationship with her mother, boyfriend is cheating, etc) that when she gets in an accident, she decides to fake having amnesia so she can start fresh.
It’s not just that she pretends to not know people, she seizes on this singular opportunity to change how she relates to everyone around her. She was always the girl who never stuck up for herself. She never made waves. She never wanted to cause trouble. The “amnesia” allowed her to lose her constant filter.
I’m not saying that I need a case of faux amnesia, but it made me really consider what having that kind of momentary freedom would feel like. I don’t have her relationship issues (thank goodness!), but I find myself in that “Oh, no, don’t want a fuss” position. Don’t believe me?
Have you ever gotten stuck in a stairwell of a high rise in New York? My friend M and I were working on the 35th floor of a building in New York (pre-9/11 safety situation). She and I took the stairs up to the 36th floor for something—the elevator wouldn’t go up that high because that floor was under partial construction. We had pass cards that should have opened the doors. The key card didn’t work. No big deal. We’ll just walk back down to the 35th floor. Yeah. That would have been a good plan… if the key card had worked there.
So, we’re stuck on the stairwell 35 floors up, and we’re a tiny bit flummoxed as to our next move. We decide to head down the stairs. Reasonable, right? Sure. We try all the key card stations several floors down. Still nothing. Well, we were already fairly far along, so we realize that we’ll just have to go all the way to the bottom, and take the elevator back to our floor. It was a good plan. Solid reasoning involved there. Would have worked too, if it hadn’t have been for the cage.
For some reason, the lower floors had a steel cage-like door blocking them. And it was closed. And locked.
Ok, things at this point were not looking good. We had one more fairly reasonable option—the emergency phones. There were phones being put in every 5 floors or so for just this type of situation. We were sheepish. We were contrite.
We were also screwed because the phones didn’t work. No cell phones, either. Just M and I standing on the landing back on the 35th floor stairwell. We had only been gone for maybe 10 minutes. No one was missing us—or looking for us.
It was at this moment that I learned a very valuable lesson: calm demeanor and problem solving acumen are not character traits that get you rescued. M (God bless her) started screaming and pounding on the door. There were people working down the hall, so it was reasonable that eventually one of them would begrudgingly get off their butt and open the door (which someone finally did—looking way put out that we’d interrupted her very important game of solitaire to do it). See, M had already envisioned our rotting corpses in the stairwell about a two or three seconds after the door shut behind us. I’m pretty sure in her mind, we’d already been eaten by dogs—never mind that if dogs could get in, we could get out. She had seen our untimely end almost immediately, and was not going down without a fight.
You know what I did? I sat down on the stairs. My brain was trapped between two things: 1) I wonder if I can figure out a way to rewire the phone so it sets off an alarm and 2) we’re going to get into trouble. Forget about the fact that we hadn’t done anything wrong. Forget about the fact that when we finally did get out, we were able to alert the building managers that there was a safety problem with the non-operable key pads. My overriding thought as I was trying to MacGyver my way out was “we’re going to get into trouble”.
I’m that person. I’m the don’t-make-waves girl. I’m the one who obsessively checks her blackberry because I don’t want anyone else to be inconvenienced at work. I’m the girl who covers for colleagues constantly because I don’t want the hassle and don’t want them to get into trouble. I’m the girl who spends years not asking for what she wants in a relationship because she’s afraid of the consequences. I’m the girl who would never fly off to San Francisco for an X-Files event because it’s frivolous and would mean other people at work would be covering for her.
And yet I did it anyway.
Maybe this weekend was my own little form of amnesiac rebellion.
Kate, who thinks if this rebellion continues, the men of Los Angeles need to beware