This blog entry will be somewhat difficult to write because, unlike everyone else, apparently, I didn't really enjoy my time at World Steam Expo this year. To put it quite succinctly, it was the biggest let down in years.
To begin with, it turned out to be more expensive than they'd listed on their website. $10 more. It's a good thing I'd decided to get extra money out of the bank "just in case," but that meant that I had $10 less to spend in the merchant hall, bringing my total budgeted "fun money" down to $10.
We saw a live radio program, which was fun, then went to a panel that ended up not happening. It was amusing to sit around and hear funny stories, but still it wasn't the panel that I'd gone to see, so I couldn't help feeling a little cheated.
Then we had breakfast at the cafe in the hotel's lobby where I was overcharged by $3 for something that I didn't buy. I was told to come back in an hour and I would be refunded. When I stopped by later, I waited a full half an hour for the manager to come out of his office to give me the refund, which he never did, so I just took more food that I didn't want or need, since we were on our way to dinner, to make up for their mistake. The whole time I was there waiting, no one apologized for the error.
I'd wanted to see a few more panels and productions, but we didn't see any. We did get to see Abney Park perform, and they always put on a good show, thought it was only an hour long. I decided to throw my budget out the window since I was already in the hole after just a couple of hours at the convention, and bought a cute Doctor Who dress for $30. This possibly turned out to be the highlight of the entire day, and it involved me spending money that I really had no business spending. I think Abney Park was a close a second to the Doctor. (Sorry, Captain Robert.)
The real highlight of the night was supposed to be the masquerade ball, which I'd been preparing for for months. In the words of a very dear friend of mine, I looked smokin' hot! I got in a couple of dances before the DJ turned the floor over to the charity that the ball was donating its money to, Relay For Life. This was the beginning of the end.
I really should have stood up and walked out on the woman, but I didn't. I stayed and listened to her long-winded speech about how cancer is a devastating disease that involves a long, hard fight that may not be won. She pointed out that 1 in 3 of us at the ball that night would get cancer and probably die from it. She went on and on about how moving it was to see the survivors of cancer walk a solo lap at the Relay For Life event; that Relay For Life was making a difference in lives with our help; that people were surviving cancer and had more years to enjoy their friends and families.
Well, not my father, you stuck up, self-righteous bitch. He died. He fought cancer twice, and in the end lost. Yes, as you so helpfully reminded us, some people there that night were affected by cancer, and some of us really didn't want to be reminded of the months of fighting and not knowing what the outcome would eventually be. Years of wondering when it would come back, and if that would be it. Wondering how much time we still had together as a family.
The rest of the night I sat in a chair on the sidelines and cried. If I'd paid for my own ticket instead of my boyfriend, I would have demanded my money back. That women completely ruined my night. I was there to dance and have fun with my friends, not be reminded of and forced to relive all the pain and months of anguish that I went through leading up to and following my father's death - and still go through!
Even the DJ seemed a bit shaken because he tried to make a joke when she finally finished preaching and play some upbeat music. But the damage was done for me and I wanted nothing more than to crawl into a hole and die. She'd said it herself, 1 in 3 of us who were at the ball will get cancer and die slowly, painfully, with our loved ones watching helplessly as we waste away to nothing.
The really frustrating thing about groups like Relay For Life is that they're funding cancer research, but I've never once seen them mention that a cure for cancer has already been found. Why are they not all flooding behind this? If cancer is so horrible that it must be stopped zomg right now, why is this simple cure not being trumpeted by all the cancer groups to the ends of the earth? Because it won't make anyone money. Dying people are like gold mines to the pharmaceutical companies. Healthy people are a drain.
So thank you, Relay For Life, for using your greed and manipulation to ruin what might have been an enjoyable evening. I'm not sure I can ever go back to World Steam. From where I'm standing now, it was a colossal waste of precious money that left me emotionally comatose for the next two days barely able to even get out of bed.
Thank God for antidepressants! Wish they were stronger.