The current situation was brought on by Nexus, a newish (brand new?) convention in downtown Milwaukee, in some of the space that GenCon occuppied, back in the day. It seems to be a decent con; it was well organized and well staffed, and attendance seemed to be decent. The dealer room shut down on Sunday afternoon, even though the con ran through Monday, which was a bit of a sore point.
I love playing table top games, both RPGs and board games. People show up at gaming cons to do just that. It seems like it ought to be really simple. Except... Except that my continued ability to impersonate a sane person is largely dependent on staying out of situations that push me toward the edge, and that seems to include gaming cons.
I do OK if I have a specific agenda, if there is a specific game or games that I am scheduled to play. The problem is that whenever I have too many choices, I melt down, or at least start to. I look for a logical handle, if I can't find one, my next choice is, "All", and my choice after that is, "None." Since I go through this with the program book before the con ever starts, I am not able to make reservations, and show up (when I show up, if I show up), wander aimlessly for a bit, get involved in conversations with people who are between games, and then leave. It doesn't help that the noise levels in the gaming rooms, and the public spaces generally, are high enough that I have difficulty hearing, and generally add to my stress levels.
So... Why do I squander recreational time, and increasingly precious recreational money, on an activity that makes me feel lonely and crazed? I guess that the answer is, I don't. Not anymore.
(For the record: The con started at 8:00 AM on Friday, I didn't get my act together to show up until about 5:00 PM. Picked up my prepaid swag, did the usual dither and freak for about ninety minutes, and went home. Managed to talk myself out of going altogether on Satuday and Sunday. On Monday I got up early, drove to Milwaukee, couldn't bring myself to find a parking place, headed home. Bought gas at the first reasonable opportunity, then pulled into a handy (and vacant) church parking lot while I got angry at myself, then drove back to Milwaukee, parked, found out that the dealer's room was closed, did the dither and freak for ninety minutes, and then detoured to Lake Geneva for board games with Ernie G. on the way home.)