On Friday afternoon, the con started with a big roomful of activities for mingling. There were tarot card readings, palm readings, numerology, and tea leaves, as well as a clothing swap and craft table, books for sale, and a belly dancing demo, followed by "Show Us Your Tats!" - an opportunity for anyone to show off their tattoos. I did nearly all of the above.
First, numerology done by a soft-voiced lady revealed that I am the Monk type, seeking wisdom. It was a brief reading, and I sought more wisdom in the tarot area. I was given more information in that one, and I'm glad to tell you all that I will be improving my communication skills very soon. Next, I waited for a long time in the line to have my tea leaves read by misia, who was charming to chat with over tea. She said that I would make radical changes by choice in my life within about three to five months (watch this space from late August through Halloween!), and then I would be working very hard in a steady and productive way from six months to a year from now, but it would be worthwhile because I would be able to use the results of my work for a long time after that (she compared the process to chopping a lot of wood, then being able to use the wood to build warming fires whenever I wanted afterward. Let's hope that won't manifest literally). I spotted ellen_kushner by the snack table and said "Hi," and she said "Hi" back in a reserved kind of way that did not invite further chatting.
I sat and decorated my name badge with rubber stamps of butterflies and Chinese ideograms, and fancy-edged scissors, and was invited to show up for the tattoo show, since my swirly shoulder design was visible. While waiting to show off, I watched belly-dancing performed by a blond vixen in a crimson and gold costume, but then wandered away when an instructor took the stage and started to encourage people in the audience to try learning some moves. I am not painfully inhibited, but unless there's a bit of alcohol involved I tend to avoid learning physical skills in public. I browsed in the areas where books were being sold, had some coffee and a cookie, and returned to the little stage area for the tattoo show, where a wide assortment of tats were shown; my favorite was the fresh set of raven wings on one woman's back, but there were some intricate Celtic designs, fantasy scenes, and fannish designs based on TV. During the show, fullygoldy tapped me on the shoulder to let me know she was there.
I also spotted sdn, who was a slight online acquaintance of mine several years ago, and went up to introduce myself to her at the clothing swap. It seems to me that the only reason she was interested in talking to me, years ago, was that she perceived me to be a minor character on The Karawynn Show, because when I introduced myself at Wiscon she seemed less curious about me than ellen_kushner, who had no reason to be curious about me. Which is astonishing, since I am clearly and obviously the star of the critically acclaimed Nayad Show! ;) She wasn't rude; she was utterly neutral. As it was her prerogative to be. (edited to add: See the comments - all is explained).
By the time I'd been in the blasting arctic air-conditioning of the hotel for a few hours, I was done with being out doing con things, so I skipped the first-timers' dinner and headed home. I think that next year, I'll show up at the Gathering festivities later and make a point of going to the dinner, where I'll be more likely to meet people. I will also be fracking sure to have a jacket!