A woman driving past the hotel entrance gave me a thumbs up. Although certain we’d never met before, I waved back. Several people I didn’t know smiled at me as we passed on the sidewalk. I gathered my skirts and climbed the stairs to the hotel’s front doors, then stepped inside with my cape flowing. Several hotel employees looked up with slightly bored expressions. All manner of fairy folk had graced the hotel entrance for the past two days, and this was nothing more than a day’s work to them. I was about to ask directions when a man dressed in a medieval tunic wandered by.
I followed him.
We walked down a long corridor crowded with people garbed to represent the inhabitants of Faerie. Costumes–complete with wings, face paint, and head gear–were the name of the game here. I turned into the restroom, where a woman wearing kangaroo ears was painting her face green at one of the mirrors. She invited me to use her paint, but I smiled and declined, having gone for a Shire look from the Lord of the Rings. I’m not sure what inhabitants of Tolkien’s Shire have to do with fairies, but it was the best I could manage.
I need not have worried about fitting in. Once I rejoined the milling crowd, lots of other creatures besides fairies crossed my path. There were dwarves, pirates, birds, and one irrepressible giant. The giant towered above the crowd and kept roaring, sniffing at people, and tapping them with a giant foam mallet. He would have been more frightening if he had stopped grinning.
My children like me to go to costume events as a gypsy. I don’t know why, but my love of travel may have something to do with it. I borrowed from my horde of gypsy costuming to create the Shire look. When I came upon a gypsy wagon, the temptation to pose was too great. So, here I am in my Shire not-a-fairy-come-gypsy outfit.
Browsing the vendor booths and attending a costume judging event were a lot of fun. I also enjoyed the art gallery. The highlight for me was in people-watching, which is pretty typical for a writer.
One of my favorite moments came when I came across group gathered around a man dressed like a king. They were all counting backwards. My puzzlement must have shown on my face because the monarch called out lightly. “Oh, we’re just counting. You’re welcome to join us.” I thanked him and moved on.
I can be so square.
One of the things I like about Disneyland is that adults get to climb on the rides and play right alongside their children. Attending FaerieCon West, besides putting me face-to-face with potential members of my reading audience, reminded me that in this grown-up world, it’s all too easy to take life—and myself—far too seriously.
You never know. Maybe next time I’ll paint my face and count backwards, just because.
©2014 by Janalyn Voigt