I wasn't planning on going to the Atlanta Pen Show. The Saturday of the show, I'm celebrating the weddng of a girl who is ostensibly my younger sister. It promises to be a great celebration for my family and for hers. I was going to miss the majority of the show so I ruled it out. Then, Myke Hurley and Brad Dowdy decided to make it a party. Anna Reinert, from the Well Appointed Desk, Dan Bishop, from Karas Kustoms, and Mike Dudek, from the Clicky Post, all signed on, and surprisingly but awesomely (that phrase grinds on my English sensibilities but fandom is ultimately coming through) Leigh Reyes, the Southeast Asian collector extradordinairess, will be there, with her Nakaya collection. Plus all the usual pen show suspects will be in attendance: Mike Masuyama, Lisa Vanness, Shawn Newton, and the Anderson's. When I saw how much of the Pen Addict community would be there, I decided to do something foolish, for the sake of celebrating with this awesome group of people.
I decided I would leave the wedding reception a little early (New Orleans wedding receptions go into the wee hours of the morning) and drive to Mobile to stay with a friend. I would, then, wake up early the next morning and arrive in Atlanta right at 10 am as the doors open on the final day of epic penness. I realize I will be arriving after the party. I realize some the of the peeps I wished to meet will be gone before I arrive. I also know that I will be that guy who shows up after the Thanksgiving meal ready to eat, when most of the hosts and guests are in tripophanic coma (only instead of turkey it's pens.) I'm okay with being that guy. The experience will still prove to be worth it, and as Anna said, when all others have blown their budgets I can get the deals as sellers don't want to return home with as much merchandise.
I am no longer a rookie at this pen show thing so I think the overwhelming aspect of the show will be easier to handle (at least I hope). Much of my focus will be on the people. To be able to hang out with these people whom I know through the interwebs will be a delight. I'm looking forward to expectations being broken as I move from avatar to person. I know this won't be a get-to-know-you camping trip (we will be surrounded by 1,000's of cylindrical distractions), but I look forward to those conversation which I can't really have with many people. I'm looking forward to noticing the quirks about those people who online seemed so polished in their writing/typing.