Recently, I asked my best high school friend who lives in the Portland area if I could come visit for a long weekend. I’d never been to her new home and I’d decided some good girl time could be had while my husband was in the woods hunting the elusive 3 point bull Elk. They have to be elusive because in all the years I’ve known him I’ve never witnessed him coming home with meat. This year he promises to buy bacon on the way home just to be safe. I’m married to a man who hunts elusive elk. And elusive deer. And elusive grouse. And ducks on occasion. Ducks aren’t elusive apparently. He and his friends actually shoot and kill ducks. There are photos and duck pepperoni to prove it.
I mention these details to help give you a sense of who I am, who my family is and what sorts of things are “normal” to us. Hunting. Camping. Horseback riding (as if there is another kind of horse-anything-riding). Quads. Dogs. Bonfires and Barbeques (what we do, not a country song). Boating (not the cool speedboat with a water-ski attached, but more like floating around in an aluminum...well...boat..ish, depending on your definition of a boat). My husband owns a tractor, a riding lawnmower, a backpack blower, and a lot of other really expensive stuff you apparently need to maintain 10 acres in the country. I recently started hiking. I call it hiking. My son says what I’m doing is actually just slow walking since I’m doing it on hills more so than mountains. I informed him that if I put on actual hiking shoes, and I walk on something other than a paved mostly level path, its called hiking.
I am stopping short of calling ourselves red-necks. Afterall, we work in Seattle. We have long-ass commutes to white-collar jobs (my husband has a more blue Carhartt T-Shirt job, but according to Wiki his still counts as a white-collar job). I’m pretty sure that disqualifies us from being red-necks.
When I asked my friend about the long weekend visit, she informed me that was the weekend her and her husband would be attending OryCon in Portland. I was like, OryWhat? She sent me a link to a website. I didn’t do a deep dive on the site. I just looked at the registration cost. I decided it was affordable and since my friend would be there, I was in.
In the weeks leading up to the event, my friend tried to prepare me...in small baby steps. First, she informed me she had plenty of things available to share for me to wear. I didn’t know jeans, tennis shoes, and a comfortable top weren’t really going to suffice. Next, she sent me a text and said I needed to buy a corset to act as a base for all the clothes she would be providing. I’m 37 years old this year. I’ve never purchased a corset in my life. It’s not like I’m a puritan or anything. I just never saw the reason in buying something that...well, here’s what I know about corsets...A corset made Keira Knightley pass out and fall into the ocean in Pirates of the Caribbean. I guess they just never sounded practical, comfortable or fun to me. Trusting my friend, however, I set out to buy a corset. Fortunately, I have a friend who owns a lingerie store (Lovers Naughty or Nice in Monroe, WA). I was able to go to the store and try on corsets to my heart’s content. I can’t say the trying on made me any more “fond” of corsets. You can NOT put one of those on by yourself! I tried! I finally found a nice black, underwire corset with cute little rhinestone embellishments on the front that fit and was mostly comfortable. I tooked a picture in the mirror (classy, I know), sent it to my friend for approval and got the thumbs up. I. Was. Now. Officially. Ready. For. OryCon. or so I thought...
I arrived after midnight at my friends house on the day of the event. Having never been to her house before, I tip-toed into the place, everyone sleeping hoping I was in the right place. I crashed on the guest bed (a positive sign that I was indeed in the right house) till the appointed hour arrived.
(Click here for part 2)