I waited 20 years for this.
I've realized something about myself this weekend: all my obsessions, all my fandoms, all of them, no matter how long I've had them or how long it's been since I indulged, they're all still there--all still in my mind and in my heart, ready to bubble back up to the surface when the time is appropriate. You won't find Captain Janeway stuff in this account; I haven't really given lip service to my Trekkie side in many many years. But it's still there.
I had the biggest (for lack of a better word) crush on this woman back in the late 90s when she was playing Janeway on Voyager. I have a collection of Janeway stuff--an action figure, a life-size cutout standee of Janeway, a caricature of myself I had done in Florida to look like Janeway, a huge binder full of magazine articles and printouts of fan stories from the early days of the Internet (remember alt.newsgroups?)--and over the years other things have gotten lost--I still have no idea what happened to my Janeway tee shirt, and I can't fit into my Starfleet uniform anymore. I was also the webmaster for "The Kate Mulgrew Nexus" back in the day. And somewhere in the dark corners of the Web, some of the J/7 slash fiction I wrote in college might still exist.
But that was all many years ago. Since then I've obsessed over Sailor Moon. And Avatar the Last Airbender. And Sanrio. And My Little Pony. And, most importantly, my husband who loves me and who is a great sport about my obsessiveness.
None of those other fandoms mattered yesterday. I had no idea that my mind would remember so clearly something it hadn't felt for many years. When I got home yesterday, it was a little too much and a little too strong, and I oscillated between giddiness and tears. I'm still a crazy teenager, even at 37.
I didn't even touch her--I was afraid to. If I had shaken her hand or put my hand on her shoulder, I probably would have cried, or laughed, or screamed, or done something else stupid. I didn't say much either--what can I say that she hasn't heard hundreds of times at hundreds of cons?
But I express myself through cosplay, and in that respect I think I made an impression. In a sea of Starfleet uniforms, I was dressed in my Kove costume (a character she played in a CN 11-minute show late at night). She pointed me out in the line as though I were doing something cheeky. And when she said thank you at the end of the photo op, she looked like she meant it.
No ma'am, thank YOU.