Back during my early convention attendance years, my needs were really quite simple, and a hotel stay was a pleasant little luxury all by itself. It was a vacation from home and housework that could be enjoyed uncritically without even taking the convention experience into account. Clean towels and sheets! Little bottles of shampoo you had to open with your teeth because you forgot to unscrew the cap before getting in the shower! Ridiculous piles of fluffy down pillows! Shower caps!
But the naive days of my impressionable youth are long lost in the mists of time and entitlement. I’ve moved up from sleeping on roll-away cots and floors and usually have a bed of my very own. I can order room service if I like now and get the breakfast buffet every morning instead of surviving off of the
Con Suite and a cooler full of yogurt. My fannish experience has expanded and made me somewhat jaded at the easy pleasures that used to please me so, but I am a simple creature at heart and maid service alone was more than enough to keep me happy until recently.
But no longer; now, I enter a new hotel room and walk the space with a critical eye, measuring and judging and muttering under my breath. Usually cusswords.
And I blame costuming.
As my costuming range slowly increases and my suitcase (okay yes, suitcases) becomes heavier and develops unsightly bulges and creaking zippers, I become increasingly annoyed with hotel closets and their ever decreasing size. Two of the last four conventions I’ve attended had teeny hanging spaces, and there seems to be a trend towards free standing wardrobes– which no doubt are entirely suitable for a mid-week business person and their slack-and-shirt ensembles but are woefully inadequate for the needs of fancier convention-wear and just laughable the second you start adding crinolines to your repertoire. The shelf space for footwear is becoming problematic as well, with shoes and boots competing for space with ironing boards, props, and styrofoam heads.
Steampunk outfits have contributed to this problem with their multilayered of skirts and overskirts, the waist-cinchers, gloves, scarves, and hats that end up covering every surface, but, to be honest, it’s not like knee-high silver boots and capes are terribly closet friendly either, rayguns and corsets present their own storage problems.
Sharing a room with other costumers compounds the issue, you find yourself eyeing each other’s suitcases and comparing the volume to the available space and making piles of bibles and phone books in order to free up one more drawer for belts and accessories. As I plan seven different costumes for next year’s Gallifrey, I’m wondering where exactly they’re all going to go? The LAX Marriott at least has decent enough closets but I know my roommate will have costumes of his own, the vain bastard.
I used to scoff at the folks I saw rolling garment racks through the lobby. Now I find myself pricing steamer trunks on eBay and wishing the TARDIS wardrobe really was dimensionally transcendental.
Yipe! Volume 2, Issue 3, March 2010