JASNA and the Dangers thereof...

on 06 June 2012

I was a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America from 2005 (when they published my first paper) until last year.  It got cut as an unnecessary expense.

But since Brett has just joined up, I thought I would tell her (and you) why I never made it to an AGM.

  1. It's expensive.  Maybe $400 just for the conference, then it's all the usual travel expenses.
  2. It can't decide what it wants to be.  It's part academic conference with the inherent scholarly presentations, and part Fan Conference with Regency dress and balls and teas etc.  It's confusing to me.
  3. When I travel, I like to share it with Chris.  He's my best friend, and being without him would just make it...not as awesome.  And honestly, I have about as much chance of getting Chris to a Jane Austen conference as I do of flying to the MOON.
  4. Dude...that's a LOT of strangers.  And I'm...shall we say...socially inadequate.  I'm horrible at small talk, I never know what to say, so why spend all that money to go and feel awkward and lonely the whole time?
  5. I would feel really torn...paying all that money to attend the conference I would feel like I HAD to attend the conference, but going to a new city, I really love to get out and get lost and explore and see new things...and there just isn't enough TIME to do both.
So there are my reasons why I never made it to one.  I, too, love New York City.  But I'm old enough and wise enough to know that when I go back, I want to go with Chris.  And I want to wander at will, not feel obligated to stay cooped up in a hotel attending classes.

But...this is ME.  And Brett, YOU are YOU.  And Samwise is Samwise.  We aren't all the same.  I think we have this horrible propensity to look to the left and to the right and to want to keep step with everyone else.  When what we NEED to do, is what's right for US.

Have sense?