Getting off the net and into the real world of furries
(The truck where Memphis Furmeet was conceived, circa April '97)
Furmeets are the most wonderful thing, yet many furs are unable or unwilling to go the distance to do so. If you're unable, I'm afraid the dog can't help much. If you're not willing to meet furs off the internet, well that's okay too. Furmeeting and Furrycons can make a difference in your furryverse. Let's just say, I'm posting my experiences simply because I want you to see that furs seem to be an okay breed. Consistently, every fur I meet is a friend in one way or another, simply because we all share the same thing. Furries are fun.
MEETING MY FIRST FUR IN FURSON:
Well, I'd like to say I was nervous, and I was, but not for worry that I was going to meet an ax murderer, but for worry I'd make a complete dipsh*t of myself to the very first furson like me. Here's how it went. When I found furry, I also found someone with a website in Toledo, Ohio who was a fur. I thought about contacting him, but didn't. (Mr. Fraidy Dog) Also, I didn't feel I could just e-mail a complete stranger out of the blue and tell him I was furry too. Anyway, breaking that ice was the toughest, thankfully he did it for me.
I had become a member of the only mailing list I'm on, for fursuiters, and he made a post explaining very simply what furry meant to him. It was so close to my opinions that I HAD to e-mail him, and did. He replied that day with a phone number. I called. We set a meeting.
PUBLIC PLACE! That's it. If you're comfortable, go by yourself. I was very comfortable after talking on the phone for a while. Now keep in mind, I met this fur THE DAY I CONTACTED HIM. It wasn't in the norm I guess. It may help if your first furmeet is with someone you've been chatting with for awhile, and I do recommend a few phone calls before meeting.
Well, I went to a restaurant I've never been to, and met. We ate and talked for about two hours. He talked a lot about computer stuff which I was into, but baffled by. I even wondered if he thought me a fanboy or something, because we didn't go too deeply into furry. Since he was a college student in town and about my age, I felt comfortable when he invited me to his house to see his network computer set-up. I could just hear my mom screaming in the back of my head, "You met a perfect STRANGER and went to his HOUSE?" Well, understandably I recommend caution these days. It's a must.. However, with all the furs I've met off the net, there's an unexplainable comfort. You get to know where you've been, and can tell if it's baloney or furry. So, I went, and we talked about what furry meant, and I had a very good friend. We also talked con. ConFurence East 2 was the next day. We ended up CB tagging to the con. I'm happy to say, since that day, I haven't had a BIT of shyness about meeting the furs I talk too.
A little bigger furmeet in Pittsburgh circa Oct '02
My next meet, someone I had been talking to a lot longer via the net:
Well, you meet one, why not meet them all. Here's where my automotive rule comes into play. If I can drive someplace in half a day, I'll go. I wanted to meet this fur for awhile, and learned he was having an impromptu get together at the end of my vacation week. Well, it was my week of total furry immersion: (First fur meet, convention, first plushie, then going to meet this fur.) I thought it was a perfect time to drive twelve hours to meet the first fur I'd ever held a conversation with on the internet. I bought a map, loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.
After twelve hours I was pretty roached, but I arrived in the afternoon, and he wasn't at home. However he'd left the door open for me. Granted, we'd only talked on the phone once, but we knew each other pretty damn good from the net. I was very uncomfortable about going into someone's house when they aren't home, especially when I'd never met face to face. I called him first, then went in, and even logged on to the internet. We met, and it was instant joy? Something like that. We ended up being more similar than we had chatted about. We talked about things we hadn't on the internet. Actually, we finally got to sleep about 8AM, because we were chatting all night. (I call these "all-night furchats" which is a conversation you can have anytime that consists of deeper thoughts than "that's a good comic eh?" More importantly, He was very advanced into furriness, and taught me a few things about my relative new furriness. Did you know it's okay to hug someone in friendship? Even someone of the same sex? Furs do that sort of thing. Shocking!
Really, I had many more meets after those, but they truly had the most meaning. I hope your experience is as good as mine.
My First Furry Convention
That was Confurence East 2 1996. I went and didn't know what was happening! It was like an eye opening session for me.See an actual log of my very first con. CFE 96'. I've done several cons afterwards that I've had a good time at, and saw/met a lot of furs. The picture below is from Memphis Furmeet 1998. You can see, you'll meet a LOT of people through furry. Cons are best described as not long enough. Of course, they take a lot of money, but I've done furry cons on a minimal budget, so you can make it!
Post furmeet depression?
It exists. Of course a twelve hour drive back home,
only to jump out of the car and go into work doesn't do much for the cause.
IT IS VERY REAL You
get sort of a feeling of "gee I wish that could have lasted a lot longer"
or "I wish I could move there" or "I hafta go back as soon as
possible". Now some of you might say, "That's why I don't do furmeets,
because of the depression afterwards." Well, forget going to a furry
convention. Post con depression is even worse. You just want to be back there,
having all that fun, in that place where you feel completely comfortable. So,
you start looking for the next con.
If you're like most furs, you have no furries in your vicinity and no friends who know how you feel about it, I can't offer advice on what to do about this feeling. You have to be ready for it. I cope by getting back on the net. Actually, set your next furmeet just then. Get another going, a month in advance, whatever. After a year of doing weekend furmeets, thankfully, that feeling does diminish. It'll become more of a "natural" thing to do and you'll be comfortable with it. Jump right back on the net, and get it out of your system.
Ric's furmeet/furcon driving tips:
Since most furs gotta do a lot of driving to get to their furmeets/furcons, I'll supply a few of the things I do to keep awake..
Please don't force yourself. Be careful. We need all the furries we can get !
To sum up, do what you can to do the furmeet/furcon thing. Even if it's only ONCE A YEAR or just one REALLY GOOD FUR, you'll never be the same again. Plus, for the furs that think they are all alone in their area? Just wait. I can't tell you how many stories I've heard of furs suddenly finding they are not alone. As the internet grows, more will find us. Great huh?
Go back to Ricochet's Doghouse