A NYboL associate whose blog I read and admire inspired me to write this post. It began as a comment on his recent post regarding MAL. Ultimately I didn't feel it was appropriate as a comment, however, as I am sure he is well aware of everything I have to say. My thoughts are more for the many others who I have heard express disdain or disappointment with the alphabet soup of leather gatherings.
Expectations are the worst part of leather events, if you ask me. When did it stop being extraordinary to see so many like-minded people, who spend most of their lives exercising severe discretion in exhibiting the particular nature of their individuality and personality, instead exalting and enjoying large volumes of those beautiful qualities which make them peers? Every time I begin to feel disappointed by MAL, IML, or the rest, I remind myself of the many years of my life during which I felt no kinship to any such group, no chance to meet a man with so many important qualities understood before the first exchange of words, and no understanding of those subtle yet powerful forces of my personality which have decided the direction of almost every part of my life. That I have the health and means to live a life which provides such opportunities is good fortune and success which many would envy.
I will be in DC for MAL. I cannot possibly be disappointed. The simple fact that such a gathering exists and I can be there is enough to make me happy, and as Drew says, everything else is gravy. I hope to see you there.