So you've made it to the fourth and final day of New York Comic Con, or you're already staggering home from the Javits Center. All good things must come to an end, and, unfortunately, it's time for the final stage of con: the post-con hangover. Luckily, I just happen to be the person to get you through this trying time.
Why should you trust me? My con-going skills were forged in the heat of Atlanta during Labor Day weekends in the aughts and early teens. I grew up attending Dragon*Con, one of the Double Black Diamonds of American conventions. I've steered friends down back hallways to make sure they would get into the Patrick Stewart panel (not me, them), so help me God. I've descended into the depths of the Hall of Fame to rescue overwhelmed cosplayers like Indiana freaking Jones. I've done makeup on the floor. And I have always, always had granola bars on my person. Through my years of service at Dragon*Con from 2005 to 2012, I became a Con Mom.
And that's why I'm here to help you get through your post-New York Comic-Con hangover.
So you walked everywhere in cosplay shoes.
The cosplayers' eternal dilemma: the shoe. After you spend untold amounts of time, energy, and sweat on your perfect cosplay, you now have to decide if you want to really complete the look with the perfect, but impractical shoes or if you want to compromise and save your feet. Ultimately, very few people compromise. And you know what? That's your right. I support you. You came to con to serve a look from every angle, not to run laps around the Javits Center (although you absolutely did).
Be gentle to your mangled feet and take it easy for a few days; it's time to break out the fluffy socks. Ask your phone how many steps you took (or count how many eggs you hatched in Pokémon Go) and marvel at the feat of endurance you've just accomplished while you're kicking back. You've earned it.
So you bought too much swag.
It is hard not to go for broke at New York Comic Con. You could — and probably did — spend a whole day in the exhibitors' hall, and found yourself staggering under the weight of comics, prints, T-shirts, and a boxed Sega Genesis. Once you've hauled everything home, you might start to feel some buyer's remorse, especially once your swag is removed from the excitement of the con. Did you really need all that? Yes, yes, you did. Listen to your Con Mom: you deserve to have nice things that make you happy!
The solution for this ennui is to not let things sit out too long. Integrate them into your collection ASAP. Get some frames for those prints — Michael's is always having a sale or a coupon — or at least some top loaders and put them on the wall. Put the Genesis and its box in a place of pride in your collection. The sooner you can turn the swag from a chore into decor, the better.
So you partied too hardy.
The New York Comic Con nightlife is hard to resist. I mean, you came all this way, why not enjoy everything to the fullest, right? But maybe you stayed out until dawn at the Rave of Thrones and still had to catch an early panel. Maybe you hit a party every single night. Maybe you got super-lit at the One Piece concert, hey, you do you. But you can feel the bacchanalia backing up on you, and it's not exactly your favorite souvenir.
Hydrate. HYDRATE. Drink a kombucha or something. I don't know if kombucha actually works or not, but it makes me feel like I'm doing something, so I guess that's basically the same thing. And make sure to get enough alone time, even if you weren't partying. That's a lot of people to be around, and if you happen to be an introvert, it might be time to hole up at home, nurse your headache, and get started on your Halloween horror movies.
So you have con crud.
No matter how many times you washed your hands or whipped out the hand sanitizer, the combined forces of New York and Comic Con have rendered your immune system a wreck.
I'm sorry you're sick, but think of it this way: you're participating in a tradition that's almost as old as con culture itself (emphasis on culture, amirite?). It's basically inevitable that you'll get sick, with attendance in the hundreds of thousands and only climbing higher every year…
…you know what, let's not think about those numbers right now. You're sick. Hydrate, get some rest, send someone else out on a pharmacy run, and make yourself a little cocoon to just be in. Remind yourself how much fun you had and try to remember how it feels to breathe through your nose.
So you can't wait until next year.
Tragically, I cannot make time go faster, otherwise, we'd be taking in a screening of Birds of Prey RIGHT NOW. But you can do two things now: you can relive the con by reviewing all of the photos on your phone and setting up days upon weeks of posts on your Instagram. (And make sure to back up the photos; how are you going to do Throwback Thursday if you can't throwback to that Thursday?) Admire the swag that you've framed and otherwise installed in your home and know that you made good choices.
You can also start planning for next right now. This is the time to brainstorm cosplay, identify gaps in your collection, follow up with all the cool new people you met this year so you can meet next year as friends. And definitely start getting your typing fingers trained for when the 2020 badges go on sale.
And if you're still feeling rough, maybe think about seeing if you can take Monday off next year, if possible, because sometimes the real way to recover from con is just to lie down and photosynthesize for a full day. Feel better soon!