I could not wait to attend this December International Lolita Day meet-up! My local Lolita community planned an extra special event to celebrate. As this was my first winter meet, there wasn't any way that I would miss this event! For this holiday event, the group activities included:
A visit to a local museum for their 'Festival of Trees' exhibit,
have a delicious meal at a local cafe
and conduct a holiday gift swap!
To prepare for the event, I planned out my Lolita coordinate, brushed out my wig, and wrapped my handmade exchange gift. When the date of the event came, I doubled checked the time and location for the event and made my way to the meet! When I arrived, I adjusted some of the final touches of my coordinate, grabbed my camera and swap present, and made my way into the local museum.
Well, there weren't any other Lolitas that I could see. The staff member I spoke to was very kind. He explained he had not seen anyone that was dressed in a similar fashion to me. Perhaps the other members were running late. I quickly checked my phone and discovered that there were some unexpected events that would prevent anyone else from attending the meet. I froze. I was already at the meet-up location and none of the other members would be attending. All I could think was,
1. Do Not Panic
It is okay. Do not panic. I know it is the first natural response, but it is not going to help the situation. You are in a space, you look beautiful, it is going to be okay. Just take a deep breath. You've got this!
2. Access the Situation
Okay. Take a moment to look around you. Is the space that you are in a public space? Are there people around? Is there a decent amount of foot traffic? If you needed assistance, would you be able to approach someone if you needed to? It is important that you are not completely isolated. In addition to this is that you want to feel generally safe in this area by yourself. If you feel that the space is hostile in any way, you should leave as soon as possible. No event is worth a possible threat, or the stress that comes from worrying that a possible threat is just around the corner. Play it safe!
Another important aspect of this step is transportation. Do you have access to it? If you drove yourself to the meet-up, are you able to access your vehicle quickly? If someone had dropped you off at the event, are you able to call them and have them pick you up? Are you able to contact a taxi, Lift or Uber to collect you if something comes up? You need to be able to leave quickly and safely.
3. Ask Yourself if This is an Event Worth Attending
Is this a meet-up that you would enjoy if you stayed? Is it something you can enjoy without other Lolitas? It is important to consider your options. Would you be happier doing something else with your time? If you would rather go home and play a video game, read a book, or enjoy another activity with your time - do it! I can understand that this discussion may be more difficult if funds for the event had been paid for ahead of time, such as the participation in a high tea event. Still, I do not see the point in attending an event if you are not going to enjoy the time you spend there.
4. Have Fun!
If you would have more enjoyment attending the show, exhibit, play, or special event that you had intended to do from the start then do just that! Have fun! You are excited about this event, so enjoy it! If you can, connect with some of your non-Lolita fashion friends or family to see if they are in the area and would like to join you. You never know, you might just make someone's day and your own!
Take your time and enjoy the experience. If it is allowed, take video and photos of the area and ask a staff member to take a photo of your coordinate! This way, you are able to share the fun experience with the other members of your in-person community, as well as online Lolita fashion communities.
I was excited about the exhibit, so I decided to stay! I wanted to see all of the beautiful trees and take photos. The staff were very friendly and helpful. They explained that there was a raffle for numerous prizes, generously donated by local businesses and that I could vote for my favorite decorated tree. All of the decorated trees were stunning! We used to have a similar event in my home town, but it had stopped since the event came too commercial. This event was absolutely lovely! I made my way by each tree. Since I was alone, I let myself really take in each detail of my favorite trees.
Here are some of my favorite shots!
Once I finished the exhibit and submitted my vote (I just had to vote for the winter woodland tree, as it matched my coordinate), I met up with my fiancee for lunch! We went to our favorite Chinese restaurant and afterward, we went shopping. I picked up a few Pusheen goodies for the upcoming holiday season for myself, and we found a few perfect holiday gifts for friends and loved ones.
While I wish I could have spent the fashion celebration with my frilly friends, the day turned out to be absolutely fun and unexpected. I hope that this story was helpful and possibly a bit entertaining. You can now feel assured that you know what to do if a similar situation happens to you.
Have you attended a met-up alone? Do you have any tips that I did not cover? What was your coordinate for this recent International Lolita Day? As always, I would love to read your answers!
This is the account of one young woman and her passion for Lolita Fashion.