If I can add my $.00002 in here, that's $.02 adjusted for inflation.

I hope this isn't too long to print. Sorry if it is, edit if you need.

This will be the first Diva I've missed, and I really wish I could go, but my schedule won't allow it. I'll be with you in spirit. I've been to Diva three times now, 1999, 2000, 2001. The first time I went, I spend hours planning my wardrobe and what I was going to ear for each event, down to the earrings, made a list for everything. I packed everything. You see, before Diva 99, all I had ever done was go to a few support meetings, and the girls there were always trying to out-do each other and impress each other.

So I came to Diva on a Friday night. I thought I was ok when I got in my car and started driving over to the bar there, but when I got there I was a total wreck, a real basket case. I almost chickened out and went back to the hotel so many times. I ended up casing the place out, kind of, then driving down the street over by the airport, thinking of just going back to the hotel, then going back for one more look.

I was real nervous for 3 reasons. 1) It was my first time out in real public besides a support group where you changed in the back room. 2) I didn't know anyone there, and 3) I was so worried about what I was wearing, wanted to be sure every little thread was in place. Well, I finally got the nerve to pull in the parking lot. I figured I would sit there and see if anyone else went in. So I park for a couple minutes, it was still light out. No one went in that I could see, but this couple came out and they were talking and laughing so this told me 2 things, first, it must be at least a fun kind of place, since they were happy, but it also reminded me that I didn't know anyone there, so I almost backed out once again. Ok, so I figure I'll go in and just check it out, and maybe look for the group. The hardest thing I've ever done in my life was to shut off that motor and walk in that door. And when I got in there, I could barely see. I didn't realize it was so dark, the only real light was over by the pool table. I could see the bar so I kind of walked up there and started to look around.

Then this one girl, I can't remember her for the life of me, but if I figure out who it is I'm gonna give her the biggest hug she's ever got in her life, she was standing at the bar getting a drink or something, and suddenly then she kind of turns to me and says Oh, Hi, we're over there, and points to some tables over in the corner.

i couldn't back out. Then Annie greets me, and stops the conversation and we inroduce each other, and then one of the other girls kind of pulls out an open chair and pats on it and points to me. I know this doesn't sound like so much, but I was so happy i almost cried then and there. I have never, ever seen such a friendly bunch!

That night was a life changing event. I have never felt so welcomed and so wanted than I had that night. We stayed there forever, talked about everything there was under teh sun, but no one in the whole group was looking me over and comparing dresses and making snobish remarks about the others. We had a great time.

Now, I've been to a couple of supposed 'Support' meetings, but the girls there were just plain snotty. I'm so glad you all were not that type. I worried about it for a while.

My point in this long lengthy story is to not worry about every little thread being in place, or dressing as fancy as the others, it's not a contest. For the rest of the weekend I actually wore the less fancy stuff and only really got all dolled up for the show that night.

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