Today I was offered a really awesome opportunity.  One I’m still mulling over, but slowly realising that in all honestly, it’s one I should be declining.

Basically, there’s a convention being held this weekend in Sunderland.  It’s pretty new, but this biggest draw is that it offers a cash prize for the best handmade costume (a BIG cash prize too), so it can attract some pretty incredible costumes.  I love seeing well made costumes (one of the reasons I make a point to make it to London Expo every year despite the lack of other things to do).  However, as someone who can normally only afford to go to a handful of conventions a year, I hadn’t heard about this one until it was too late to sign up and budget to go.

Today a friend called me up and asked if there was any way I could get to Glasgow by Friday morning and stay until Monday.  This evening I called her up to ask why, and she told me that 4 of them had been going to this con as Dealers, but one of them had needed to pull out quite literally at the last minute.  Their train ticket is one of those 4-person tickets I believe, and they have accommodation and entry fee already paid for.  So now they are desperately asking round to find anyone to take the ticket – as otherwise they’ll have to pay even more for their transport.

My first reaction was ‘HELL YEAH!  Sign me up’. Then I remembered how short of staff we are next week, the fact that I’d already been planning a trip down to Glasgow this weekend only to cancel it due to lack of funds, and the fact that even with transport, accommodation and entry fees paid, I’d still have to find money for transport to Glasgow, and food for the four days away from home.  Money I do not have just lying around.

I told them I’d think about it, and that I’d have to see if I could get the Monday off before I said yes.  Also, since they’d thrown the offer out to a few people, if someone else said yes to just give it to them.  When I hung up, I mulled it over, and spoke to roommate to figure out my plans.  They didn’t really look feasible, especially with a credit card balance not getting any smaller, one bank account currently in overdraft and a trip to London’s Book Fair being tentatively planned for next month.  At the moment I genuinely have to count the days until my next pay check…I really can’t afford a weekend away right now, even with the majority of it paid.  I know how much you can spend at a con without even realising, travel costs aren’t the only reason I can only make it to so many.

Kind of disappointing, and reluctant to call them back and tell them so.  Would rather sleep on it, double check the logistics of getting an additional day off when we’re already short staffed (ironically already have the Friday off due to the original Glasgow plan), and hoping someone else will take them up on their offer so I don’t have to decline.

Thankfully, there’s another friend quite interested who can afford it, so hoping they will take the offer and spare me having to do so.  It’s a strange thing – I legitimately can’t afford to go, and I am under no obligation to do so, but I feel guilty for having to refuse the offer.  It’s so rare I get offered opportunities like this – the distance between the majority of my friends and my own city mean I miss out on a lot – and I hate having to reject any chance to spend time with people.  In the corner of my mind I wonder if rejecting this offer means they won’t make another offer again – which is stupid and paranoid, but often how my mind works.

Hopefully I can make it to Glasgow in the near future and catch up with everyone when I can actually afford it, and hear all about the con from them then.