Going to parks alone?

Monday, April 15, 2013 3:04 PM

bunky666 said:

but there is still that fear of the unknown and the reputation of the Internet for getting people in touch with stalkers that much sooner. Actually, my husband is against me arranging meetings to meet fellow Buzzers or anyone I talk to online, and I honor those wishes...

Hmmm..... I would think most of the truly malicious-crazy people you could run into would be on places like dating sites and craigslist. Of course, some of us are a bit nutty, but no more nutty than the acquaintances you may run into at work, through a friend or going to the grocery store. Perhaps your husband is being a little overcautious?

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Monday, April 15, 2013 5:22 PM

Isn't there a discussion already going on here somewhere about how "friends" you have online might be totally different there than they are when and if you finally meet them in person?

I wind up going to parks alone a lot and for many of the same reasons others have listed. My partner acts like he likes to go, but doesn't really get into it like I do. He might go on a ride once. Truthfully, I'd rather go by myself than head to the gate halfway thru the day all mad at someone.

Here's my caution about coaster clubs, this one included. It's very possible and probable that you'll meet and make good friends, however its likely most of them won't be anywhere near you. I was a very early member of ACE and used to travel that circuit extensively and as a result I made wonderful, life long friends. But in Missouri. And Illinois. And New England. My dear friend who you all know as well, Mike Roberts, is about all I have here in Ohio. So if I meet up with any of my coaster buds it's usually when we visit each other's states or at an event or convention somewhere.

Isn't it odd that so many of us admit to a solitary pursuit that happens to take place at some of the most crowded places on earth?

I've noticed something else here that's a little disturbing. I've read a couple of pleas for friendship and companionship here in this thread, and somewhere toward the end of that plea they mention they'd like to limit those friendships to include only those near their same age. Should I call ageism? While I'd be the last to tell anyone who they could and should be friends with, maybe we should keep in mind that we are hobbyists here, not dating site hookups. And if you should join a club or two out there, know in advance that there will be people there of all ages, and you should be taking advantage of that, not avoiding it. When I was very young I loved talking to and hanging with the older enthusiasts, they had such knowledge and experience that the rest of us will never have. Sadly, most of them are gone now.

So, dear CoasterBuzzers, if you'd like to meet with me for a fun day at an Ohio park, let me know. I'd love to meet you and get to know you. And while we wait in line if you'd like to know what it was like to ride a Flying Turns, a Traver Circle Swing, a Laff in the Dark, or the Thriller, I'll be glad to tell you.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 5:31 PM

At the end of the day, the people you become good friends with are going to be the kind of people you would anyway. I'm convinced of that. I don't see Mike and Gonch very often, but when I do, we pretty much just pick up from where we left off. That might be even more true with Mike, now that we both have young kids. It would also not surprise you to find out a lot of the people I have built friends with are in similar professions.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 5:44 PM

GCG, I agree with you, but since the husband does not, I have respectfully declined meetings with coaster club friends.

Off topic, but have you SEEN those Craigslist ads?! *laugh* they're just nuts!

I'd never meet up with a person I didn't feel I knew somewhat well or hadn't been talking to for a long, long time. There are three or four people here that I have a feeling I would absolutely adore, and if I was allowed, I'd meet up with them in a heartbeat.

More than anything though, I think people should still be careful. It applies to everyone, but especially if you're a woman (which I am, though I'm not calling myself a "lady". Hee hee...).

I'd maybe like to attend a coasting "event" to meet people in the clubs, and I think that is a good way to start. Plus, some of these events are for charities, so you'll meet people with the same interests and help a good cause as well. Just something else to look into, Josh.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 6:06 PM

Amusement parks are what I consider a relatively "safe" environment to meet a new "online" friend at. I've had some bad experiences otherwise; bars or even going for coffee. And yeah bunky, I've seen the craigslist ads.

I'll agree with RCMAC in that friends from all different ages and backgrounds make good friends. Last year, I met a group of guys from another forum. One in the group said I should meet up with them, that they would be at the park that day. My gosh I have never gotten such a negative vibe and attitude from a click of people. I just said "well, I gotta run out to eat" or something minutes after trying to join them at their table. It was very awkward; it felt like my early days of "coming out" and going to a bar and getting attitude. It was just like that, same crowd too.

That's the only real negative experiences I've had meeting online coaster nerds at a park. I've met people where we didn't "click" as buddies, but it's still nice to have met and made an attempt at new friends. Even those people, while not good friends, are good acquaintances to run into from time to time.

Last edited by GayCoasterGuy, Monday, April 15, 2013 6:12 PM
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Monday, April 15, 2013 6:15 PM

My rule, if I sense a park encounter is heading south, is to fake a puke and RUN.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 6:49 PM

So THAT'S what happened that day - I thought you were just a lightweight! ;~)

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Monday, April 15, 2013 6:51 PM

I mentioned crazy stalkers because I am kind of sensitive to it. It probably has to do with my old rock band days when people knew me and I didn't know them, and they wanted to desperately be my best friend int the whole world. I am careful about announcing publicly on the internet where I am going to be because of this, and I never openly talk about my career or personal life anymore to people I don't know that well.

Having said that, I'm all for meeting new friends and hanging out, but I'd prefer to know you a little bit at least. I'll just say this again, because I want to make sure it is heard, if you are planning to visit little ol' Camden Park in Huntington, WV, and you want someone to hang with while there, let me know. I'd be happy to meet you.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 7:34 PM

^And what a great time little ole' Camden is! I could've spent the whole day there. I bet it's nice at night, too :)

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Monday, April 15, 2013 7:43 PM

I mentioned above that I've made some friends through coaster fora, some of which are several years along now. But I've also met some strange...not in a good way...folks, and some whom I simply found it difficult to like. Not saying I'm perfect..no one is..except "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, and he's dead. but we all bring different things to the table (or loading platform.)

Somebody recently posted on another coaster forum, making no bones about the fact she was looking for a hook-up. Coasters were the impetus, of course, but she went into the look, personality, age, profession, hygiene types she was looking for.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 7:48 PM

Sounds like she needs to post on Craigslist and not a coaster forum.

Oh, I forgot to mention my thoughts on craigslist. If you are looking for a band to play music with, an old Nintendo 64, or a used car, then Craigslist is awesome! If you are looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend, then stay away. Some of the ads on there make me literally sick to my stomach.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 8:02 PM

I like Craigslist. Well, only the ones with the pictures. Well, only 74.8 % of those.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 8:59 PM

RCMAC said:

My rule, if I sense a park encounter is heading south, is to fake a puke and RUN.

The first time I met Clint he actually puked on me and didn't run, so what does that mean?

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Monday, April 15, 2013 9:27 PM

bunky666 said:
There are three or four people here that I have a feeling I would absolutely adore, and if I was allowed, I'd meet up with them in a heartbeat.

Bunky, even though I know we'll never, ever meet I hope I'm one of them...

;-D

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Monday, April 15, 2013 10:00 PM

Awwwww... :)

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Monday, April 15, 2013 10:36 PM

Mike Gallagher said:

Somebody recently posted on another coaster forum, making no bones about the fact she was looking for a hook-up. Coasters were the impetus, of course, but she went into the look, personality, age, profession, hygiene types she was looking for.

Well, are you gonna link us or not? :)

I kid, I think.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 10:39 PM

Lime green vomit all over the place. It was like the exercist. Sorry Andy! ;-)

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Monday, April 15, 2013 11:03 PM

Lime green? That sound hardcore. Like "licking your armpits and then getting food poisoning" hardcore. At least that hasn't happened to me...yet.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 11:07 PM

First off, sorry if I offended you, RCMAC, or anyone for that matter in relation to age. That was not my intention, and I think it was taken the wrong way. Notice I said nothing about limiting friendships to a particular age, but that I'd prefer to find some somewhat around my own (this is where I'm lacking most). This was absolutely nothing to do with finding hook-ups??? Let me be clear about that.

Why even mention age? First off, when blindly meeting up with those off a message board, not mentioning age in any way seems even more risky to me. If I happened to meet up with a group at a park, and it turned out to be a group of 12-year-olds, that'd be uncomfortable. Not only might intentions be questioned (think Michael Jackson), but there'd be an awkward gap in maturity, knowledge/experience, and physical ability.

Likewise, randomly meeting up with a group off a message board that turned out to be 60+ might be awkward for some of the same reasons. Just comparing the last 15 years of my life, there's a huge difference in physical ability/tolerance/endurance. I used to be able to go from opening to close, ride everything non-stop without eating much, and then go home, ready for another day.

Now I have to pace myself or I feel nauseous, and while I still enjoy doing full days, they're less intense, and I'm usually pretty beat by close. I can't imagine what another 30 years will feel like. Everyone ages differently, but my Dad, once an enthusiast, couldn't handle many of the coasters at CP a year ago at 58; they were too intense or rough to him. It was hard for me to understand him thinking Maverick was torture, especially after I bragged it up so much...and especially knowing that we used to ride far more intense coasters together with zero issues.

And let's be real. While the difference between a 12 yo and 30 yo is far more significant when thinking of maturity, there is a difference between 30 and 60. I know I speak to my Grandma with far more caution than I do with my parents, which I speak with more caution than friends my age. Maturity with age varies, but it's harder to predict as the age gap increases. Not to mention people of various generations simply might not get the humor of one another.

Anyway, am I saying that when you attend an enthusiast event, you should avoid talking to enthusiasts of different age? Not at all! I agree that it's great to talk to everyone, enhance your pool of knowledge, and increase your variety of friends. And when meeting people in person, you can use your own judgement in determining whether to pursue friendships with people, regardless of their age.

But when blindly meeting up with someone at a park over a message board (especially without much contact), I think it's downright bad advice to ignore age. I'd say the possibility of an awkward or questionable situation is more likely this way.

Lastly, I'm with GCG in that meeting up inside an amusement park is a fairly safe environment, especially those that are well attended. You don't even have to exchange any personal information. If you want to be completely safe, you can just arrange a meeting like "Meet at the Millennium Force exit at 3PM." Then, if you're not clicking with your new friend, you can leave at any time in the day with no major lasting issues.

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Monday, April 15, 2013 11:10 PM

So when is CoasterBuzz getting a "Casual Encounters" forum?

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