Do you ever anticipate an event in your life that you eat, sleep, and dream it until that day comes? Do you fantasize the day, the evening, so much that you’ve worked out a couple of different scenarios, either of which could be the ultimate experience?
And then do you go to this marvelous event, just to have the event not be anything like your fantasies?
That happened to me yesterday.
I went to the Renaissance Faire yesterday. For you who do not know, it is a medieval world ruled by Queen Elizabeth and her lovely court and her manly advisors and knights. People dress up in authentic garb, anything from bodices and a farthingale to men in doublets and codpieces.
The faire is made up of all kinds of vendors hawking everything from Elizabethan garb to dragon necklaces. There are entertainers everywhere, some on big stages, some standing on the dirt path. It is a jolly good time.
This time I went alone. Now, I have been going to this Faire off and on for 30 years. Times have changed. That’s fine. It’s bigger and better. They have now “theme weekends” to attract more visitors. Swashbuckler Weekend, RenCon Weekend, Monsters and Magic Weekends. Thinning out the original purpose of the faire to attract more visitors.
I used to dress up for these things. My bed and breakfast was the poor man’s Renaissance atmosphere. I collected dragons and unicorns. I bought wreaths of flowers for my hair and mugs and pottery with dragon heads on them.
But this time it felt different. It’s been feeling different the past years.
The vendors were different, the acts were different. No problem. There was the same youthful vigor and fantasy in all the young people there.
All the young people there.
Suddenly I felt I was on the other side of the gate, looking in.
Now you know I’ve got this problem with getting older. It’s a mindset that sucks and that I’m trying to get rid of.
But sitting on a bench in a dress (no costume this year), trying to write down story ideas from lords and ladies that passed by, I realized that all the women dancing around the maypole and all the men dashing with swords were my kid’s age. The singing and the dancing and the bawdy words and acting were all done by kids half my age.
And that made me feel distant.
When I was a Rennie Groupie I was in my late 30s. I made friends with some of the vendors, bought banners and dragon napkins holders — the whole nine yards. I had had a spot (more like a strip of green) where I advertising my B&B.
Now I sit on the sideline, the old vendor’s shop now a broom market; the only banners I find (which I bought 30 years ago) are on the souvenir shop walls. None of what I thought were “quality” items were to be seen. Like those guys moved along, too.
Why does this change bother me?
I truly believe mankind needs to evolve. Each generation takes whatever’s out there and makes it their own.
Maybe I just don’t want them to take my worlds.
It’s like a blog I wrote some time ago about going back and walking the block where I used to live. Nothing was the same. Houses changed, streets changed. Some so drastically I was shocked.
The Renaissance Faire, other faires, are for the young and young at heart. Bringing the thought of gallantry and virtue and unicorns and dragons into a child’s heart and thoughts starts them off on a cleaner path through life.
There’s not a lot of room for crones there.
Or maybe not crones who decided to go alone and became disillusioned.
Maybe next year I’ll get all my over-50 friends to dress up and shop and drink and laugh and dance around the Maypole.
If I’m getting old I’m taking everyone else with me…