Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

Just another weblog

Life in the Renaissance (Faire)

on May 7, 2012

I’ve read books and watched a lot of movies about the Renaissance period. It’s really interesting and intriguing and violent and so many things that our time now is not. Maybe that’s why it’s so interesting. The men were men, very forceful and manly. They settled arguments with a sword, or a dungeon. The women were subservient and crabby from wearing way too many layers! No wonder they never smiled in the pictures of the ‘olden days’, not only did they not have running water, air conditioning or clean water, they had to wear 12 layers of wool!

We have a really great Renaissance Faire here, in a small town that has a castle of all things! There are different things there throughout the year: fireworks in the summer and a haunted castle  in October. This Ren Faire has been going on for a while now and they do it well. There are different sections of the park: the children’s realm, the pirate’s lair, the Scottish lowlands, a royal arena, the castle and more. There are shows galore and people in costume wandering all over. If you feel so inclined, you can even rent a costume and really partake in the fun. Strolling minstrels, royalty, soldiers, fools, artists, courtiers, gypsies abound.

What I find interesting is watching everything. Yesterday the weather was fabulous, mid 80’s but cloudy and breezy and the people watching here is top notch! In case you’ve never been to one, here is my interpretation. Close your eyes and take a virtual tour with me!

The park is wooded and the roads are gravel and dirt, watch your step, there are horse drawn carriages around and the horses don’t care where they are when they’ve gotta go.  We were lucky enough to witness it first hand during the joust, one of the horses was walking away from us across the field, and well, he made meadow muffins right there during the joust!

Some people were just born during the wrong century. They wear the costumes and speak with an accent and using the speech of the time (or at least their interpretation of it).

Most of the people in costume and working the faire subscribed to the dental practices of the time, as in not. A woman who was at the petting zoo area said she felt she could have a conversation with me because I was wearing my  Oklahoma State visor and she had a degree in agriculture. But when she smiled, I felt myself cringe and give a ‘eeww’ when I saw her teeth!  I suppose being the proud owner of a college degree doesnt’ mean you’re smart enough to take care of your teeth. I get the fascination with the period and all, but really, do you have to forego the advancements in dental care?

You know, when I moved to LA, I was in the minority at work. I never knew what it was like before then. I experienced it again yesterday, but in a different way. I never thought I’d be in the minority of un-inked people. I think every person there above the age of 18 had at least one tattoo. I’m proudly pasty!

I’m sorry, but corsets, ack! Somehow, I don’t think they were truly intended to make the lady parts look like a shelf! Or a baby’s butt! Or maybe they were. There were some rather, ahem, well-endowed women squeezed into corsets that looked like they would’ve fit my 14yo neighbor! I have no idea how they were able to breathe in them or kept the girls from falling out! Not to mention they looked bloody painful!

As always, I feel I must say you should follow the rule ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’. There were so many people (mainly women) wearing things that were in style 20 yrs ago, or would’ve fit them 20 yrs ago. Or the guy, he looked like the smurfs cousin, about 5’5″, wearing a bright neon green shirt that hit him mid thigh and ‘man-pris’. He probably weighed 250 at least, he was just stumpy, and not nice. he was mad at his kid for running off and when he finally finds said kid, rather than give him the fatherly speech about staying together in a big crowded place, he ripped poor kid a new one, in a very loud voice, and dropped several   F-bombs on the way. He’s got my vote for father of the year. not.

Some people take it way too seriously and create their own costumes.  There was a guy there who was really creepy, wearing all sorts of leather- gauntlets, shin protectors, a shield and some wild helmet that had horns on it going different directions. He looked more like one of the Huns rather than a Renaissance character, like maybe he ate babies for breakfast and nails for lunch.

Yes, we’ll go again next year, it’s become one of our annual things to do. It’s loads of fun, and almost Disneyworld-level people watching! If you get an opportunity, I say go, they’re way fun! But I’ll stick with our current century, thank you. I enjoy running water, a climate-controlled home, lights, refrigeration and modern medical practices!

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