Last year I decided to take my first trip to a Renaissance Faire, or Ren Faire as they are more shortly known. ¬†Now the ren faire was something that I had always had mixed feelings about. ¬†I was on the fence between thinking them to be a ridiculous place full of nerds that I should stay clear of to thinking them to be a place where I really wanted to go. ¬†Now in general ren faires would obviously seem like a perfect fit for my likings. ¬†I have always liked swords since as far as I can recall and pretty much the same can be said¬†for my interest in women in corsets. ¬†Growing up in Massachusetts there was King Richard’s Faire I think that was the closets one, but never did I go. ¬†I always kept it in my head that it might be fun, but I was constantly fighting with the voice in my head telling me that it was too nerdy. ¬†I had already made it known I liked Star Trek so adding the ren faire¬†to my interests would have damaged my reputation beyond repair. ¬†And so I kept it a secret for many years. ¬†I secretly longed to go to the faire.
I then moved down to Pennsylvania and soon discovered that there was also a renaissance faire in the area. ¬†I frequently saw billboards on I-95 advertising the festival. ¬†I thought one day I would like to go. ¬†It took me about 10 years to finally do it. ¬†Life had taken some weird turns and everything I knew or thought I knew turned out to be wrong or things¬†just kept leading to disappointment the more I tried to do what was normal and accepted or “cool”. ¬†I found myself doing what I didn’t really want to be doing only because someone else thought, or I thought someone else thought I should be doing that thing. ¬†Basically I cared what people thought. ¬†Then one day I had an epiphany. ¬†The hell with them! ¬†This is my life and I shall live it as I please. ¬†Once I began walking down that road I then finally decided I would go to the faire.
The first time I went was on the Scottish & Irish themed weekend. ¬†Perfect time to wear my kilt I thought. ¬†I was right.
I arrived at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire on the grounds of the Mount Hope Estate and Winery in Mannheim, PA. ¬†I wasn’t too sure what to expect at first. ¬†I had some preconceived ideas about the faire and I had googled around for info about ten faire and such. ¬†But for some reason I was slightly nervous stepping out of my car in my kilt. ¬†The kilt was fine, I’ve worn it around plenty of times before in public so I was comfortable enough with that, but I think it was something to do with the idea of crossing the threshold and finally entering into the world of the faire. ¬†As I walked though the gates any of that apprehension melted away.
I was transported to a wondrous world where everyone was friendly and just simply enjoying themselves. ¬†Living in the city has jaded me a bit. ¬†I’m not used to people being friendly. ¬†It was an adjustment saying hello or rather “Good Day” to strangers as our paths crossed. ¬†Here in the City of Brotherly Love proper protocol for interacting with strangers is to¬†either ignore each other or proceed to yell obscenities.
I spent the day wandering around the Shire of Mt. Hope exploring the land and interacting with the inhabitants. ¬†It was great. ¬†It was full of people enjoying themselves. ¬†Sure they speak in funny accents, and can be a bit ridiculous at times, all are having fun.
I left the faire that first day feeling content. ¬†For the first time in a long while I enjoyed myself and I was able to let the entire outside world not exist for a day. ¬† I didn’t return to the faire as I was busy doing other things with my weekends, but the following year I decided to return. ¬† As I write this I have been to the faire three times so far this season and may infact return for a fourth time this weekend. ¬†I have gone by myself each time before, but this weekend I will be going with a group of people. ¬†Most of them I think have not been to the faire before.
Next weekend is time travelers weekend, so you know what that means…