Monday, August 13, 2012

Dressing Up for the Faire

Mike, Nick, and I went to the Washington Midsummer Rennaissance Faire at Bonney Lake again today.  Why is it that it's always roasting when we go there?  Last week, it was ninety-six degrees.  This week, it was only eighty-seven.  I look forward to fall when it gets a little cooler.  I'm happier when it's drizzly and cool.

So, the big news is that each of us created an outfit today. Nick got the basic boy clothing, a shirt, pantaloons, and a vest and he looked great carrying his sheathed dagger and his recurve bow.  He even wore the quiver that he bought last week.  Mike opted for a white peasant's shirt, tan breeches, and a cool belt and pouch combination.  When I saw him in his belt, I figured I was going to go for it too.  Was I really going to try and cinch it all in and try for cleavage?

I did.  I didn't have any weapons, but I figured I could borrow something from Nick to complete the outfit.  Part of me felt a bit ridiculous trying to dress up.  Really, I'm fifty-two years old and getting laced into a bodice doesn't help much.  I wondered how it looked, though I had the mirror right there.  I had worn a skirt that I liked and I was trying to match that.  I went from shop to shop, trying to avoid the one with the gayish man offering to tie up the women as they walked past.  One sales girl rolled her eyes when I wandered in and said I wanted to match my skirt.  Well, thanks.  I was pretty sure I was going to look ridiculous, but you've cinched it.  Way to go, sweetheart.  It didn't take long for me to casually wander out of that shop.

So, here's the question I've been thinking about all evening.  Why is it revolting to younger people that us wrinkly, lumpy, and saggy people would still like to look good, that we still carry on sensual, and yes, even sexual lives? 

I finally got some help from a young girl in, you guessed it, the 'tie you up shop.'  She didn't roll her eyes, but she was reluctant at first to help me find something that worked.  At least she had the decency to tell me I could fit into a smaller size than the ones I was trying.  She was willing to lace me up a couple of times before I found the one I wanted.  I didn't want the smaller size.  I liked the effect up top, but the smaller one left me with a roll below it's shorter waistline, like a muffin top, only below.  That was not the look I was going for.  I had seen that look on other women.

Last week, I'd bought a white paper parasol.  It was a great investment at ten dollars.  I avoided a sunburn on my face and at the edges of my Tshirt and managed to shade a couple of other people during the joust.  The woman actually turned around and thanked me.  In the car, on the way down this week, I used gold, silver, and black markers to put a bit of a design on the paper.  I'm not finished yet, but I liked the effect.  I painted a design on it while it was closed.  I lost most of the pattern when I opened it up, but I figure I'm going to work on it open next and make it pretty.  Then I'll have a dual design, one that looks interesting opened or closed.

I wore my black suede clogs even though I knew they'd be really dusty by the time I was done.  I also wore my brown leather traveler's bag by Stickman Leather.  It's a purse I've used for more than fifteen years.  I had replaced it with a new Stickman Leather purse a couple of years ago, a pretty black one with tooling on the flap.  When that was stolen last fall with my backpack, I was upset, but I went back to using the old one, though the kids had liked it as an Indiana Jones satchel.  After an appointment with some saddle soap, the old one still looks pretty good and in a pinch, I can take the long strap off and use it as a leash.  To be honest, it fit the look I was going for.  See, I once read a romance novel with a steampunk setting and my purse, though simple, just fits.  There were a few steampunk items at the faire, a corset with a compass and some gears in it and some bracers with cool metal fasteners.  The only thing that was out of place in my outfit was the blue Itoya pen tucked into the outside pocket of my traveler's bag.  Oh well. 

I have to admit that I didn't feel too bad in my getup.  I would have looked cooler with a weapon of some kind, a dagger, maybe, but I fit in.  One woman wearing antlers in her afro told me she liked the way I looked.  I liked her antlers too.  There were a lot more people dressed up today.  I'd guess it was because it was cooler, though just marginally.  One guy, dressed as a guard, had leather armor that had hawk's heads worked into the design at his shoulders.  It was amazing.  Occasionally, I saw a woman dressed like an upholstered couch. 

Others used the faire as a way to dress down, like the woman wearing a corset without a blouse below it, barely covering her chest.  There were gypsy coin skirts on women wearing bikinis.  There were mini fairy skirts of diaphonous material.  I was just glad to see underwear underneath.  Yeah, it was pretty entertaining as far as people watching went.  The men's outfits just looked hot, especially anyone in armor.  Oh, I saw a fair number of men in kilts.  I'm not sure I get kilts, really.  Call me old fashioned, or maybe I'm just stuck in my own culture.  Do men in Scotland really wear kilts?  Really? 

So we walked around the fair, Nick being ogled by the boys in Robin Hood hats, Mike in his peasant garb, and me with my parasol and cinched up waistline.  We looked pretty good.

Then, on the way home, there was the inevitable question - What are we having for dinner? 

"Hamburgers!" Nick said from the back seat.

"You get to go into the store," Mike said.  "You look mostly normal."  Right.

I ended up going into the store and of course, there was one of Nick's classmates and his mom.  He had a grin on his face as he said hi.  I grinned and said hi back.  His mom, however, could not look me in the eye.  She grabbed the boy's shoulder and spun him in a different direction and headed right past without so much as a 'How are you doing and why are you dressed like a slut?'  I should tell you that I hadn't brought my parasol into the store. 

Thank you for listening, jb

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