I went to the Renaissance Faire with friends this past Saturday. I was the only one to dress up because Treehouse Friend was lazy and his girlfriend, Ballerina Friend, couldn’t find her costume. I invited a couple of students who work in my office who are from China and have never experienced anything like the Faire (one had never even heard of the Renaissance). One came and brought two more Chinese friends, who seemed to have an amazing time. One of them decided she wanted to rent a costume at the last minute, saying, “If I don’t, I will regret it.” She took forever to pick something out and got some help putting it on in the dressing room by a woman working the tent. When she finally had a look in the mirror, she jumped up and down and did her best impression of a boiling tea kettle. Her enthusiasm lasted all day, and frankly, she looked beautiful. She sashayed around the Faire and threw her skirts around in front of every reflective surface we passed. She took loads of selfies and smiled all day (they all did, actually). We moved through the Faire at a snail’s pace to make sure they didn’t miss anything, and I enjoyed answering their questions about people’s costumes, weapons, and common old English greetings (“Good day, my lady”). I really enjoyed moving slowly through the Faire and interacting with more attendees and workers than I ordinarily would have. I didn’t look at my phone more than a few times, and even then only to take a few photos.
And then things got epic.
Just as my Chinese guests asked about where we could eat, we came upon the food court. I scouted out some shady seats and we all separated to hunt for hearty meats. I went to buy a sausage/hotdog at one of the stands. The guy cooking sausages was calling out to people passing by, “Come get your hot sausages! Everyone loves a hot sausage, right ladies?” As I approached I pointed at him and nodded with a completely straight face. He laughed, “Hey! This fine woman likes her sausage, don’t you m’lady?” I put in my order with the woman at the front and gave a tip (which resulted in the standard bust waggling and HUZZAH! from her), and was about to walk away with my brat and sauerkraut when suddenly the woman running the stand came out from the back, looked me up and down and said, “You’re beautiful. You should be working for me.” I thought she was kidding, so I said, “I’d be honored, m’lady!” and gave her a little curtsey. She came right back with, “Great, come get my number at the end of the day, we’ll be in touch,” and I’m standing there with a giant sausage in my hand like ‘oh shit, she was serious.’ So I’m totally selling sausages at the Faire next year, LOL.
Overall it was a hallmark year. I got to share something I enjoy with foreigners (which I love doing), and I might finally be able to work the Faire, which I’ve wanted to do for years. Plus, among all the harmless flirtation you get from the men at the Faire, one guy said, “You’re looking lovely, lady green,” as I rushed past to catch up with friends, and gave me a small bow. Naturally, I slowed my pace, dipped and offered a quick, “Thank you m’lord.” Huzzah for nerds!