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A HERETIC'S view on Reasonable Authenticity

Poster: carl christianson <einar@cvn.net>

Posted by Elen Prydydd
At 02:17 AM 11/24/96 -0500, you wrote:
>Poster: Kensei <kensei@concentric.net>
>At 01:11 AM 11/24/96 +0000, KatieMorag@worldnet.att.net wrote:
>>Don't I wish!!!  I too am extrememly astigmatic and nearsighted, but I am
>>unable to wear hard or gas-permeable contacts.  The only ones that work cost
>>over $300 per pair.  Because I am currently unemployed outside the home
>>while raising my daughter, does this mean that I must not attend any SCA
>>events until such time as I can scrape this money together, along with
>>another $300 for a back up pair of contacts?  
>Of course not.  My point was that, if one goes to expense and time of
>joining a Society whose goal it is to recreate the medieval period, one
>should make the strongest attempt possible to be period in garb and bearing.
>In my opinion, plastic-framed glasses are not a strong attempt to be period,
>particularly when ads for national eye-care chains run on a frequent basis
>hawking 2 pairs of eyeglasses for the price of one, and so forth.  If
>contacts are too expensive, surely period-type (or non-glaringly modern)
>metal frames could be found. <snip>  I do decry, however, the
>presence of -obvious- modernities creeping into our reenactment.  I mean, we
>are more than a social club, or should be.  Else, why bother at all?
I think you need to re-read the fourth sentence in this lady's letter.  When
one is a parent, one tends (quite rightly) to put new shoes, properly
fitting clothes, school supplies, and oh yes, let us not forget food and
lunch money ahead of expensive, delicate, wire-framed glasses with the
hideously expensive ultra-light lenses (that extend the life of your
delicate, period-looking frames) just so someone who wants everything to
look like a museum piece won't be offended.  Einar recently bought a pair,
as he was having problems with his contacts and could not find his
plastic-framed glasses.  I'm willing to bet the damn things cost as much as,
maybe more than my engagement ring...like, around $500-$600 FOR ONE PAIR.
He's so blind, his old lenses looked like Coke bottle bottoms.  You CAN
_NOT_ put those in most wire-framed lenses.  I know, I tried - back in 1973,
with stop-sign frames, and they were forever falling apart, with the lenses
hitting the concrete sidewalk at school, getting terribly scratched.  My
widowed mother couldn't afford to replace the things for me for a year - and
she was teaching full-time.

Now, I realize I'm being pretty dragon-like, but I do NOT like to see people
being made to feel that they have no business playing just because they
can't afford to buy the things that will keep them from being snipped at by
the GaSP (Garb Snob Patrol).  This lady can't afford the blasted things -
period, end of line.  For myself, I'd rather see her at an event wearing her
plastic frames than not see her at all, or worse, see her drop out because
she was made to feel unwelcome simply because she couldn't afford to buy
what someone else decreed she should.

Yes, we are more than a social club.  We're a social club with a theme, and
all that's really required is that one try to the best of one's ability and
finances to wear and use period-style items.  My philosophy is, do the best
you can with what you've got and don't apologize for it.  If someone is
uncharitable enough to take you to task for it, well, to be blunt, turn on
your heel and walk away.  I sure as H would if someone snipped at me about
my sunglasses (I wear contacts, have sensitive eyes and they cut the glare
and the dust) or my coffee pot (I'm addicted) at Pennsic.

Elen Prydydd

unapologetic and unrepentant as usual.

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