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RE: Well it finally happened to me...

Poster: PETERSR@spiegel.becltd.com (Peters, Rise J.)

I wish I could say that this kind of thing doesn't happen in Atlantia, but 
it does.  A couple of years ago, a colleague of mine from work asked if he 
could accompany me to an event.  He had gone to the trouble, on his own 
initiative, of securing a perfectly period monk's robe, complete with plain 
rope cincture that was correct with same, sandals, etc.  Well, the proper 
rope was an unbleached fiber of some sort, and within moments he had been 
cornered by folks arguing that by appearing =properly clad as a monk= he was 
somehow making an improper claim to knightly status.  And they did in fact 
make him feel so bad that he's never come back.
From: WzrdKing
To: PETERSR; atlantia
Subject: Well it finally happened to me...
Date: Wednesday, December 18, 1996 2:25AM

Poster: WzrdKing@aol.com

     I've followed with interest the various disscusions which have
occasionally graced these lists about the authenticity VS social debate. The
recent "(dis)courtesy and SCA politics" discussion in the East list was
especially interesting. I've also added my two cents on occasion, even 
I've not been an SCA member for quite a year yet. But now I've had my first
brush with the reality behind the words.
    (I'm going to be purposly vague here as I have no wish to humiliate
    I'd been looking forward to a small demo event for over a month becaus 
would be the first time my nine year old son could accompany me, and he is
thrilled by Arthur, Knights and the Dream in general. He was special
delighted by the little surcoat I made for him, and swaggered around the
house wearing it with a carefully dulled dagger hanging from his belt. Well,
the thursday before the event, my wife took a turn for the worse and had to
be hospitalized and we were both afraid that we'd miss our "debut" together.
But, she wanted us to go, so we garbed up and off we went. Well, we
hadliterally not been there more than three minutes when a local SCA offial
of long standing came roaring up, red in the face, absolutely furious over 
SCA faux pas in our garb. He proceeded to yell loud enough for the entire
gathering to hear about the utter depravity of our offence and then told me
that such garb should never ever be worn to an SCA event again. I tried my
best to explain why I had committed this heinous crime and received  a
snarled reply which might have been intended as an apology.
     To say that I was humiliated is putting it mildly. All of the other 
gentles present, busied themselves with whatever was at hand and we all
proceeded to pretend it hadn't happened.  In fact my son and I didn't even
mention it to each other. I think he was embarrassed for his dad. But the
more I tried not to dwell on what had happened, the angrier I became. Being 
reasonable person, I told myself not to let one bad experience ruin what was
becoming a fun pastime, after all I'd met plenty of wonderful people in the
SCA, but try as I might I couldn't let it go. And when I finally gave up and
asked myself why I was letting this one incident make me feel like "well
screw the SCA, that's it for me," I realized that nothing like this had
happened to me since high school. (Excluding my one year as an adjunctive
therapist in a psychiatric hospital.) Out of all of the organizations I have
participated in the almost 30 years since I graduated, such behavior would
have been unthinkable; it would just never happen. Simple rules of polite
human conduct were ridgidly enforced in all of the groups I've been active
in, and it just wasn't an issue. And the more I thought about it, the worst
aspects of the SCA are a lot like high school: the swaggering stick jocks,
the cliques, the nerds sucking up to the "in crowd" in hopes of being at
least partially accepted, the intrigues and jockeying for position, the
     Now I know that on some level I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill
here, and don't let one bad apple spoil the bunch and all of that crap. But 
still can't help feeling that as much as I love the dream, (I've been avidly
reading about the period for almost 40 years now,) I'm not sure that the
dream is worth going back to high school for.
     Thanks for letting me vent good gentles,
PS, I'm posting this only to my good Atlantian friends, becaus the incident
occured in the Eastkingdom, and as I said, I have no wish to personally
humiliate anyone.
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