Yesterday (Labor Day 2011) I visited the New York Renaissance Faire after a two-year absence.
Although I thought about returning to the Faire this year, I was going to do it later in September. However, someone saw my profile on an online dating site and asked me if I would escort her. I thought I should see what the universe had in store for me.
On the practical side, what the universe gave me was rain. This I expected. It also gave me humidity, which I did not expect. I was wearing one of my standard Faire outfits. Before 15 minutes had elapsed, the top half of my shirt was sweat-soaked and remained so throughout the rest of the day.
Fortunately, the young lady gave no outward signs that this bothered her. I was in garb because she had said she'd be in garb; perhaps she recognized that "accidents happen." In any case, the time I spent with her was pleasant and we may meet again. (No great big flaring sparks of hope, no images of running through the fields in slow motion, no burning fruits of amorous passion. For me this is a good sign.)
I had wondered how I'd feel going to back to place where I'd spent so many of my weekends, and about my reaction when I looked at my old booth, now occupied by someone else. To my surprise, I had no great strong reaction. My booth was there, still with some of the decorations I'd left behind, and with new ones from the reader who now rented it. The new booth owner has not taken special measures to improve its construction, and it looks like it will be ripe for being torn down in a year or two.
The folks at Mystics Way told me how much they missed me. It was nice to hear. Many asked if I were coming back, and a couple offered me a job. Right now, the answer is no. I don't see myself giving up a big chunk of my life to the Faire again, at least not for another year or two.
I had the pleasure of seeing the Faire as a patron again. I didn't see the Living Chess game (too rainy), but I saw the Birds of Prey show for the first time; the Washer Woman Wenches (a relatively new act for the Faire, but funny!), the Madrigal Singers, Dexter Tripp, the Belly Dancers, and listened to the big bells and to Brother Donald.
For the first time in many years, I enjoyed the Faire.