Warning, this may be the love me or hate me post.
This past weekend, my husband got to go to an event while I could not. This is new to me. As some of you know, I’ve been having issues with the sun and heat, more so the sun. (see the sucks post from July.) Thursday evening, I pulled out some of the things he would need from the sewing room. I sat on the floor pulling his whites out of the dresser. I sulked as I refolded my drawers and chemises back into the drawer and his drawers and shirts into little piles. Friday morning, I took a bit of an emotional whammy at work regarding not being able to go out for the students’ Homecoming Pep-Rally, something I think is important for the kids and something I enjoy. When I pulled in the driveway to see husband packing, the next wave of whammy hit. While he continued to pack, I pretty much ended up laying on the bed trying not to cry, with the occasional saber retrieval from the depths of the closet. After the nice “good-bye, have fun” kiss, I sulked and fell asleep on the couch. When I moved myself to sleep in bed, I was stuck on the “now what?” realization that I Have to figure out what I Am going to be able to do at events.
Shade and Sewing Circles – Shade is the absolute must. Shade I need to sit in the shade. I need to look into the shade.Venturing to scenarios, social gatherings, activities in the sun is pretty much out, even if fully veiled and with parasol in hand. I need to not have to venture far in the sun to the outhouse.(Please, don’t even go there with “what if you….”. Please.) Next season, when I give functionality a go again, I’ve decided at events I will do one of two things – Millinery or a sewing circle. That is it. (Actual indoor presentations are another story.) Sewing circles may be Soldiers’ Aide related, domestic sewing related, or even item specific – the ladies, sewing, shade stays the same. Luckily, I have historic sites nearby with buildings. If I happen to brave a tent, I will be sitting, facing away from the sunny areas. (It is quite possible that by late winter/spring, I will have decided to completely switch eras for the lighter weight of the Regency.) I may still find I need to get my joy from the background stuff, ie gatherings, workshops and such.
Now, with that said…. What I really wanted to talk about….
I caught a discussion thread in one of the FB groups about young women in camp with colorfully dyed hair, one with purple, another with pink and blue. Given that later in the initial post the writer mentions children staying home, I get the impression these young women were teens. The threaded discussion rolls along with comments on inappropriateness, parent shaming and teen shaming. It also has comments on event coordinator standards and unit standards. (yes, I am skipping over how ever they were dressed.)
Something pushed a button.
For years, I’ve emphasized the importance of event standards and written civilian standards for groups. I have a set outlined in the PDF section that I know several, no many, groups have asked to be able to use. I enjoy helping women improve their impressions. I’ll nudge if they like. Yes, I have made women eat their nail polish off on Friday nights.
But, these are teenage girls. These are 21st century teenage girls. They have complex lives. Yes, actually, I do think their lives are far more complex then ours were at their age.
Hearing that they should “stay home” really pisses me off.
There. I said it.
What in the world does that accomplish??????????
You don’t know the situation. You don’t know if she grew up in a reenacting family, but really has other interests. You don’t know if she has a budding interest in history. You don’t know if she wants to learn new skills but didn’t know where to start. You just don’t know.
You won’t know by looking from a distance and getting all huffy about something you don’t like.
Guess what, the teen with the colorful hair may be the prequel to some amazing research.
But, you will never know.
Teens need guidance, information, mentors. Sometimes, they just need someone to talk with.
So, here it is.
You know how I mentioned that I will be doing sewing circles, sticking to the shade? You are welcome to come sit with me, even if you have brightly colored hair. You are Welcome. Come. Sit. Sew. Chat. Learn. Share. At times, we will talk in soft first person. At times, we’ll share our research. If you want help pinning up your hair, just ask.
No, this does not mean I happy to see inaccurate clothing, material culture, behaviour at events. This means, I believe we should take our time with each other, especially with teens, as we learn and grow. I believe we shouldn’t be mean to each other. I believe my research and my work is solid, but that does not put me above anyone else.
Oh, and by the way….. when I started doing living history, my hair was 13 shades of red and purple.