Coping mechanisms / Wedding planning

These aren’t the boobs you’re looking for

Just kidding. These are exactly the boobs you’re looking for.

My trip to the Maryland Renaissance Festival on Sunday was the end of an era, in a way. This time next year when the Festival comes back to town, the chance I’ll be living driving-distance from Annapolis, driving-distance from my parents, and driving-distance from the city where I fell in love with Jonathan will be slim-to-none. This time next year, when the Festival comes back to town, I’ll be putting on my bachelorette flower garland and hoping to drink enough mead to stop the nightmares that I left all my RSVP reply cards in Kentucky, and now I’ll never be able to finalize the reception seating chart in time to make sure everybody’s aunts and uncles are at equidistant tables from all their children and respect families, SO THAT NOBODY CAN CLAIM I WAS PLAYING FAVORITES.

(I recently had a dream that, two days before the wedding, I’d completely forgotten to book a florist. I was trying to rationalize that a wedding without flowers would be okay, because some people are allergic to flowers anyway and they’d probably attract a lot of bees that would sting my guests, who are probably DEATHLY allergic, and it’s like a 20-minute drive to the nearest hospital so all my guests would die and I don’t remember seeing a premises liability clause in my contract with the venue.)

To end this fearless era, and to add to my first trip to the Renaissance Festival this season, Jacki and I decided we’d get there as early as humanly possible, and spend the day trying to find our way around until Becky got there. (Becky, I want you to know that we did a really good job. We’ve learned, instead of maps, to use important landmarks like those animal statues carved out of wood next to the hammocks.)

This was our first time getting to the Renaissance Festival before the gates to merriment opened, which means it was our first time seeing the opening act. I’m not sure how we’ve ever gotten through the Festival without it, because it provided a lot of anachronistic context and, thanks to our friend Julia playing Isobel Yaxley, a lot of humping.

When they mentioned that they were going to fire a cannon, I assumed that didn’t mean they were actually going to fire a real cannon. That was my first mistake of the day. My second was not packing an extra pair of Depends for when I peed myself after the cannon went off.

The day was off to a fabulous start, and we weren’t even drunk yet.

This is for you, Middletown High School Drama Department. Jacki says that the first time the two of us met was in chemistry class in high school, when I was wearing all black and scaring most children. BUT IT WASN’T. It was actually a year earlier, when she was my understudy as Ursula in Much Ado About Nothing. Maybe she’s trying to block it out, because she was a terrible understudy who never even learned my blocking.

It was the second-to-last weekend of MD Renaissance Festival 2012, and it was a beautiful fall day, which means by noon it was almost too crowded to do anything, and felt suspiciously like being on the DC metro during rush hour. But with more chainmail.

A performance stage at roughly 10:00am, versus a performance stage at noon. You have to be pretty aggressive if you want good seats. Luckily I have a lot of practice from the metro at rush hour. I only brake for pregnant women and seeing-eye dogs.

Jacki and I started the day by high-tailing it to the crab pretzel stand, and then immediately to our favorite bartender.

We only stopped along the way to meet characters we really wanted to talk to. Which were this guy with a dragon on his shoulder, and the guy/maybe-he’s-a-donkey with that existential sign.

Since we’d heard that the previous day’s Renn Fest tickets had sold completely out by mid-afternoon, we took it upon ourselves to do ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING IMPORTANT AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, so that we wouldn’t have to stand in line to do it later.

Clearly our priorities were just photo ops.

By the time we were two drinks in and I’d purposely avoided the kiosk where they sell pocket knives with “U.S. Army” printed down the side, the sun had started to come out. And I quickly went from complaining about being too cold to complaining about being too hot. I don’t like temperatures.

So we stopped by the Miles Tonne Custom Leather shop, where we saw the price tag for a corset and tried to leave immediately. But the staff was friendly and fantastic, and they offered to outfit us in some of their favorite pieces, just for fun. Since we were ending an era, we figured some costumes were fitting (and had already come in matching skirts).

I ended up settling on a hot-pink scarf from Bullseye, because they showed me how to wear it as a shirt and I could afford it. Please notice the obligatory shot of my engagement ring and my really Reniassance-y nails. We hung out in Miles Tonne (which had a pleasantly surprising collection of leopard-print leather) until we felt like we were going to start selling our possessions in order to afford to take the outfits home, so we quickly took them off and left.

This is when we really started to get into the spirit of the day. It was either from the leather, or from the fourth drink. You choose.

Those are deep-fried triangles of macaroni and cheese, and I think if I’d eaten one more I’d be dead from heart disease. Jacki ended up purchasing a giant sausage on a stick, but those pictures really walked the line of appropriateness (even for me), so here’s her drinking a beer instead.

On my previous trip, I’d stopped to see Julia in her Little Red Riding Hood children’s show, but I was eager on this trip to see her in the Chess Game. I’ve seen a lot of shows at Renn Fest throughout the years, but I was right to be excited about this one, because it was easily one of my favorites.

I know these pictures are a little Isobel-heavy, but it’s hard to take your eyes off her during the show, because you might miss a good face. Or a good hump.

If Annapolis, Maryland is even a little bit accessible to you next weekend, go see this. If at any point you feel overwhelmed by the bright costumes and heavy accents, spend a few minutes just watching Isobel Yaxley’s face. You will leave happy.

A lot of the other performances we wanted to see were too crowded by the time we found them (Becky didn’t get there until, like, 2pm, so blame her), so we were only able to capture snippets of other entertainment.

Janet Spahr is a temptress. That’s a handpan she’s playing, which sounds like if a steel drum met a harp in heaven, and they made angel baby instruments to soothe the other angels to sleep. I have few nice things to say, however, about the Renaissance Man’s performance, so I won’t say anything at all. Except for that the kids who volunteered to help out with the witch hunt were all really cute.

One of the things I do like about a crowded Renaissance Festival is that you’re almost guaranteed to run into somebody you know.

A whole high school group! Followed by an exciting cameo from our high school friend Alison (who I think I haven’t seen since we auditioned for The Price is Right together a few years ago) and her boyfriend Clint, and then our college friend Mary.

And EVENTUALLY Becky made it, with her boyfriend Brandon (who Jonathan would like as a fellow Terps fan) and her friends Dan and Scott.

We also took a moment to honor those who could not be with us this year. Namely, our friend Grace, who is saving the world via the Peace Corps, and we’re just here getting drunk. Grace is better than us.

Grace, this is for you. I hope you’re having this much fun in UKRAINE.

And now that you’ve scrolled through this whole post because I promised boobs and you know I’d never lie to you about boobs, I’ll get down to the cleavage.

First, an honorable mention to all the wonderful cleavage I solicited throughout the day. People at the Renaissance are surprisingly receptive when you ask to take a picture of their hoisted breasts:

So many boobs, so little time. But not really, because we were there for like nine hours. I hope you recognize the girl in the gold metal bikini, because I sure did! She didn’t think I was at all crazy when I mentioned seeing her a few weeks ago.  By which I meant I paparazzi-ed a zoomed picture of her cleavage on my phone, and didn’t tell her. I’m probably a sociopath.

The third-place cleavage award goes to the trio who helped me make my scarf into a shirt at Bullseye.

How can you NOT buy something from them?

Second place goes to this beautiful woman selling flowers, for her tasteful display of dagger-in-cleavage, and her charming smile.

She asked if I wanted the flowers in the photo, and I was pretty honest about preferring the cleavage. She got ten bonus points for not being offended.

And the first-place cleavage award goes to…

What. Knockers.

I don’t think I have to explain this one.

Until next year, Maryland Renaissance Festival. I hope you’re ready for my bachelorette party.

0 thoughts on “These aren’t the boobs you’re looking for

  1. I read your blog every single time you post, but this is the first time I’ve commented. Mainly because you mentioned me. I am DELIGHTED (that I’m famous now) and EXTREMELY JEALOUS since I’ve now missed the RenFest two years in a row. The last time I was there was actually three years ago with you, Becky, Jacki, and Sir Thomas Seymour, about whom I still dream every night.

    Seriously though, it’s so nice to read a blog a. about semi-normal American life and b. by someone who can actually write (and is funny). Since I’m currently ending world poverty, the LEAST you can do is keep telling funny and heartwarming stories about love, long-distances, and getting drunk with people who confusingly think the Renaissance was a time when horns, tails, and fairy wings were in fashion.

    • I love you, Grace. I want you to know that Jacki kept an eye out for Sir Thomas Seymour all day, because she wanted to make sure he’s still faithful to you.

      You keep on saving the world, and I’ll keep on making boob jokes. Washington College should be proud.

  2. Hello — I work at the ren fest (the pirate camp where you took the photo of the chicken) and have for more than 20 years. (It seemed like a good idea at the time.) I’ve noticed that people either really love the festival, or they really love making fun of it. I’ll admit, it’s kind of an easy thing to make fun of. Thanks for writing something fun and funny without unkindly mocking us oddballs. All the best to you and your future husband!

    Darcy
    P.S. My baby brother is ret. Army

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