[Elfsea] Telling someone that what they are doing is not period

Lisette Blanco-Cerda de Abbott dragynstarre at gmail.com
Wed Sep 13 01:25:57 PDT 2006

Being one of those newbies, I would welcome gentle instruction.
However, since as of late I've not made an appearance at any SCA event
but do indeed keep up with what's happening vis-a-vis this listserv
and other assorted methods of news delivery, I understand the
precarious position I'm in. When I was attending, primarily fighter
practice and Middle Eastern dance, I found I was becoming more and
more apprehensive about being "correct" that, in all honesty, the fun
and joy I initially had upon joining the SCA were slowly seeping away.
Even my son (who also attended fighter practice) began to feel the
same way.

Now, I joined the SCA just because it seems like a lot of fun and
offers more avenues for learning. In no way am I an "expert" on
anything medieval--nor do I necessarily wish to be. For goodness'
sake, my PhD is in early American literature and history--definitely
not within the realms of medievalism. I still plan on coming back to
fighter practice and Middle Eastern dance, mainly as ways to express
and share my joy in these two passions with other like-minded folks.
However, in all honesty, I cannot say when. And truthfully, a major
factor in this decision centers on whether or not participating
(albeit limitedly) in SCA events will remain fun and not up for
painfully close inspection as to whether or not I'm "period" in every
detail. However, that does not mean I do not wish to learn the "rules
of the game" providing they're offered in the spirit of fun and not in
an attempt to cut me down. I enjoy learning about medieval life and
wish to appropriate that which is interesting and relevant into my own

~Audiard Lisette de la Mer

On 9/12/06, willowjonbardc at juno.com <willowjonbardc at juno.com> wrote:
> Greetings everyone
> I have a special request of you. How can we tell people that what they
> are doing is not correct? That it is not period, but at the same time
> not make them feel bad. Many newer people are telling me that they are
> living in fear because they think their costumes, art, performances or
> behavor are going to be criticized and they are going to be told that
> they are not in period.
>  Now as a citizen of the SCA I feel it is my duty to inform people
> that their work may be better if they would stay in period. I have
> tried to tell them in a nice way. I have failed many times. Sometimes
> I am too soft. There was the young lady who was planning on beading a
> piece of polyester double knit. I warned her that taking that much
> time on double knit meant it would not get the best scores at the A&S
> competitions. She said she liked the design and she didn't plan on
> entering A&S. Of course 3 years later she did enter it and got points
> knocked because it was double Knit. She left the SCA over it. I failed
> with my own husband. I told him his work was not period and he is
> still mad at me. Sometimes I have helped people. There was a lady who
> in the everyday world won many awards for her needlework, but she was
> getting nowhere in SCA. I suggested she change her designs to
> something period and she received many awards for her work. When I
> told her that her designs were wrong she cried, but a year later when
> she got her Thistle she hugged me.
> We need to tell people the rules of the game, but we need to do it in
> a nice way. Does anyone remember a time when someone set you on the
> right path and did in a way that made you feel good? I would like to
> hear about their techniques. Courtesy is one of the pillars of the
> magic that is Ansteorra. We are smart people. We need to figure out
> how to tell people things without hurting their feelings.
> Duchess Willow de Wisp
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"Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation.
Be notorious." ~Rumi

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