[Northkeep] RE: Personality and behavior (Piotr's observations - This is LONG !)

Keith Duke KDUKE at fwmurphy.com
Tue May 28 16:57:45 PDT 2002

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My my, what an *interesting* thread...

Please, pull up a chair, pop  open your favorite beverage and hopefully
enjoy my two cents worth (and I do intend to get my money's worth here!)

First observation - Funny, how some of the people I originally thought were
snarky turds and had snubbed me when I was first getting into the SCA are
now some of the people I treasure most.

Of course, they weren't actually snubbing me at all.

I just did a piss-poor job of communicating with them. That was *my* fault.

Second observation - It is most unreasonable to expect someone who is deeply
involved in "their thing" to drop what they are doing and pay full and
undivided attention for an extended period of time to someone that they have
never met before - and may never see again.
Especially when some of us are looking forward to the limited time we have
to do the group activities like combat.

If I'm jonesing for my rattan dose, I don't want to be unfriendly, but when
I have stick in hand, I'm just not the guy to talk to about anything except
fighting (if that!). It has my full attention and concentration. At that
point I don't care much about any other aspect of the SCA, or for that
matter anything else. This is sometimes known as "Don't talk to me until the
commercials are on!" <<lol>>  Is that clique-ish? I don't think so, just
being really involved in what's going on, and not wanting to miss a

Third observation - Some folks want to be shown around, made a fuss over,
and welcomed with trumpet fanfares. Some people hate that like crazy! They
want to hang around and watch and gradually get comfy.
Ferinstance - Ever go to one of those churches where they have everyone
stand up, and then through a process of elimination leave only the visitors
and newcomers standing?

Some people love that. Some people really hate it.

IMO - The SCA is pretty much tailor made for the latter folks. People who
are interested and keep showing up and poking around and trying stuff and
who look up one day and go "Wow. Look at all the cool people I am hanging
out with..." It has nothing much to do with shy, and virtually everything to
do with perseverance and finding a comfort zone.

Fourth observation - Some people just rub me the wrong way. They are too
freaky, too whiney, too abrasive, or too whatever. Or they seem great at
first but the more you talk to them the less you want them to know anything
about you. There are any number of people who I am sure are really nice,
decent folks but they just don't appeal.  For whatever reason - Like the two
newbie guys years ago who were at the park on a Saturday, talking about
fighting and all and making jokes about "How this was just like punching the
old lady". Granted, that is an exceptionally horrible (albeit real) example,
but I just didn't want anything to do with "men" like that.

Fifth observation - In so far as new people coming in being shy and
uncertain - I know where they are coming from - I can be *very* shy, because
until I know the rules and 'lay of the land', I don't want to look like an
idiot any more than anyone else does. I figure that most folks are like

Is that a problem caused by the populace at large? Is that their problem to
deal with?

Not hardly. Its my problem. And luckily I have friends who will tell me when
I'm doing something stupid, and who will help. But then we were friends
before the SCA.
So - think about this for a bit please - the people who come in and *stay*
in long term mostly come in because they either have existing friends who
are already doing this (ready made comfort zone) or they're doing some
specific activity separately already and see a group of like minded people
with similar skills/interests (ready made comfort zone)...They want to do
the activities, and this looks like a place to do them. They aren't looking
for completely new friends *and* a completely new hobby at the same time.
While I am certain that these are not absolutes, I bet they are by far the
Argue it over a beer anyone?

Sixth observation - For the gentles who posted to the non-Northkeep list
about their problems in/with Northkeep... That was tacky, and immature.
Post where you have the problem, instead of defaming a mostly innocent
barony on another barony's list.

That smacks of stirring up trouble, and that was *exactly* what prompted the
"good riddance" replies! ( I have a lot more that I *could* say here but
will forebear!)

BTW - The gentle lady (Sioned) who outlined her frustrations and her
problems has my respect and sympathy. She showed that she was interested in
playing here by talking about her frustrations *here*. That isn't whining
and crying. That is an adult and respectable thing to do. Keep plugging
along milady Sioned, and you will find your fit. Perseverance!

For other folks - Got a problem with no one to play with? Not feeling like
part of the group? Drop the seneschal a note, or the hospitaler. Ian and
Susan are both rather excellent examples of how to play the game. But if you
toss your toys out of the pram and just leave without giving the official
arms of the Barony a chance and/or complain to people *outside* the Barony -
then that's your loss.

Seventh observation - To the folks who have tried to be involved and been
repeatedly hurt - Sorry. I can sympathize.
I have personal experience of running into hateful, hurtful, jackasses in
the Society. My ex-wife - a very outgoing and cheerful person - refused to
participate in the SCA after going to two events, and experiencing two
separate verbally negative incidents. She wasn't being overly sensitive,
just the recipient of undeserved snide remarks. She chose not to play

And that is where we *all* get to at some point in time - You have to decide
if this game is worth it. Your emotional investment versus your emotional
profit. Is the payout worth the time, trouble and effort?

Snarky turds are out there. Beautiful, kind generous souls are out there

If you are a very sensitive person, and you find yourself getting crunched a
lot, maybe you might want to think about realistic expectations. If you want
to get involved but don't feel welcome, identify *why* you don't feel
welcome... Is it being ignored by the fighters at fighter practice? Is it no
one will talk to you? Is it you are wearing a Star Trek outfit & speaking
Klingonese? Is it that you are talking smack about stuff you have never
actually done? (Don't know about the rest of the SCA endeavors, but I see
this all the time on & off the field. It's usually amusing. Sometimes it

Which brings me to my last observation (I heard all those sighs of relief!)
- If we have an intersection of interests I can pretty much guarantee that
you will feel welcome, if you just hang around long enough. It might just
take awhile.

In closing I would like to say that these are my own views, not those of my
knight, various households, political party or religious affiliation.
If I have offended, it was unintentional, and if you wish to take exception
or disagree, please do so. I welcome reasoned, adult differences of opinion.
You might even convert me to your way of seeing things. (Hey, it's happened


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