Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Time, Tide, And The Best Laid Plans

There are only so many hours in a day, so many days in a month, and so many months in a year. That's all we get. Somebody passed a law, or something.

I've been busy planning a handfasting.

A couple months ago, I was asked by a couple of friends if I would perform their handfasting. I was delighted. And, of course, I agreed immediately, and we have all been e-mailing the plans back and forth, getting everything ready. Putting a handfasting together is interesting enough if you have all the people involved (the couple and me) together in one place during the time of the planning. What makes it really interesting this time is that I live in one city and the couple lives in another city.

Matter of fact, they live in a different country. I'm located in Lower Mainland, BC, Canada, and they are in Bellingham, Washington, USA. Which, if you look at a map, is only about an hour south of where I live if you have a car. Which I don't. Have a car, I mean. It sure would simplify things if I did.

Especially since I found out we're not going to be doing the handfasting in Bellingham at all. Oh, no. That would be too convenient. We're going out into the woods to do the handfasting.

We're going to do it at an SCA event!

I didn't find that out until after my promise was locked in.

At least we all live in the same Kingdom. And the same Principality. Problem is, I live in the Barony of Lion's Gate,and the couple live in the Shire of Shittimwoode. And what is acceptable in one place is not necessarily okay someplace else.

And I've never been to an SCA event in my life.

I'm not even sure my back is gonna survive sleeping on the ground. I'm getting to be too old for first-time body-bending exercises.

So now, on top of everything else, I have to find acceptable garb to wear, and I have to create a persona (and a name) that will be acceptable to the Herald.

And I have less than two weeks to get it all pulled together, load it into a piece of luggage-on-wheels that at the best of times behaves like a large, unruly puppy, and get me and it all south of the forty-ninth by train.

And there are some interesting side issues involved here, too. I'm not licensed to perform marriages in Washington state. But that's okay, because this is a Pagan handfasting rather than a "real" marriage. And Washington state doesn't recognize handfastings. But that's okay, because this is a same-sex marriage, and Washington doesn't recognize them at all. But I'm going to do it anyway.

I'm trying to avoid anticipating the conversation I will probably have with Customs and Immigration on the southbound trip.

I don't care about the conversation coming north. I was born in Canada -- they have to let me come back.

Don't they?


In the Department of Chicken Counting, plans got a little ahead of circumstances. The handfasting might go ahead, but I will not be performing it. When my expertise is asked for, I do not expect to be second-guessed by whims, and I certain don't expect things to be decided behind my back, without my input. I then do not expect a temper tantrum once I explain why something cannot be done "that way."

And I refuse to be used -- trotted out like a tamed oddity at the end of someone's leash -- in order to impress people that someone has not yet met (but whom they desperately want to please).

There's more, but I'm betting y'all get the gist of it.

The really good news? I no longer need to be concerned about whether or not my back will survive sleeping on the ground for two nights. Shittimwoode will get along just fine without me, I'm sure.


Blogger JeanC said...

Don't worry about the conversation coming south, just tell them you are visiting friends and doing some camping.

In regards to camping, get an inflatable mattress, not the little itty bitty ones with the built in pillow, but a real inflatable that is at least 5 inches thick when inflated. They come as small as a twin and as large as a king.

In regards to garb, I've made some pretty decent ones out of sheets, check your local thrift shops for cheap ones. White can be dyed to what ever color you want. Tunics and pants can be made from simple patterns without too much fuss.

Thursday, August 17, 2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Chimera said...

"Visiting friends and doing some camping" would work well if it weren't for all the altar accoutrements (think athame), the customized staff (which is new since you were in the area, and I'm adding to it almost daily) and the bag full of costume stuff rather than regular clothing.

Ah, yes -- 'way ahead of you on the thrift store idea. I've already got a cloth carry bag, robes, poet shirts (real Cambric...I damn near fainted!), hose, trews, belts, and moccasins. All without buttons and zippers, or easily modified to be so. I even found some "period" two-tined forks with wooden handles and rings on the end with which to hang it around one's neck, just as would really happen (they're actually fondue forks, but don't tell anyone).

I'm borrowing a piece of thick futon foam, though. I don't sleep well on air mattresses. They tend to suck all the heat from my body and I spend the night wide awake and the next day with aching kidneys.

Thursday, August 17, 2006 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous DazzlinDino said...

I've got a name that might fo over with the bridesmaids........Sir Hammer of the Velvet Flesh....

Sounds like a riot to me, have fun...

Thursday, August 17, 2006 1:16:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

ROTFLMAO! When the "bridesmaids" are a bunch of drag queens, and with a name like that, you could out-do the bride for attention!

Aw, jeez, Dazz -- you have no idea how little sleep I'm gonna get now, reviewing that whole scenario over and over in my mind...

Saturday, August 19, 2006 7:01:00 PM  
Blogger Balbulican said...

This all deserves a fuller rendering, you know.

Monday, August 21, 2006 5:19:00 AM  
Blogger Chimera said...

Yeah, it probably does. But someone else is gonna have to do the rendering of it. The only rendering that has passed through my thoughts in the past couple of days is that of living flesh -- and even for me, that's pretty extreme.

Monday, August 21, 2006 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous dez said...

I wasn't going to go anyway - I would rather play D&D than attend a wedding... or handfasting... at an SCA event.

I understand that one of the drag queens will be doing the ceremony instead. Probably just as well - you would have given the ceremony a much higher degree of seriousness and treated it with all the respect of an actual religious event.

Apparently, that was not what the participants wanted.

I am curious about what happened, though. You are not the easiest person in the world to tick off.

Thursday, August 24, 2006 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Chimera said...

Dez: Strange...your name has been bandied about as one of the "definitely attendings" -- with your family. I guess we should all buy a large bag of salt and start reviewing pledges and promises given to us over the last twenty-five or so years, eh?

And since you've known most of the principal players for about twenty-five or so years, expect an e-mail with details.

I just am not up to naming fucking names on the blog just yet.

I was sorta looking forward to the SCA event, after I thought about it for awhile. I mean, I worked my ass off getting garb together and everything...and passed inspection with some other friends who are among the peerage in Lion's Gate. Guess I'll just have to get my membership here in Lion's Gate.

Thursday, August 24, 2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

I am compiling a new blogroll of atheist and agnostic blogs. if you would like to be included in this list please leave a reply here :

Are You An Atheist Or An Agnostic?

Monday, August 28, 2006 6:28:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

Actually, I'm neither Atheist not Agnostic.

I'm Pagan.

But thanks for thinkin' of me, Beep.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 10:30:00 AM  

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