And Back Again

I woke up on Saturday before my alarm, good thing because I accidently set the alarm for pm instead of am…. it has been a long time since I had a non-human alarm clock.  Hit the road and enjoyed being solo for about 15 minutes.  It was a nice drive but 4 hours with nobody to talk to was very very dull.  I got to the event and was so glad to see people I knew who would help me tie the back of my dress and get going with the day.

Timing all day was basically perfect.  I talked to tons of people, visited all the people on vigil (for non SCA people a vigil is a time for a person to sit and contemplate the honor to come, and, to receive visitors formally to give words of congratulations and advice for the road to come.  These guys were getting the equivalent of a black belt and we all know that is a big achievement BUT NOT the end of the road by any means).  I wandered inside just in time for a very tasty lunch and more chatting with more people.  I know it might not seem like it, but, I’m actually a shy person – I have to make a real effort to walk up and sit with people or talk.  The kids make it 100% easier, they are my little icebreakers and I always have someone to sit with, go to the bathroom with, feed, and talk too.  In time I’m sure I’ll get used to having less of a flock to take care of but I felt at loose ends half the day.  The other half was super fun because I got to wear things I can’t wear with the kids around and talk as long as I pleased with anyone.  There was a photographer there and he asked to take my picture, I’m not sure if I should be offended or flattered but he did a ton of photoshop.  I was wearing zero makeup most of the day… look a bit made up here and whats up with my eyes?

The focus of the day was the elevation of these three guys.  Its hard to express how history making this particular court was but imagine the if the NFL created another conference for say Canada or Mexico ps. I have no idea if there is Canadian or Mexican football scene but imagine there was and they were really good but constantly left out and considered a lesser sport.  Imagine that for years they had petitioned to become equal and by petitioned they elevated their game to be absolutely equal to any regular NFL league.  Then 2 months ago the NFL gods declared that finally they would include this new league as an equal contender and yesterday was the first game.  It isn’t exactly like that in the fine details but I feel like that explains how important and big this is because it is just not something that is going to happen many times in a persons life.  The three guys elevated (continuing with the metaphors) are like the first 3 draft picks, the top of the top of our region. Quitting the metaphor now, every group in the SCA was allowed on May 1st to choose their top three candidates to create the premiers of this new order.  I’m pretty happy with the three we picked here, I know one of the premiers in Australia and love him to death.

All in all I was very pleased to be there and very very pleased to speak for the merits of one of them.  I heard my speech went over well.  It is hard to strike the right balance of personal but not too personal a statement to make.  My opinion on what should be said during an elevation ceremony is this –

1. it should be no longer than 60 seconds

2. it should be 90% about the person and 10% about yourself (if any) – too often I’ve heard the ratio go the other way

3. It should not put the person on a perfection pedestal nor deprecatingly joke about them

4. It should speak directly to how this candidate fulfills the criteria you were asked to speak of

Bonus; not a memorized speech, not read from paper, not a ramble off the top of your head

1-3 are actually pretty easy if you just are conscious of them.  Like a toast at a wedding its about them not you but a brief explanation as to why you are giving the toast is totally appropriate and informs the audience. “Joe was my roommate for 6 years and I hope he is my friend forever but today he marries his love Jane and….. all about love….”  It should never be like “I met Joe my freshman year and in the next 6 years we went on a ton of adventures, like that time we did spring break in Daytona or when we hitchhiked to Mexico and lost our passports…”  You see the difference right?

Anyway, for my part I am only qualified to speak as a royal peer; one who has led the kingdom.  The thing is that is probably the biggest bag of mixed fruit because so many different people have been king and queen and we all had different ideas about what was important.  Finding common themes among the queens is not easy, although we all get along well, it is not a cookie cutter set.  Any time I am asked to speak I try to find a virtue or quality that most queens hold in high esteem and talk about how the candidate meets that bar.  This time I talked about the virtue of Faith.  Since I always try to hit the bonus points I tend to give the speech a time or three alone to work out the flow and the points to hit but that means I don’t have a verbatim copy of what I actually said because on the spot I always end up with something just a bit different than what I practiced.  Here is more or less what I said;

Faith

Faith is a virtue that all Ladies of the Rose agree on

We have faith in a man to put us on the throne and faith in our kingdom to allow us to lead

When we were new and young we asked Ambrose to be our champion and he had faith that we would be royals he could stand behind

Today I am proud to say I Faith to stand behind him.

The after event – event went by way too fast.  I ended up being the designated driver for a crew and had to rescue someone from jumping into the middle of the street.  It was a series of fun parties and the final one might have been the best overall, double bonus because it was in the hotel I was in so when I noticed it was 3am I could just go fall asleep.  The next morning was odd again because all I had to get ready to go was me and that took about 30 seconds.  Brunch with a few friends and back on the road.  4 hours really feels longer and by the time I got home I was half dead again (not that I was fully alive given the few hours I slept)  There was a fruitless effort to take a nap but the kids were too excited.  Off to the playground to make up for lost parenting time and crashed to bed about 10 minutes after they did.  I had just about zero down time all weekend and today I’m doing all the home things that need to be done.  I’m already looking forward to the next event and figuring out what else needs to get done…  Planting the garden I think, thats a thing I do around mothers day  🙂

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