Adults are as bad as teenagers in judging each other. Recently, the following phrases have crossed my ears:
"When people bring Trader Joe's wine, we make fun of them. Not in front of their faces of course, but after they leave."
"I can't believe she wore that to this."
And the perpetual, "Well I guess it's okay if you like that sort of thing."
Weren't we all beat up enough by high school to not perpetuate this pretention? Don't we all know that for everything we think we are better at, someone else thinks we're worse at? Can't we just get over ourselves? As badly as I wish it weren't true, I'm guilty of pretentions, and am weighted by the judgements I pass on others, prejudices that sit heavy on my shoulders, holding me back from swirling, free, joy-filled appreciation of these miracles that live on this planet with me.
And that is why I love the Renaissance Faire. So rarely in life do adults get an opportunity to play make-believe, especially in a safe place without judging. This year, I dressed up for the first time ever, as about the least authentic gypsy one could imagine, and no one mocked my lack of authenticity; in fact, I received compliments on my wrong-culture, wrong-era skirt. I felt amazing.
I go once every year to revel in people being whoever or whatever they want to be for the day. This year I saw Waldo ("found him!") and a silvery-princessy-looking creature sitting together in the shade. I've seen fairies, beasts, all sorts of animals, knights, a knight in a cow costume complete with udders, Puritans, witches, witchy-Puritans, pirates, time travellers. At the fair, people get to tell the story of who they want to be at that moment, with no need for permanance, no need to feel embarrassed for wanting to be that person, and so little threat of judgement. It's seriously joyful.
Come with me—right now—and see if you can keep from smiling.
It's hard work not thinking you're better than someone else. My yearly dose of renfairing is one way I remind myself of how freeing lack of pretention is.