Let’s play dress-up!…….REALLY???

dead white guys


By Kenneth Justice

~ ‘You take yourself way too serious!’

Ever hear that before?

For many of us there is this point in life where life becomes less about living out every day to the fullest…..and more about facing our adult responsibilities head-on with 100% of our energy and focus.

There’s nothing wrong with being responsible; actually I suspect there are too many adults out there who are not responsible enough.

But there are also a lot of us adults who have forgotten how to have fun;

—) We became so involved in our career it has made us into a new person

—) We spend more of our evenings zoned out in front of a television after working a hard 8-hour shift and we rarely get outside and enjoy the world

—) Our meals are on-the-go…..and sitting at a café with a friends has become a luxury rather than a standard.

Did you go to college? Do you remember what made college great? No it wasn’t the tests! A big element of what makes college great is the people! It’s hanging out in the cafeteria with fellow students and enjoying the discussion that began in the classroom but has now overflown into our life.

Too many of us are weighed down by bills, budgets, deadlines, economic woes, and more of our day is spent dwelling on stuffy, tiresome, and tedious thoughts that land us right in front of our television because our minds are too tired to do anything else by the end of the night.

Many of us adults have forgotten how to have fun.

Last weekend I went to one of the largest Renaissance Festivals in the United States, somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 people hung out in the middle of a fictional 16th century English village; complete with knights, queens, princesses, jesters and the whole lot…..

I know what you’re thinking……..the type of place where a bunch of loons hang-out. Well, I can’t disagree with you on that; there were definitely a lot of ‘characters’.

But all-in-all it was a fun time.

What really throws me for a loop at these type of events is not the performers or the people who work at the them; what amazes me is how many of the patrons dress up!

At least half the crowd was dressed up in full medieval regalia and it’s quite a sight to see grown men and women dressed up like they just stepped out of King Arthur’s Court getting out of their Chrysler Grand Cherokee

But let’s face; these people were having fun…and they were all doing it with a British accent since that is something of a prerequisite to being at this kind of festival.

While so many of us in the Western World are getting older by the minute and rarely enjoying our days…..there are others out there who still want to play dress-up like when they were children; and to those people I say, ‘good for them’.

Life is too short to be weighed down moment-by-moment with major catastrophes.

—) Yes our current circumstance might suck

—) Yes our job might be very hectic

—) Yes life is serious and we shouldn’t waste it in non-stop revelry

But as the Proverb says, ‘There is a season and a time for everything’….and we shouldn’t forget that having fun is something we should never forget how to do.

Perhaps ‘having fun’ is something I think about because I spend so much time following the NEWS. This past week things have been out-of-control in Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria; and that’s just to mention a few of the countries that are each on the tip-of-the-iceberg when it comes to governmental chaos and instability.

I don’t ever want to be one of those people who are ignorant to what is going on around the world. I don’t ever want to be someone who never gets out of his own backyard.

Yet at the same time; I also don’t ever want to forget how to have fun.

Yes, as adults we definitely need to learn how to be responsible; but that doesn’t mean we have to become old and stuffy!

Of course we should also never forget how to make a good cup of coffee…..but that is another thing altogether.



Categories: Culture & Society, Really???

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19 replies

  1. This is how I feel about the renaissance faire too! Almost makes me want to join.

  2. Good read! I enjoyed it.

  3. i agree…but life IS short and as adults (especially with kids) we gotta define fun through narrow ways such that we don’t mess up our kids…the faire was probably fun…but really war wages in our neighborhoods and sometimes those flowers we stop to smell are oleander poison. still, fun can be, well, fun…

  4. Michigan has a few great ren faires. They have grown large enough that they have built permanent structures to make up the town the faire takes place in.for some performers these faires make up a good portion of their audiences during the summer. And of course playing dress up is just part of the atmosphere that makes it fun for everyone.

  5. why not? Life is a balance and we are happiest when we can adjust our lives to have some of both!

  6. I want to acknowledge your talent as a photographer. This man must be 7ft tall, what else would he do on weekends but dress up as a medieval giant? Your work captures not only the personalities of your subjects but clearly the mood they are in. I never think people should smile for the camera. It reflects your interest is people’s stories.
    My two girls learned about responsibility through the stories I tell them. I love to tell stories (and they always short). I tell them about people I know that were uncaring of others. That were greedy and hurt others on purpose. I also describe people that I know that have sacrificed their time and pleasures to help others. I watch their faces as they process the concepts. Growing up is never over.

    • I probably took a couple hundred photos that day, and many of them were much better than this one with the tall dude, but I had to use this one for the very reason u pointed out: what else is a 7ft tall guy gonna do on the weekend but dress up as a medieval giant

  7. It’s a general rule in my house that we don’t take ourselves too seriously for too long. Then again, my partner in crime and I met at a LARP, of which many of our friends still play.

    • I had to google ‘larp’ cuz I had no idea what it meant! Last month I ran into 30 or so teens and 20-something’s at the park all dressed up and playing war….bow and arrows, swords, the whole deal…..they seemed to be having quite a bit of fun, and the crowd that gathered to watch them was even larger than there group

    • They broke the first rule – never do LARP stuff in front of mundies. *sigh*

  8. Great post Kenneth. I LOVE Renfest! Ours started here in Minnesota last weekend and I can’t wait to go! We always play dress up… http://ramblingsfromjewels.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/minnesota-renaissance-festival-2012/ 😀

  9. It’s always good to do something fun, particularly if life has been hunker-down-and-work or when-will-this-garbage-end or whatever. Otherwise we burn out. Renaissance fairs are great for this because they totally pull you out of your usual patterns and headspace. Or at least they do for me. Glad you had a good time!

  10. When I lived in Ohio there were many people who were into Civil War re-enacting. I don’t know where that fits in with fun, but it is similar in its escapism from the daily grind. A math prof where i used to teach…the most serious guy I knew on campus, was a tiny guy from Wisconsin who attended these affairs as a court jester – he was tiny. He affected an Olde English accent, even in real life…now that’s lost in escapism. Guess all the usual intoxicants and TV didn’t do it for him.

  11. I just read this article on being happy by a psychologist and thought it was interesting. http://m.psychologytoday.com/articles/201306/what-happy-people-do-differently

  12. I love to dress up. One reason I try to have a Halloween party each year. Stepping out of our comfort zone allows the child in us to thrive if even for a day. Love your writing. Thank you.

  13. I don’t know if its because I have fibromyalgia and I appreciate things a lot more now, or if its because I’m 43 and realize that I’m closer to death than before, or if its because my kids are leaving the house and I want to give them good memories of me… but, I agree with you. Life is too short to get caught up in the stuffy stuff and not make it a point to have fun. Too few people realize that having fun and laughing are things that can improve your quality of life and your longevity. Can I re-post this on my blog, to your credit?

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