Saturday, May 21, 2016

My biggest regret in life

While sitting here pondering my life and thinking back over the years, the mistakes I've made, the chances not taken, words left unsaid; I've realized I don't have too many regrets.  Of course there are a few regrets, a few more chances I'd take, more I'd have said, less I'd have said or done, but one of my biggest regrets centers around two friends and a night of drunkenness.

It had to have been around 1996.  We were young and crazy.  We were in the SCA, a medieval recreation group.  My husband was a fighter, and I was an unbridled mischief maker and, at times, soldier for truth and transparency.  Above all, I enjoyed the revels.  We were at this huge event, Gulf Wars, people from all over the US come to Gulf Wars.  Every so often I get misty eyed and wish on the one  hand that we were still in the SCA and still doing the event circuit with friends.  So much time has passed, so many friends have passed or moved along.  I think this is where part of the regret stems from.  I never had another chance to mischief make with these friends on this level, that was the last Gulf Wars we attended and the last time I saw a great many friends and beloved acquaintances.  We soon after left the SCA and left many of those friends behind, some of us not speaking for years.  Some we never got the chance to speak to ever again.  Gulf Wars has grown into a much larger event than it used to be, granted we only went for the weekend usually, but I don't recall it being as large or as long in the early 90's as it now is. 

Our household was called the Bluebonnets.  We were a Scottish clan, though my persona was German and my husband's persona had been Mongol.  We were loud, proud and so very annoying at times to those with more delicate sensibilities and people who were in it solely for arts, crafts and the history aspect.  We were in it for the fighting, revelry, and camaraderie.  Some of our fringe members wore table cloths as kilts because they spent their money on armor not garb.  We just teased them a bit and didn't care that they weren't "proper".  Our leader "Big Nasty" would usually be blowing his cow horn and yelling or something.  We often used the horn to stir the Bluebonnet Plague drink we created.  Our household had our huge tent city going, my husband and I had spaghetti-o's and plenty of water.  We learned over the years that dehydration and hunger could really get the better of you.  I normally toted around some Boone's Farm and Kit Kats along with several packs of cigarettes.  I had my priorities.  We arrived on a Friday afternoon, late.  Our friends were looking like starving refugees, as they came to greet us, they still had yet to learn the importance of water and food.  They had gotten there a day or two before to select a campsite for us and to start setting up the party tent and stake our area out. 

I did my own thing during the scheduled fighting, shopping on merchant’s row with friends, hanging out with some of the merchants I knew well, gossiping with friends I’d not seen in months, I did sit on the sidelines and watch the battles.  I loved the social aspect so much.  These large events were wonderful when it came to connecting with friends who’d moved to other kingdoms (regions).  We made friendships at these events with people from other kingdoms and might only see them that one weekend per year.  When we saw them, it was like no time had passed. 

Now the regret. My husband always left the partying earlier than most.  I was a bit bitchy that evening, there was a whiny girl dating one of our household members, she was such a whiny snot…really couldn’t stand the girl after the first few times we hung out.  I threw my cotton hat to a friend sitting near whiny girl and it happened to miss and hit whiny girl, she claimed I hit her on purpose…with a cotton sunhat!  I can’t hit the side of a barn door with instructions.  Naturally I burst into gales of laughter at this haughty accusation of my tossing prowess and the supposed damage my floppy cotton sunhat must have done.  It did have that hellish ring of bells tied on the band, those could surely have put an eye out!  In my defense, other people were laughing too, it really was hilarious.  She stormed off.  The evening was looking like a huge success.  Then a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time sidled up next to me and we took off amid giggles.  Her husband (now ex) took one…ONE of my finger cymbals because I was obviously way too happy with both of them.  I still only have one of them to this day.  It stares at me balefully from the top of one of our wooden chests.

As the evening progressed we party hopped.  We parted ways at some point in the evening when I met up with two friends I’d also not seen in a while, Ananda and Flounder.  The three of us attended a party at an encampment called Asgard.  We’d been partying with that group for years.  This year, however, they had spared no expense and had this nifty cool gate/bridge you had to use in order to enter.  It had the name Asgard on a sign attached to what would have been the keystone in a regular arch.  Theirs was cut from wood.  It was a fantastic entrance.  The arch was the main gate, but they had gone all out and made a plexiglass rainbow that actually lit up with the rainbow colors.  The plexiglass was kind of frosted.  So, these two impressive arches were the sides of the bridge.  The idea was to cross (pass under) the rainbow bridge to Asgard.  Some of our drunk fringe members tried climbing across the rainbow bridge, but the angle was too steep so they kept sliding down.  They wobbled off drunk somewhere.  We were chatting up various friends at the household party and having a good time.  I got cornered by a chatty drunk friend who went on and on, gushing about the bridge and how it was made.  We left the party when the music stopped and they started boasting.  Flounder, Ananda and I found a porch at the main building (this was the main building of the camp and is a year round wooden structure, the SCA rents out sites for events) we were lying there passing around a few bottles while talking.  Then I noticed something truly amazing.  The porta-potties!  The porta-potties were named “Pot o’ Gold”  I got this wicked feeling and probably a mischievous look to go with it.  I blurted out.  “Guys, GUYS!  What’s at the end of a rainbow?”  They answered a pot of gold.  I said EXACTLY and pointed to the porta-potty nearest us.  We hatched a plan to wait until the party was largely dead, then we’d make our move near dawn.  We were going to grab a porta-potty and put it at the end of the rainbow!  We chatted, giggled, sung and reminisced.  Then the rain started.  Not a gentle rain…a down pour.  In that one moment, we lost a chance we’d never get back. We lost the chance to right things with the world, to release the leprechauns from their quests, we lost the chance to place a pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow.  Alas, the ground turned to slushy mud and we’d have fallen.  Plus it was already being used by many drunken souls.  We didn’t want to drop a “used” porta-potty on ourselves.  They don’t smell bad at all when fresh, but mix in a weekend of bad food and too much booze…yuck.  We left one another's company at dawn, feeling hollow about the rainbow and the pot o’ gold, but probably would do it the next year. That is my biggest regret.  I never got to have shenanigans with those friends, a pot o’ gold porta-potty and the rainbow bridge.  

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