This weekend's stories are going to be a little different. They are less about what I did or what happened, and more about what I felt.
Saturday was the 5th annual Unofficial PRIDE Day again. We were a smaller group photo this year than in previous years, and that's okay. Everyone who was there wanted to be there and sought us out. And We think of those who couldn't be there for whatever their reasons are.
I will always say 'my worst day of fest is better than my best day of work.' Saturday was one of my worst days of fest. I went into the day not having had a good meal Friday night, not a good night of sleep, and not a good breakfast Saturday morning. That day was also the busiest day of the season so far. While the previous week was uncomfortably hot, Saturday the 9th, for me, was just uncomfortable. I had this feeling I couldn't shake. I was sleepy, cranky, unable to focus, unable to make coherent sentences. Noah Boudit came by to take pictures, and he could see how bad it was for me. I had him pick up a sandwich for me from a nearby booth - it probably took me 90 minutes to eat this sandwich because I kept getting pulled away to different people and things. I felt like I was not in control, like I was being pulled apart. And I broke down twice.
We create magic at the festival. Sometimes this magic costs us something we need. I paid the cost on Saturday with my attention, lack of sleep, and lack of eating. I do not recommend it. But I am so, so grateful for The Sidequest Players team I work with because without them, I would not have made it through the day.
I am always surprised when children, usually between the ages of about 6-12 want to hug me. They ask if they can hug me for whatever reason. Maybe they had a good day, a nice interaction with me, or we just met. I don't ever ask for them for hugs because it has to be their idea, their choice (I will always offer a high five or a fistbump). I am not a mom and I never will be; other children sometimes seemed foreign to me when I was a child - I liked the company of people older than me when I was young. When a child has the independent thought to want to hug the weird, sparkly deer woman, I am taken aback every time.
'The Boomerang Effect'
Back at Newbourne village on the first weekend, I used the restroom there and when I came out of the stall, there were two fairly tipsy young women in pirate garb taking bathroom mirror selfies. I could see the phone screen and they were crooked or blurry. I offered to help - I'm taller, longer arms, better angels (sober). I took a bunch of pictures with their phone, gave them each a four leafed clover (#2 & #3 for the year) and walked them back to the rest of their party and out the gate. And for most situations, that would be the end of it. --Cut to Sunday... a woman dressed as a red tiefling with black horns is Sidequesting with a couple other gents. We talk and such, and she's hanging back in the conversation. As they are about to head off on their sidequest, she says we met before at Newbourne and tells me the bathroom selfie story. I think I shot about two feet into the air with shocked-joy. I did not recognize her and that boomerang hit me right in the face.
Until we meet again...
This was our team's last weekend with Query the Riddlemaster before he journeyed back to "The southwest part of England known as Fairhaven." I am already looking forward to seeing him and working with him again in February when I get the chance to visit him there.