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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I Love Dickens Fair

Dickens Fair has always been a lot of nuisance for a little joy. It steals away every weekend in November and December. Every year at the end, I question whether or not it's all worth it. Not this year. This year, the joy is way outstretching the nuisance, so much so that I haven't even noticed the nuisances. If you asked me now why I do it, I could answer so easily and without reservation. It is one place where almost all of the interests and hobbies and pleasures of my life converge and I get to share it all with others. I get to dress up in a pretty outfit from another time. I get to dance all day long. I get to share the joy of dance with others who've never tried it before. I get to act. I get to act like a complete fool even. I get to share good food with good friends, including rarely enjoyed treats like tea and scones and meat pies. And I get to spend time with friends I wouldn't otherwise see. I get to meet new friends who will hopefully become a part of my life during the rest of the year. I get to be part of a tight knit cast that really does feel more and more like family every year. I love it. All of it. I'll take the minor nuisances (like getting up early on the weekends, sore feet, and singing way too many Christmas Carols) any time.

This weekend, I spent time having lunch with Arthur, discussing various things like funding a business for Ebeneezer and Mr. Marley, tea shipments, and Ebeneezer's complaints over the costs of trim for my new dress, and so on, all for the benefit of the elderly gentleman who sat across from us, who kept smiling as we went on. I danced with Mr. Lowe, a law student at Stanford who has been coming every weekend, and is so taken with Dickens that he wrote us a long thank you note, and announced his intention to join the cast next year. I danced a Congress with a blushing young man who swore he couldn't possibly dance, and enjoyed it enough to stay for more dancing. I walked past Dark Garden and saw friends of many shapes and sizes modeling corsetry, including a lovely scene where Pandora receives a telegram, and a box. I sat back stage and talked with Janelle about stuff and nonsense. I learned the joys of the Mr. Kettle's Hat game. I giggled with girlfriends over a first date. I broke Ebeneezer's heart in two distinctly different ways using the very same words - once in anger, and another in sorrow. I threw myself to the ground as the stagecoach hit the largest bump in Yorkshire, in a heap with Mr. Pillicody, Mrs. Pillicody, Mary, the Goose, the Red Ribbon, and the Green Skeleton. And when it was all said and done, I went to a birthday dinner for Emily, and spent Sunday night over a meal with 10 good friends.

Word has it that if the fair doesn't turn a profit this year, there won't be a fair next year. I think that would be a real shame. I'm hoping for the best, but I'll also cherish this season for a long long time.

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