Renaissance Festival

The Greater Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival is held on the weekends from mid-August to the end of September. I’ve gone for years, at least one weekend each year. There was one year that the RenFest was closed, up for sale, and I searched for a nearby renaissance festival but never did travel to any.

There really is quite a unique crowd there. Oh, there’s the usual family-type visitors: mom, dad with their little boys brandishing wooden swords and little girls preening in their fairy wings. But then there’s the dedicated RenFesters, the medieval roleplayers or “society” folk (Society for Creative Anachronism), and a few posers…adolescents or young adults who just want to tromp around looking all goth. The costumes are fun, though, regardless of legitimacy.

Mark’s first RenFest was last year, when I introduced him to the event. Patient as always, he allowed me to scour every booth’s display of baubles and festoonery. I lingered the longest at the corset dealer. Awesome finery, a bit intimidating, a veritable sartorial statement. I was delighted that the owner initially selected a 22-inch corset, only to discover it was too large for me. (Color me smug.)  He laced a 21-inch black and purple, heavy duty, waist-cinching, underbust corset on my frame, instructing me as he laced and hooked. There’s a strict order one must follow when adorning one’s self with one of his corsets. Tightly laced, my back erect and my breasts overflowing, I strutted before the mirror, before Mark … and fussed with the edges, the stays, the bustline…but I was lost to it. I had to have it. And so I was much poorer leaving the festival than when I entered. But my posture was fantastic.

I wore it all that day, even when Mark and I went out to eat at Bar Louie’s in Cranberry. Yep, I was a spectacle. Mark didn’t mind, so neither did I. A few women asked me where I got my corset but mostly I just received sidelong glances–and a few outright stares. Fiddle-dee-dee! It was just plain fun.

I haven’t worn the corset since…until this weekend’s RenFest visit.  Tee and Reno came to the festival with us, too, and Teresa tried on a corset. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the cash on hand to get one. Nor is it really a wise investment at this stage for her. That much money for a once-a-year wear? But oh yes, it is fun.



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