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Thoughts on the Baronage

Having had a couple of weeks since the sew-a-thon/stress-a-thon, I’ve actually had a little bit of time to give this whole “baroness thing” some thought.

It’s not that I hadn’t thought about it – there was a LOT of thought before deciding to run, and then very specific thought during the ongoing Q&A session we had with the populace.  But those assessments were focused in very specific directions.  When deciding to run or not, the questions to be answered were “do we want to do this?” and “can we do a good job?”  During the Q&A, we were focusing on “what are our responsibilities” and “what can/should/do we need to do/do we want to do for the barony and populace.”

Nowhere in there did I put a ton of brainpower into “what does this mean for ME?”

My friend kass_rants will probably assess this as another episode of bird flu – I evaluated down to the minute details what I could do for everyone else, and it’s only just now occurring to me to evaluate what I need them to do for me.


In my defense, I didn’t actually expect to win.  Did I want to?  Well, yeah!  Otherwise why bother?  But expect to?  Nope.  I’m not that loveable, so it came as a bit of a shock – which is how the three week sew-a-thon happened.  It struck me as such complete hubris to make fancy clothes for “just in case” that I couldn’t do it.  I just couldn’t.  It damn near killed me to ask jtdiii to make me a pattern in advance because it just felt so *arrogant.*  Although to be scrupulously fair, I’ve been wanting a fitted dress for years now – this just forced my hand to actually do it.

All that lead-in aside – I’ve had a couple of quiet weeks to roll things around in this big empty head of mine, and look at it from various angles, and one thing keeps standing out: I have an entirely insufficient sense of personal entitlement to carry off what I want to do.  I remember that I used to watch Dinsdale and Aelfgiva wandering around at events and Pennsic and such entirely unattended – and it always withered my soul just a little bit.  We’re a laid-back group, and that’s a *good* thing, but when there is no behavioral clues to observe to tell you who the coronets are – maybe that’s gone a little too far down that path.

But here’s the rub – the idea of asking someone to do that for ME horrifies me.  The sheer, unadulterated conceit of thinking that someone wants to spend part of their day following me around stills my tongue entirely.  Even better, here’s where I get entirely schizophrenic about it – if another winning candidate had asked, I would have found that entirely appropriate and reasonable.  I just can’t do it for myself.

The current plan is that I’ll practice on my friends – they’re the people I would ask for help anyhow, and presumably somewhere in there I’ll find the words to branch out.  

Once upon a time, a friend of mine would have referred to this as “Insecurity Theater: Act 1, scene 3”  I’m going to aim to make this a one-act play.  We’ll see how it goes.



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 31st, 2012 07:44 pm (UTC)
Guess what?
Speaking not as a member of your Barony but as a long-time friend, I'm pretty sure it was the "what can I as Baroness do for *you*" attitude thatput your butt into that seat in the first place.

Try thinking of what folks can do for you in terms of how it is in the best interests of the Barony and also how it can be made fun (or funny!)

On a more serious note, however, the best way to get people to do things for you is to ask. Just plain out *ask* folks in your Barony to attend you if they are going to the same events as you. Nothing big, but little things like asking someone to fill your goblet so you can continue on with what you were doing. Also, this seems like a great time to let Charlotte be the little ham we know she is ;-D

Edited at 2012-05-31 07:45 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 1st, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Guess what?
This sounds brilliant. Victoria loves playing princess&queen (or some variation, sometimes I insist on being the EVIL queen who makes the princess clean things, or the royal gardener who works while she dances). I suspect that carrying a basket of snackies & drinks around after you would make her furiously happy.

Would blue sashes with baronial arms painted on make a good thing for your "attendants" to wear? I don't sew well...but I can handle straight seams. And I recently found some blue linenoid fabric left from another project....and I'm trying to carve out some time to DO crafty things instead of just look at the materials gather dust.
Long way of saying I'm volunteering.
Jun. 2nd, 2012 11:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Guess what?
Um... no. God, no. Hell, no. There will be no sashes - that would actually make me stop going to events.

I'm sure it would make her happy, but it's not something I need. I'm thinking more along the lines of "here's the car keys, could you go grab my checkbook," or "I have no idea where my husband is - find him."
Jun. 2nd, 2012 11:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Guess what?
It's a fantastic idea generally, but not so hot for me. I don't much LIKE kids, so the whole thing would be really uncomfortable for everyone. Ironic, given that I've got one...

I think that's an idea I'd rather ease into.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 4th, 2012 02:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Guess what?
Ah - that makes more sense. I tend to think younger when I hear "youth."
Jun. 14th, 2012 01:17 am (UTC)
Re: Guess what?
Actually, I'd assumed that I'd be with Victoria -- you would NOT have been a babysitter for her.
Jun. 2nd, 2012 11:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Guess what?
I suspect that Charlotte is going to do a lot to ease my way, oddly enough. Learning to accept help for her is going to be the gateway to learning to ask for help for me. :-)
May. 31st, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
And you saw how easy it was to make a pattern...

Just ask.
Jun. 2nd, 2012 11:18 pm (UTC)
That's the part that I have trouble with. Lucky for me, you're very reassuring about it. :-)
May. 31st, 2012 11:23 pm (UTC)
Insecurity? Perhaps...and I'd expect a healthy dose of modesty too, both of which should prove helpful in *staying* a Coronet people want to help.

On the matter of asking for help, and especially retainers, something which may also help is something I have seen on this point in advice manuals for new Royal Heirs - to remember that for some people retaining and serving the Crown/Coronet IS part of their personal fantasy and that to serve thusly really is their pleasure. In giving them an outlet for that, you are doing them a great service rather than being an imposition on them. (to be sure, this isn't true of everyone, but still...) In a similar vein, how you appear to others at events reflects on the Barony as a whole to "outsiders", so again, in assisting the Coronet, the people of the Barony help themselves as well.
Jun. 2nd, 2012 04:25 pm (UTC)

You aren't asking for people be *your* retainer/servant, whether for an hour, a single event, or longer; rather you are asking them to fill that role for the *baroness'* and the barony.
Jun. 2nd, 2012 11:20 pm (UTC)
All true - it's just an issue of wrapping my head around applying it to *me.* It'll come. I have time.
Jun. 1st, 2012 12:12 am (UTC)
We are alike in our inability to ask for help, though the good thing about it is that since we don't abuse the privilege , our friends come out of the woodwork when we do ask. My moving party and painting party made me very grateful for that!

I agree with bytchearse that your attitude of "what can I do for them" is one of the reasons that got you elected. People know you're someone who works and gives it their all. You also don't have to be liked to be respected. You speak your mind and people at some level appreciate the lack of subterfuge.

I think you'll also find a balance for when you want to play public persona and when you won't. I also think that it is in part, how you present the idea that will determine the attitude of respondents. Remember that in this case, it is not service to YOU. It is service to the CORONET. While you may wear it at the moment, it is as a symbol of your barony, not you as a person. You're not asking for help for yourself. You're asking for service to the group.
Jun. 1st, 2012 12:34 pm (UTC)
To paraphrase Jack Kerouac, I have nothing to offer except my own confusion. But, I can say that I have every confidence that you'll work it out! :D
Jun. 2nd, 2012 11:22 pm (UTC)
You know me - when in doubt, I make it up as I go!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )