In the SCA, especially here in Texas (and Oklahoma), spring break usually means Gulf Wars, a nine-day long super-event held in Lumberton, Mississippi and pitting the armies and populace of the Kingdom of Ansteorra (that’s the part of Texas in the Central time zone and the whole of Oklahoma) and their allies versus the Kingdom of Trimaris (that’s peninsular Florida) and their allies. It’s a camping event full of both armored and rapier combat (including archery), equestrian activities, arts and sciences competitions, classes, shopping, partying, and generally thousands of people having a good time pretending to be someone else for the duration. Today is the official start of the war, and my Facebook feed is full of people who are traveling or are already on site, starting to set up and socialize. Through this next week-plus, the updates will be fewer in number, but I’ll be hanging on every word that I learn from the event – who won what, who received what awards during the week, that sort of thing.
I’m torn about Gulf Wars. On the one hand I’m a little envious that others have the time and the financial ability to take that much of a vacation – don’t get me wrong, it’s camping, but it’s still an expensive endeavor – but I’m more envious that people have the mental capacity to be able to handle that much socialization at one time. I have trouble making it through a day long event at this point, which is why I’m torn. It makes no sense to pack to go to Gulf Wars for only a long weekend, since the site is a ten hour drive one-way from home, and I really don’t think I could take that much nonstop time keeping my mask on for people. My anxiety would get the better of me so regardless of whether we had the money and time off or not, right now it’s best that I not go.
This is one thing that I hope we can return to when I can get over my anxiety and other mental illnesses. I’ve been to Gulf Wars twice and had a great time both times, even though one of my trips was cancelled early on account of bad flooding throughout the site.
So for my friends at war – fight well, fight cleanly, learn lots, party hard, and generally have the time of your lives. We’ll be there in spirit, this year and every year until we can make it there ourselves.