…And as I worked, confining my rat’s nest within a multitude of bobby pins and enough hair spray to punch a new hole in the ozone layer, I reflected on the fact that, invariably, someone will come up to me and try to touch my hair.
It’s not even so much the invasion of personal space, even though that freaks me out. But it takes a lot for me to wrangle my hair. Even though the end result usually looks just fine, it’s hard to articulate just how much of a fight it is to do anything with this crap I’ve got on my head. So when someone comes up to me and reaches for my face and says, “Ooh, your hair!” I flinch like a headshy horse.
I think sometimes the public doesn’t think about the fact that we’re real live human beings. Somehow, dressing up in silly clothes makes us part of the decor of the event, like the tents or the guns (it’s REALLY scary when someone comes over and snatches up one of those without asking). They figure they can walk up to us and just…touch us. I’m not saying they’re rude; in fact, I’m sure in a regular context they’d probably ask first. But there’s something about being a reenactor, being dressed up and a part of the event, that breaks down that wall in their mind.
So please, folks. I’m not saying you can’t touch our stuff. In fact, I usually let people feel my regimental coat when they ask if I’m really hot during an event, so they have a context for just how thick that freaking wool is. Tactile interaction isn’t out of the question.
Just…ask first. Thanks.