As I have said, I try not to make too much of the fact that I am A Baron. My attitude may be due to the fact that I am A Viking and we have always considered our leaders to the be the first among equals. Some good gentles point put that difference to rank is all part of the medieval game we all play and I really ought to take myself more seriously. They have a valid point, but I am also aware of individuals who take their rank far too seriously. Such individuals do tend to get their comeuppance in interesting ways.
There once was a lady in Axemoor whose mundane name was Terry Nutter. I’m afraid I’ve forgotten her society name. At any rate, Terry eventually moved to the Kingdom of Atlantia where she met her husband. It is from Terry that I received the following story about her husband (again apologies, I do not remember that gentles name either).
The incident occurred at an Atlantia event that Terry’s husband was attending. He was in the feast hall progressing down the aisles when he found his way blocked by a woman wearing full Tudor garb. Anyone who is familiar with how narrow the aisles at a typical feast hall is, and how voluminous Tudor garb can be, readily appreciates how this is possible.
Seeking to get past the lady, Terry’s husband started to politely ask her to move aside by saying, “Your pardon, my Lady….”
At this the woman, whose back had been to the gentleman, whirled around. She thrust her chest forward so that her medallion (Terry didn’t say for which peerage) could be clearly seen. “I am no Lady, I’m a mistress!” she scolded. Now, very rarely will God hand you a straight line like that, so you had better be up to it. Terry’s husband was to up it. He gave the peer a very appraising look and declared, “Well, you have certainly proven the former, and I wouldn’t have you as my mistress.”
According to Terry, a Duke who was sitting nearby sprayed his entire table with the soup he had been eating when he overheard that exchange. Her husband did not say what, if anything, the peer had to say about it.
A somewhat similar incident occurred to Lord Erik Thormansson. Erik and Lady Freydis initially joined the Society in Seleone. They were here for only a couple months before Freydis, who is an Air Force nurse, was posted to a base in Westrealm. As a consequence of this, the first SCA event they attended was in Westrealm.
At this Westrealm event, Erik made the acquaintance of a knight who, like Erik, was an aficionado of Harley Davidson motorcycles. They were engaged in conversation and progressing across the field at the event when they were joined by another lord and lady. At some point in the conversation Erik wished to address a remark to the lady and knowing that one should always show respect for people of unknown rank, started by saying, “My Lady….”
The Lady cut Erik short and in an icy voice said, “You do not address me as “My Lady.” I am your Queen! You address me as Your Majesty.”
At this the knight, who happened to be the queen’s ex-husband, replied, “Cathy, cool it! You are not wearing your regalia so how was he to know, and he did try to show respect. Besides, if you don’t cool it tomorrow morning I’m going to take him to Denny’s and you can serve us both breakfast!” It is sometimes said that coronets and medallions cut off the blood circulation above the neck, certainly this was the case with the two ladies cited above. That is also why I try not to make a big thing about my rank.