At our Princeton event this past weekend (recap post still to come), HM 17th Regt of Foot in America, as well as other British and Continental reenactor regiments, braved some particularly harsh weather conditions. Below freezing temperatures all weekend. Falling snow all day Saturday. Trudging through about 5 inches of snow Saturday and Sunday. All while wearing 18th century clothing. These conditions are definitely not something anyone could term “comfortable”. As such, our head camp follower, Mary Sherlock, came up with the perfect term for the weekend. It was “funcomfortable”.
When we thought about this term a little further, we realized that “funcomfortable” perfectly sums up not just our weekend at Princeton, but the 17th Regt as a whole. There are many things we do that most people, including US, cannot call “comfortable”. Is it comfortable to wear stays and multiple layers of petticoats in 90 degree heat while you’re doing laundry by a fire surrounded by stone buildings? Not particularly. Is it comfortable to trudge through the snow so you can recreate an 18th century battle that your side actually lost? I think most of our members would agree it was definitely NOT comfortable. Is it comfortable to prick your fingers on needles while you hand-sew a garment? Is it comfortable to have to undo a long line of stitches because you’ve made a mistake, then redo it? No, sometimes it’s not. In fact, many of these could be called the very definition of “uncomfortable”.
But here’s the thing. Every one of those situations are also things that we find FUN. While it may be extremely uncomfortable to be standing by a fire in 90 degree heat in multiple layers of 18th century clothing, it IS fun to be able to tell a visitor at Fort Ticonderoga how camp followers did laundry for the army. While it may be super uncomfortable to not be able to feel your toes while you recreate a battle, it IS fun to honor the valor the very regiment you are portraying displayed 240 years ago when you drop your knapsack and run at the Continental Army on the field of battle at Princeton. It is a lot of fun to be able to make history come alive for yourself, your friends, and the general public. It is a lot of fun to be able to engage with them, and get them thinking about the past in a whole new way. And while it can hurt quite a bit when a needle pricks your thumb, sewing parties surrounded by your friends, all working on the same things you are, can be an absolute blast.
So. That’s what we are. That’s what we embrace. We are “funcomfortable”. We hope you find time to be “funcomfortable” with us in 2017.
God Save The King!