Investiture was this past weekend. A lot of stuff happened, but for me, the important thing is that I was added to the Order of the Goutte de Sang (An Tir’s GoA level service award, for out of kingdom folks – they don’t have an AoA level service award). It was tres cool, I have to say. Something about having a GoA level award makes me feel like I’ve moved beyond the ‘just participating’ level in the SCA [in others’ eyes] – a nice feeling to have, after playing for nearly 14 years. And having that moment in court, holding his Majesty’s hands in mine, hearing the cheers of the populace – for me! – was really, really cool.
I have a fair number of awards. Most of them are baronial level (don’t carry any precedence) and the rest are AoA level. A lot of this is the result of moving around – you tend to ‘start over’ on the awards ladder each time you hit a new kingdom. Plus I have often seemed to fly under the radar (held two offices, helped in numerous kitchens, ran gate a bunch of times in the Midrealm, but I don’t have an APF; did three years of artsy stuff in Atlantia, but no ACB). And it shouldn’t matter, and I wish I didn’t care, but it does (did?) bug me. I try very hard to let go, especially because this is my home now, not those other kingdoms – but yeah, there was always some bitterness there, and I know I let that be seen more than I should have.
The end result, now I feel slightly embarrassed and like I guilt-tripped my way into the Goutte. Especially because service awards are generally for service to a specific kingdom – an arts award is for level of skill, so if you show up from a new kingdom and you are already rocktastic in an art, then yeah, if you practice in your new kingdom you’re displaying your ability at whatever level it is at and it’s logical to get recognized for that level. But service – even if you have a certain ‘level’ of service, or experience in service, I’m not sure service in another kingdom should ‘count’ for an award in a new one. Basically I’m not sure I really earned/deserve the Goutte de Sang. I am trying to listen to the people who have congratulated me so wholeheartedly and told me it’s well deserved, and maybe I will get there.
But it always seems to me like so many SCA awards can cause more angst than they do joy; over getting something you don’t think you should have, NOT getting something you think you should have, WHEN you got something, who ELSE got something – etc. If we’re having fun anyway, why do we get so hung up on the stinkin’ awards?
Oh well. One way or the other – it’s not like I’m planning to quit serving where my abilities are needed. So moot point, yes?