I collect hobbies. More specifically, I collect hobbies in a completely unsustainable fashion. I’m writing to you from my desk which is surrounded by an overflowing stamp collection, a box of neglected jewelry making bits, attractive tissue paper from various stores that I, obviously, shouldn’t throw away, and three repotted plants from my most recent obsession: container gardening. If you like radishes, well, then I’m your girl.
Most of the time I learn my hobbies from friends, sites like pinterest are doing me no favors, and often times, I get my hobbies from the guys I date. Old boyfriends are how I started biking, how I learned about some of my favorite bands, why I dabbled in rock climbing, pickle making, beer brewing… and while this might not be considered a traditional hobby necessarily, one old boyfriend even got me to stop keeping semi-kosher and start eating pork which I now do with the commitment of a dedicated scholar.
I guess now might be a good time to mention that I’ve met a really great guy named Dmitriy and he is an avid medieval sword fighter.
He trains weekly and often goes away for battles that last all weekend and involve camping in period dress. This is the real deal, heavy-duty armor, big swords, intricate costumes, and a lot of historical knowledge. This hobby is a huge part of his identity, and has been for over 10 years. I’m incredibly happy that he has such a passion for something outside of work, and I’m envious of the intenseness kinship he has with some of the other men in his group. But if I’m going to be honest, medieval times just aren’t for me. I’m not into the historical period and I would probably bruise to death if someone hit me even through armor.
But since meeting Dmitriy, I’ve completely caught up on one of his favorite shows the medieval-ish HBO series Game of Thrones which, we watched religiously every Sunday. I’m so obsessed with the series that I took an online test to find out what family I would be in (the Starks, thank god) and I’ve had several dreams involving dragons. But that is all no big deal, that’s just a wildly popular T.V. show, that I too enjoy.
Recently, however, I found myself swinging a metal sword. I started tapping at an old car tire Dmitriy has hanging from the rafters of his room. At first I was afraid of how the sword’s blade would bounce off of the tire, the last thing I need is to knock out my front teeth, but once I swung I realized it was fun. Like, really fun…
Originally written in 2012*