You thinkest you know someone. You thinkest you can trust again. But nay! One day, zounds: the knight you love and tooketh to the High Countess of Arathea’s feast at the Mid-summer’s Eve Ball at the Milwaukee Renaissance Faire goes and wears a cloak made of a polyester/wool blend!

I meanest, for fuck’s sake, Knight Duane. Polyester? Next time, why don’t you just listen to an iPod while Lord Steve makes his toast while you’re at it! It was bad enough that the Peterson Convention Center hadn’t removed the PA system and electricity in the Great Hall like we asked them to!

Look, I was willing to overlook the banana after the jousting tournament when I was applying that poultice to your pillicock. It’s a bad place to get hit with a lance and besides, you needed the potassium. And I overlooked the reference to chocolate, even though only a knave and varlet wouldn’t know that chocolate wasn’t widely available in Europe until the late 16th Century. Even I once thought potatoes were native to Ireland!

But I really thought we had something when I served you that tankard of ale in Kenosha after your quarterstaff fight with Sir Craig. Something special. You had those leather wrist bands—I hadn’t bathed in weeks. You played me that madrigal on your lute as I rubbed tallow on your boots.

T’was blackest magick!

I thought the dark days were finally over. When I left Eddie after he refused to take our wedding vows in Klingon, I turned my back on that old life… forever. No longer was I Chief Communications Officer Lippschulz in charge of the transporter deck and stuck in a sexless relationship with someone who could never remember that Spock was the first Vulcan to serve in Starfleet, much less that he was actually half-human. I was Lady Barb of the Forest, wild and free like the faerie folk of Racine. Or Beloit.

All Lady Barb lacked was a man strong enough to tame her… until Knight Duane Oakenstaff came along and taughtest her the meaning of love again. Sure, I thought about Battlestar Galactica now and then: who doesn’t? And I wasn’t ready to give up singing back-up vocals in that Harry Potter tribute band. But my heart was with the 14th century… and thou.

Until this happened, that is. What was I supposed to do, break character to tell you? ‘Hey, Knight Duane: lose the polyester?’ The word polyester wouldn’t even exist until at least four more centuries! Once you starteth down that path, abandon all authenticity ye who entereth! Which is like almost a direct quote from Chaucer, by the way. Not that you would know Chaucer from Dante apparently!

My mother warned me about knights like you. She said: “Verily, why not a blacksmith? Or yon falconer?” Nay, I told her. Thine counsel be ill-chosen, Mother. Knight Duane beest the noblest man-at-arms for me! Foresooth! I will pledge my troth to him and be his vassal in love!

Now I wish I had listened to her.