Cucumeri condiendi sunt Richard Armitage!

Cucumeri condiendi sunt is a Latin verb construction known as a passive periphrastic, which is made up a gerundive (a verbal adjective) used with “sum” (Latin for “to be”).  It functions to indicate obligation or necessity.  For instance…one might say:

Armitage amandus est

Armitage MUST be loved…

(maybe so, but that ensemble is another story)

When a Latin speaker was trying to communicate absolute necessity of something, the passive periphrastic construction was the strongest way to do it.

Cucumeri condiendi sunt

The cucumbers must be pickled


Indeed they must…cucumbers wait for no man, woman or media event.  When they are ready, they are ready.

pickles 2016 crop

All in all, I sealed over 40 jars of cucumbers pickled in one form or another (that doesn’t include the several gallons that are cooling in refrigerated versions of the same in various kitchens) over the last week or so.   Having put Picklepalooza 2016 behind me, I’m glad I decided to do it, despite dragging my feet on the front end.  Bluntly, the pickles were really pissing me off.  You see, everything about the pickles is on the pickles’ schedule.  The pickles don’t care if I have other things to do, Cucumeri condiendi sunt when they condiendi sunt.

As I bowed to the pickle pressure, I also reflected that perhaps this is in part what bugs me so much about Armitage press events…the sort of implicitly necessary nature of them, and the fact that everything about them is on someone else’s terms.  As a fan, in theory, I want to participate in things related to Richard Armitage, but barring a few notable exceptions (the original Hobbit premiere is one) I invariably find myself somewhere between repelled and resentful of the whole media blitz operation.

A big part of the issue for me is that I simply don’t have the option of being able to dedicate live time to events like the Epix TCA Event where images and commentary flow out across several hours from various venues and segments of the event – they always conflict with some other obligation.  Invariably, if I try to pick things up piecemeal, I’m always left with the impression that I’ve missed something, or worse, I get totally overwhelmed with the magnitude of both the material coming out and the swell of response to it.  Presto!  There I am, either resentful that I missed something, or repelled by hoop-la and the chatter.  This is something that I have struggled with intermittently in my own approach to fandom – which may or may not ring a bell with others.

I’ve come to a couple of conclusions on this front.  Like the pickles, I will always have very little control over the timing or magnitude of the event.  However, unlike the pickles, which will turn and rot if they are not attended to, thanks to the efforts of so many other fans, those images and interviews are captured and can be sampled at a time and at a pace that I set.  This is a really important aspect of my fandom, that is, that *I* get to define it…that there is no “right way” to be a fan, no fandom scorecard recording participation or whether I like a suit or not…that what works for others may not for me, and vice versa and that my definition of my fandom is an ever evolving thing.   You know what?

That is just fine.

39 comments on “Cucumeri condiendi sunt Richard Armitage!

  1. That last paragraph and sentence is everything. I’ve recently returned to fandoms after a dozen or so years off. And I’ve definitely learned that I don’t need to fangirl the same way I did at 20 and I get to decide its place in my life. I guess I’m coming to terms with trying to be a fully grown-up fan. (Which may have to be the title of my blog).

    • obscura says:

      Welcome and thanks for commenting!!

      “Fully Grown-Up Fan – There’s so much great double entendre there!

      This is one of those things where I have no desire to define fandom for others, so I want the same in return. I’ve not encountered much active external attempt, but I think there’s plenty of latent pressure all over the land that each person needs to figure out how to deal with on his or her own terms.

  2. Servetus says:

    Dad started bring me Flower’s cucumbers today. I suppose I should be glad she doesn’t plant zucchini. Also, I love “condiendi.” What a great way to put it.

    yesterday night I was thinking about the whole question of fandom and power (in relationship to conspiracy theories, which are often said to be a refuge of the powerless) and I was thinking that fandom is something that really *is* conditioned to remind us at every turn how powerless we are. I think you’re on to something here.

    • obscura says:

      Zucchini bread, Zucchini pickles, Zucchini parmigiana, Zucchini au gratin…it’s endless once it starts!

      Condiendi…from condido which also means “to mummify”!

      Hmmm….that power dynamic is something that I struggle with immensely – I suppose it is another facet of my issues with the imposed hierarchy of fandom.

      • Servetus says:

        Forgive me if I have already shared my favorite zucchini related poetry with you:

        One struggles not only with the flood of information and the feelings it causes but also with one’s own impulses, I find. If I don’t have power over all that other stuff, do I at least have power over myself?

        • obscura says:

          That poem is AWESOME!

          Controlling my own impulses is key. I think we were talking BTS about self awareness, and in an effort to be less self unaware, I took a hard look at how grumpy I was about the Epix thing overall and realized it wasn’t really the thing – I already knew that I have issues with those things. I was grumpy about other things that I also have no control over. Control (or power) seems to be the central issue at play.

          • Servetus says:

            Don’t you dare have your dad drive over here and put zucchini in our mailbox. We have a rifle. (j/k)

            I think it’s easier to get angry about things that “don’t matter” than those that “do matter,” sometimes. Anger about important situations in one’s own life, I think, makes me even angrier.

          • obscura says:

            LOL…alas – I have no zucchini to pedal! (I get mine from the zucchini dumping table in the back of church 🙂 )

            Yeah – I have noticed this about myself. I can “handle” big issues and important situations fairly well (or at least seem to) but if someone forgets to return the driver’s seat of my car to my position…fur will fly!

  3. Guylty says:

    There is so much in this where I internally said ‘yes yes YES’. Alas, am travelling again, so no opportunity for proper commenting except to say I experience major grumps over TCA Epix event, and there’s no one to blame for that but myself.

    • obscura says:

      Yeah. For a bit, I was really irritated with anyone and everyone who was making my phone light up with notifications…then I stepped back and thought, “Obscura, just because you don’t want to or can’t do this now, doesn’t mean other people can’t or shouldn’t!”

      Just as *I* define my own approach to fandom, *I* also have to take ownership of my feelings…from giddy to grumpy and all points in between.

      • Guylty says:

        Expectation management. As always. And last night/evening another example. I don’t even have notifications on, but waking up to the barrage of news is always a bit of a shock to the system. I agree, ownership of the feelings is needed. But where to now? I am responsible for my own grumpiness – but does that mean I have to abandon RA and the fandom if I want to avoid grumpiness? With this latest social media expansion I am really on the verge of making a drastic decision…

        • obscura says:

          I hope not! I found the latest expansion oddly non problematic in that I don’t see each platform as likely to be home to unique info, but repeats of the same. Rather like how our blogs push the same posts to different platforms. I could be wrong, but letting go of “first hand” seems to be key to me keeping the parts of fandom that don’t make me grumpy.

          • Guylty says:

            Agree – I expect that identical posts will appear on all three platforms. Which kind of makes following each and every social media profile obsolete. But yes, it also means that the Armitage marketing machine has become a bit more professional, a bit less personal.
            First hand is absolutely unnecessary. I have said bye-bye to that, at least in terms of blogging activities. I think it is the fandom reactions that make me feel bad about myself…

          • obscura says:

            Yeah. I’m starting to follow a general “don’t read the comments” policy on most things he posts. Everytime I dip a toe in that pool, I live to regret it.

          • Guylty says:

            But that is the crux of the whole thing. In the absence of any interaction with the man himself, it is only the fandom one can interact with. If that becomes impossible due to faction fighting, APM or general clapmania, then what’s left? Anyway, I am sure I am seeing things too pessimistically today – as always, these storms blow over, and social media returns to the same lukewarm soup of non-news it always is.

          • obscura says:

            Oh yes, that. Until the teacup storm ebbs, I stick to my own “neighborhood”

          • Servetus says:

            This is exactly the problem. People say “stay off Twitter” (or whatever), but then how does one meet the likeminded?

          • obscura says:

            I think for me, I have begun tread very carefully where a few years ago I would have jumped right in.

          • Servetus says:

            me, too, especially on Twitter.

  4. Hariclea says:

    Very few things i love more than a pickeled cucumber! I am envious of every single one of your jars!
    And yeah im utterly grateful stuff is saved for dipping in on my own mood and availability and yes on loads of what you said. Need to get back on the train of expression…

    • obscura says:

      I’ve been sampling them…feedback has been 👍

      Upon reflection it’s become pretty clear to me that a good amount of my disaffection with live time events is the fact that about 90% of my time is not my own, and the 10% about never coincides 😀

  5. Perry says:

    In the few hours since you posted this, your pickle got bigger.

  6. Wow! You are definitely the Canning Queen! Do you end up eating them all, or give them away as gifts? Your post reminded me of my grandma who used to make strawberry preserves. Yumm! I wish she had taught me how to do it.

    And I here you about trying to “keep up” with Richard Armitage’s activities. Impossible! Ha! He has so many irons in the fire, it’s a wonder that he can keep up. Ha! So I give many thanks for other fans and resource sites like RANet for giving us recaps, resource, and links!

  7. Esther says:

    Oh my goodness, what do you do with all those pickled cucumbers?
    As for following events like this EPIX thing – when I’m around and have time I like to see what I can see, but when I have no time, it doesn’t bother me because I know there are others out there (RANet, Servetus, Perry) who do a great job updating us. I just turn to their websites/blogs and am so very thankful they are out there helping us mere mortals follow what’s all there. 🙂 So, thank you to them!!
    Oh, and I love how you made that jump from pickled cucumbers to Richard Armitage!

    • Servetus says:

      pssst …. the subsequent weekend, she pickled a whole vat of beets. I saw her do it.

    • obscura says:

      I sell a few of them (they bring a surprisingly high price) and give a lot of them away as gifts to the pickle connoisseurs in my sphere…you’d be amazed what people will do for homemade pickles!

      All in a day’s Armitaging!!

      • Esther says:

        So, where do you get all those cucumbers from? You grow them yourself, buy them wholesale?

        • obscura says:

          A friend of the family has a huge garden. When he’s done with the cukes, he offers picking privileges to others since they basically keep producing as long as they are watered. They go from vine to jar within a few days which is definitely a plus for pickles.

          This year I really lucked out because he and my dad picked and washed them all for me!

          • Esther says:

            That sounds really great, the picking privileges but also especially others doing some of the work for you. 😉

          • obscura says:

            And my dad doesn’t even like pickles!! (I think there is a fair amount of picker camaraderie that goes on in the garden shed if the beer can tower I saw in there is any evidence 😁)

          • Esther says:

            I’ll let you in on a secret – I don’t like pickles either but it’s fun reading about them (the beer towers sound intriguing). 😉

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