This Ain’t Church
Updated: Sep 27, 2022
My husband said this to me the other day when I lamented a stranger’s raucous personality. And last night, at a concert of maybe 60,000 in a stadium, no less, I occasionally groused about the man in front of me, as he exclaimed and laughed, etc.
I am not proud of this tendency in myself. In these moments, I am needlessly critical, I am hypersensitive, I am small.
I realize that this crankiness in crowds, which I’ve always had (oh, a 15-year-old me riding the escalator in the NYC Macy’s at Christmas! A misanthrope if there ever was one), is at least partially rooted in my experience of my brother, who was always volatile and the kind of person who could enter a room and rearrange the molecules. He was exhausting and could home in on me in a second to bully me. He could destroy and crate moods with one word, with a single sigh.
So, ever after, a domineering personality—anyone who strains for attention—stokes anger in me.
Also, I’ve long been suspicious of crowds, of mob mentality. This is fair, and yet I want to be aware of my frustration in the midst of large groups. I can say that two years of semi-isolation has only heightened this tendency.