I’m not a protesting type of gal. For those who feel strongly enough about an issue to protest, bully for them. It’s just not my style. As I’ve mentioned before, I have friends all over the political spectrum and this includes people who have gone to Tea Party rallies as well as Occupy Wall Street. (Am I schizophrenic or inclusive? I’m not sure.)
During my college days back in the mid-to-late 1980s, the two big issues were anti-nukes and anti-apartheid. I do remember going to an anti-nuke rally in Golden Gate Park only because Carlos Santana was playing. I’m not kidding. Even as a liberal college student, the notion of disarmament struck me as naïve wishful thinking but I loved live music. So, I’d trudge along following the smell of pot and patchouli, clap and chant, “No Nukes!” and wait to hear “Oye Como Va”.
You may be wondering (or at least I hope you are), why protesting isn’t my thing. There are a combination of factors at work and in no particular order, here they are:
Aversion to Confrontation: I shrink from any situation where a confrontation is possible. This stems from seeing and hearing lots of arguing at home when I was a kid. Anger and raised voices made me nervous and they still do. My coping strategy back then was to be perfect and compliant in the hopes that life would be calm. This strategy, ineffective as it mostly was, can lead to…
No Interest in Rebellion/Acting Out: I was one of those kids who adults adored. I was polite, smart, articulate and could be taken anywhere without fear that I would throw a tantrum or otherwise be an embarrassment. I remember staring at other kids in the midst of some bratty outburst or another and not understanding what was wrong with them. I was a little adult trapped in a kid’s body who felt no need to rebel. It’s not a surprise that I didn’t grow up to protest anything.
Dislike of Crowds: Being short doesn’t help you in a big crowd of strangers, that’s for sure, and I’m only 5’3”. I’m also an only child. This means that I don’t know how to share and I’m accustomed to having my own space. There aren’t enough people I know personally that I’d agree to be in close quarters with for any extended period of time, let alone strangers.
I’m a Cranky Camper: We were not a camping family. In fact, I never slept in a tent in the great outdoors until I was in my mid-20s. And I HATED it. Sure I loved playing Trivial Pursuit at night, the grandeur of Yosemite and the peacefulness of the Redwoods. It was the dirt and bugs, the never feeling clean, the sound of mountain lions in the distance or the sight of wart hogs near the bathroom that I didn’t like. Knowing all that, can you actually see me camping out on the streets of New York City or San Francisco?
So friends, however you choose to exercise your First Amendment rights, have at it. I support you, I do, from the comfort of my living room, with cable, running water and a microwave, that is.