Every year I’m reminded that I’m more suited to the life of a writer. I hate crowds. And just thinking about the holiday shopping season, especially Black Friday, makes my skin crawl. And since most great writers of the 20th and 21st centuries were either hermits, or should have been hermits, I realize I have something in common.
Now, I’m by no means considered a hermit. I love my friends, I spend an incredible amount of time with my family (and I love it!), and I don’t have panic attacks when I’m out in public with more than ten people around me.
I love movie theaters (not necessarily waiting in line to buy tickets or watch the next blockbuster), and my fondest memories of childhood involve swimming and diving meets where an insane amount of people are all crammed into a sweltering natatorium cheering on teammates.
But I can’t stand crowds. Not because I’m afraid, but because I lose all patience with the shove of a shoulder. I become not just the wicked witch, but the EVIL witch with the shotgun temper and lead-foot.
While the individuals in a crowd may be nice, gracious, and loveable people, the crowd itself is rude, impatient, thoughtless, and brutal. The epitome of a mob. As evident on Black Friday every single year, we witness these horrible people on the news every time. Crazy crowds with guns, bats, and pepper spray. All for the sake of stupid toys or electronics that may not even be that great of a ‘deal.’
The creation of online shopping has been a gift from the tech industry. I’m sure this has been every writer’s greatest gift in the last decade, as well as their greatest crutch. Anything to allow me the convenience of continuing my love of shopping while avoiding the crowds I detest, I will glorify.
I don’t see myself becoming a hermit at any point in my life, but I can totally understand why a lot of great writers were. And whatever reasons they may have had for living that way back then, the sad thing it’s probably much worse in today’s age. People are crazier, meaner, and could care less about others.
Another tick in the ‘Upsides of a Writer’ column.