Grandparenting experience will be a breeze
To march or not to march. That is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous political fortune, or take arms against a sea of alt-troubles and by opposing dream of ending them…
Hmm. I confess this question gives me pause.
My hesitation owes nothing to ambivalence. Given my particular stew of passions, the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21 feels more an imperative than an option for me. (I realize there are women who have very different views than mine, and respect that.)
As a boomer, it’s downright uncomfortable to admit that sometimes the all-too-personal gets in the way of the oh-so-important-political.
The feeling I have about going is unfamiliar for someone who’s never considered attending — let alone waded into — a mass protest. As a member of the national press since age 21, I have observed the rules of my trade, which frowns on member participation in partisan events. Instead, volunteer work and my checkbook have been my outlets to quietly support issues and apolitical groups of importance to me.
But with my retirement from reporting for the news biz, my profession’s proscription — which I now realize was also a handy excuse — has fallen away. And here’s what I’ve found: Much as I fervently want to support this cause I care about, I no less fervently don’t want to go. As a boomer whose coming of age was informed by the idea that the personal is political, it’s downright uncomfortable to admit that sometimes the all-too-personal gets in the way of the oh-so-important-political.
A Million Reasons Not to Join the Protest March
In a nutshell: I hate crowds. Loathe them. Every year when I flick on the TV to watch the ball drop in Times Square, I cringe at the sight of the teeming masses, and welcome in the new year with the thought: Thank God I’m not there.
I’ve long hated the feeling of being hemmed in so much that during my office days, I favored a corner chair at the conference table. Without having to jostle for elbow room, I found that my voice could be heard just fine from the far end of the table. (Added bonus: I could slip out quietly, without detection.)
There’s also the standing factor. I’m all in for walking, all in for sitting. But standing for hours on end, being propelled forward in inch-long increments by an ever-thickening crowd? About as appealing as joining that Times Square logjam. Standing in the cold? Ditto.
Then, there’s the frustrating fact that I’m a directional dyslexic. You won’t find this diagnosis in your DSM or on WebMD, but I’m telling you, it’s a real disability. Almost 100 percent of the time when I walk out an unfamiliar exit, I turn the wrong way. I worry that during the trajectory of all that incremental inching, I may get pushed so far off course that I won’t be able to find my way back to Union Station in time for the departure of my bus. Not a biggy. But a cause for pause nonetheless.
And yet… While participating in a mass protest has never been on my Bucket List, this event speaks to me. Loudly. Almost like a command that’s saying, Stop putting your money where your mouth is. Get out there!