For the second time this year, my favorite band played my hometown. I was so stoked to see the English Beat and spend time with friends from home. Thanks to Facebook, I have reconnected with people (a few from as far back as elementary school!) who have become good friends.
I am a huge English Beat fan, go to a lot of shows and I know the band. Their shows give me two hours of happy ~ I'm singing and I'm dancing and I'm having a good time. At the same time, I am totally aware of those around me. At 6'2", I know I'm the last person you want standing in front of you at a show. I care and I don't. I care, so I hit the floor before the end of the opening act, find my spot and stick to it. You can curse me and fill in around me. I care, so I don't flail about when I dance, I don't jump up and down or side to side, I don't flip my head and hair all around, and I care so I don't try to push my way to the front of the stage to jump on it, touch Dave or steal water and a set list.
On the other hand, I don't care because, hell, I want to see the band just like you do. I want to enjoy myself, too; I want to dance around and enjoy the show just as much as you do. I don't care that you complain to your friends, in that stage whisper voice, that I'm too tall or that I'm too tall *and* wearing heels. You can wish aloud all you want that I would move; believe me when I say I wish the same for you. When you start pushing? That's when I care.
Look, I know that everyone wants to stand at the very front of the stage. I get it! But, when you start pushing me or hitting, bumping and jabbing me, I am not moving. I will ignore you once or twice. After that, I will likely push back, bump you back or jab you back.
Last night, seconds after the band ended, some douche pushed me. "Don't push me." He pushed me again, harder. "Who the fuck do you think you are?" I pushed him. He pushed me again. Joe and Jason, on instinct, stepped between me and the guy. "Why you gotta get all violent?" he said to me. "You pushed me!" I yelled. He yelled right back "Just because you're bigger than me doesn't mean you can bully me and push me around!" Security stepped in, pulled the guy away. Another security guy had me around the waist, which I didn't even know about. He asked if I was okay, let me go with my friends. I was shaking. That incident had me shaken and rattled, which doesn't happen often.
I tried to shake it off, forget about it. But the guy's words really hit me. It was okay for him to push me...but me pushing back, sticking up for myself makes me a bully and violent? It brought up feelings from elementary school...the assumption that, because of my size, I was a bully or violent or mean. That wasn't the case at all. It was at times of self-defense when those words were thrown at me. Is that how I was viewed by others? That's not who I am. So, I became passive and introverted, a doormat. Pretty tough lesson to learn in 3rd and 4th grade.
Anyway, I feel okay today. It has absolutely nothing to do with me - I recognize that; it struck and stuck and I had to work it out. That guy was a total dick. And a total idiot - he pushed a girl who pushes back *and* has friends who have her back.