Last night, in the middle of an LCD Soundsystem concert, my dear friend Pamela took us on a journey from the back of Brooklyn Steel to the front of Brooklyn Steel. Not uncomfortably close to James Murphy's face but much closer than where we started.
Carolyn! That's not good concert etiquette!
Believe me! I know! As soon as she grabbed my hand and said, "Let's go." I hesitated.
"People will be pissed at us!" I said. But she said nothing, only marched forward. I flashed apology smiles to every angry person we passed. Thank goodness it was dark and the disco ball was on break because I knew I was blushing.
When she found us a closer spot, a group of friends angrily told us what they thought of our existence. Pamela, one of the kindest people I know, confidently stood her ground. "What is this your first concert?" she said to them without any hesitation or remorse. The piano in New York, I Love You started playing. Pamela hugged me.
Suddenly I didn't care anymore about the people I had to push in front of to get where I was. Concert etiquette or not, I was allowed a moment of being a dick. Like Pamela, I am an overall kind and generous person. I go through my days constantly worrying about the well-being of others and what people think of me and I still think about that girl's foot I accidentally stepped on getting to my seat at Little Shop of Horrors two years ago. I hardly ever turn in my '10th Cup of Coffee Free' card because I feel bad not paying. I thank my bus driver. I don't try and get out of jury duty. I do dishes in the sink that aren't mine because I don't want to waste a perfectly good soapy sponge. I tip 20%. I pay half on first dates. I walk in the street when there isn't enough room on the sidewalk. I donate to Planned Parenthood every month. I send Thank You cards. I've held multiple elevators and my god, I have held so many doors.
When Pamela asked those strangers if it was their first concert, I thought back to all the concerts I've attended and all the memories I have of someone pushing past me in order to get a better view. Sure, it was annoying at the time and I probably sighed or rolled my eyes (never missing a lyric to Weezer's El Scorcho, of course). But even more annoying was how jealous I was of their ability to seize the moment and get what they were after. Sure, we both paid the same for admission but they wanted more. So they found it.
I'm not trying to put myself on any sort of pedestal or beg for a thank you. A lot of people do those things I do. But Pamela reminded me, and hopefully anyone reading this, that sometimes a little pushing is necessary. I deserve certain things and need to finally start fighting for them. It's not James Murphy's face I need to be staring at. It's mine.
So to the people at the LCD Soundsystem concert last night that I pissed off, I'm sorry, but I won't be your baby anymore.