We all have our neurotic moments. Me, I can't touch cotton. I have a friend who washes his hands too often. I have another friend who has to have his upstairs and downstairs light switches all lined up correctly. Plus, I have a brother-in-law who cleans his lampshades once a week. By contrast, my wife, Lynn, seems rather normal. It's when you get her in a crowd is when her crazy gets out and about.
I guess it's a form of claustrophobia (Klaustrophobia?) as she can't stand getting lost in a sea of people and feels like she's surrounded on all sides and can't breathe. She starts to stress out and I feel sorry for whomever gets in her way. (and it's usually me!) It's why she can't enjoy herself fully at places like Disney World or a Phillies game. It was a good thing we went to Disney while it was the offseason, any more crowds to deal with than the small amounts that we had and I might have had to sedate her.
If you think that all women like to shop then you just haven't met my wife. She dislikes the mall and the grocery stores because of the other people in the store. Just this past weekend we were at Target shopping for a few X-mas decorations, new pants for my son and some other odds and ends. You could tell that the store was very crowded as the parking lot was almost full. I could hear her teeth start to grind as we pulled into the lot. Unfortunately, the Xmas section was even more crowded and it was difficult to get around. As I scanned the aisles for the wreath that my wife wanted, I noticed packs of greeting cards that we haven't purchased yet so we could mail them to our friends. I pointed them out to my wife and asked her if we should get them while we were there. She angrily replied, "WE'RE NOT HERE FOR THOSE RIGHT NOW! JUST LET'S FIND THE FUCKING WREATH!!"
Despite my awareness that she kind of loses her sanity, logic and clarity when in a crowd, I always seem to forget as I tend to react the opposite way and hyperfocus. I can zero in on what we need to do or where to go and speedily accomplish that goal. As a result, I can be terribly annoying to her. The best example is when we're leaving the Phillies game or other such event where thousands of people all head to their cars at the same time. I'm a big guy, I'm tall and I'm wide and I'm a man. As such, people tend to yeild to me when I make my way through a large group, I am the Moses of the crowd walkers. I also have a big stride and can move pretty quickly. Unfortunately for Lynn, she gets caught behind slower moving people as she's only 5' 4" and skinny to boot. Plus she doesn't walk as fast as I do. I find myself looking back 2 seconds after being by her side and she's trapped behind two old fuddy duddys who made their way in front of her.
Needless to say, I catch a lot of shit from her for not being courteous enough to wait for her. It's just that's it's almost painful for me to walk that slowly. I suppose, it's just as painful for her to drown in the swarms of concert goers or baseball fans. I think that this Christmas I might buy her a wheelchair, a blindfold and a MP3 player. That way I can just wheel her out of the crowds and allow her to sit back and relax to some music in the darkness.