I posted on Facebook last week that one of my “bucket list” items is to see a flash mob performance, and a friend promptly informed me that one was to take place at our local mall this evening.
Color me stoked! I could hardly wait to go see it!
So I waded into the fray of weekend+holiday=HELL traffic out to the mall, arriving in plenty of time to take a turn around the shops. By the time I came back to where the event was to take place, people were lined up three and four deep all around the railings on the second level overlooking the center court area. Uniformed mall security guards were posted on every stairway looking very stern. It seemed as if everyone was waving a cellphone in the air taking crappy videos.
The singing started right on time, and the instigators appeared to be two different groups of about four people each. They sang one verse each from four familiar songs, and that was it. Over and done in less than a minute. Apparently everybody came to watch, and almost nobody (including, ahem, me) came to sing. It was the most underwhelming public performance of any kind I’ve ever seen. I almost felt bad for being there.
I wonder why it went so poorly? Certainly it was well attended, and the mall management didn’t interfere except to make sure people didn’t overload the stairways. The songs were well known, so there was no reason for spectators not to join in. But I have to say, as much as I hated to think so, I looked around at that huge crowd and those uniformed guards and I wondered if we were all just sitting ducks for yet another lunatic with a gun looking to get his name in the news. Perhaps a lot of other people there were thinking the same. It’s hard to lift your voice in praise and hope and joy with visions of the past week’s events in your head.
This is what I had hoped it would be like:
Maybe next year.
In the meantime, I am keeping this item on my bucket list because I still want to catch a “real” flash mob performance by chance someday. I want to be surprised and uplifted by something beautiful that happens when I least expect it. I want that for all of us.