I love talking. According to my mother, I started making babbling noises at three weeks old and haven’t really stopped since. I love words and I love to use them — particularly in writing, tweeting, or delivering a well-timed rejoinder or witty remark.
But it’s shockingly easy to go from a pithy pun to a snarky statement — and I’ll admit that I end up cutting people down far too often.
I used to not care about this so much. Growing up in the church — particularly as the daughter of two pastors — the constant earnestness and cheesy Christian culture was so ripe for commentary. As a 9-year-old, I refused to attend “Superchurch,” our program for children because I thought it was too lame and when it came to stuff like Psalty and Charity Church Mouse, I just can’t even finish this sentence without writing something sarcastic.
Over time, one of the biggest obstacles toward embracing Christ was that I just didn’t want to be a Christian. I couldn’t see the appeal for a variety of reasons, but in particular, it seemed to involve a lot of smiling, emotional vulnerability, and being sweet — all of which made me uncomfortable. The irony here is that I’m actually a very smiley, emotionally vulnerable, and maybe not sweet, but warm person, so yes, Dr. Freud, snark is a defense mechanism.