I have a thing about personal space.
When I was in college this girl would come over and stroke my back, and one day I’d strenuously objected on several grounds, the main being “I have a bubble of personal space. THIS is my bubble right here.” (Indicating a wide arc.)
“I will penetrate your bubble” she’d said.
But we digress.
Needless to say I hate it when a strange person in a public place trots up and companionably stands on your foot like it’s the most natural place to rest from all that walking. She will look adoringly into your face with a “This is nice and cosy, innit?” expression until you beat her off with your umbrella. She will then wander off to find a more hospitable foot -- only to have another one take her place. By the fifth one you lose all interest in life, and let them have their way with you.
Then there are those who think, while standing in line, it’s mandatory to keep some physical connection with the person ahead of them. Like it won’t be considered a queue unless their palms are flat against your back or their arms folded across your shoulders.
What about those people who grab your shoulders and push you aside when you’re (unknowingly) blocking the way? Ever heard of “Excuse me”, *&^%ers? “ssSide plisss” even?
A friend and I were discussing this recently and she said her pet peeve is when strange guys in clubs put their arms around her waist and move her around. I’ve never encountered that, and don’t think they do it for the same reason the others mentioned above do it, viz, ignorance about personal boundaries and stupidity. (Well maybe, but not the same KIND. Creepiness is material for a different post.)
Perceiving my lack of enthusiasm for that one, (“I KNOW, right?…erm…actually come to think of it…is it the same thing?...no…I don’t think so…), she came up with an example much closer to home. She talked about an ex-colleague we shared who had the habit of bringing her face two inches away from yours if she had anything to say to you. Like everything she said was a secret. With every word you would inch away, hoping to put some distance between you and the head talking up your nose. By the middle of the conversation you would be up against the far wall of the room, eyes darting around madly in search of an escape route.
Needless to say people can rarely remember anything about her anecdotes, except that they’re stressful.
Which is why I say -- Respect the Bubble, people. Evolution has given us tongues in our heads for precisely that purpose.
Wishing all my readers a happy and push-free New Year!