Attack of the Personal Space Invaders!
Early one Saturday morning, I was using an ATM inside a small glass vestibule. As I’m getting my cash and waiting for my card to be spit out, a lady walks in and stands directly to my left. She continues to then put herself in front of me, in a stooped position, to grab a deposit slip. At this point, I am looking down at the top of her head – close enough to bring my knee up and connect with her face. I could have dropped her right there! This brings me to the reason why I’m writing this blog… PERSONAL SPACE! Does it exist anymore?
I’ve noticed this more and more lately, and the culprits mostly seem to be women* or older men. In both cases, usually “baby boomers”. I’ve been told it is a cultural thing though, but I haven’t seen that to be a constant in each situation. I am a personal believer in the “two-foot rule.” For example, I get in line at a grocery store, and have someone unloading a cart in front of me, I give them two feet of space. Yes, at the very least, twenty-four whole inches. Do I get the same in return? No, I have someone right on me, or literally pushing their cart into my Achilles tendons.
Now guys have their own agenda of course: just how close can they get their crotches to my butt? It’s like a little dare they have with themselves. Not appreciated on my part. Women**, on the other hand, just have this “It’s my right to stand where you are!” mentality, not appreciated on my part either. Oh, and children! I forgot about the children; they’re learning from their parents. There was a little girl behind me in line one day, pretending that one of those little plastic hand baskets full of some pretty heavy stuff was a big Mack truck and it was crashing into the back of my calf… Continuously! Her mom saw this and let her persist!
What can I do about it? Basically nothing, because 99% of the time, they can get away with it, so they won’t stop. The times I’ve said something or given a look, the person always makes it seem like I’m the ass. When standing in line, I’ve tried keeping one leg extended behind me; forcing the offender to back off. I tried the “push back method” after actual contact has been made to my body. I give myself a little room, and then step back like I accidentally made contact with their cart, big huge purse, hand basket, etc. Then I turn around with a surprised look on my face, as if I didn’t know anyone was there, and I smile and say, “Oh! sorry.” This either works, or the person ignores me and nonchalantly pushes his or her cart or whatever back where they wanted it – usually on my leg.
As the world goes on, I’m surprised by how much more rude everyone is becoming. I really shouldn’t be surprised, but I have always expected the best from people. In my mind, one is “not bitchy until proven insolent.” The sad thing is, we almost have to accept the rudeness for fear of saying something that makes us turn into one of “them”.
Should we really just let behavior like this go on though? No, we should not, because people are employing the same behavior on the roads now, too! They do this everywhere, because they think they deserve to be at the front of every line, be it a super market or on the highway. They will “fall back” for no other. Almost every day, I’m cut off by people on their cell phones, in their gas-guzzling SUVs with the “Think globally, act locally!” or “Hillary for President” bumper stickers. See, I can’t even get away from this epidemic when I’m enclosed in my car.
No one should feel that they are entitled to the immediate area that surrounds me. I strictly reserve that area, especially that area surrounding my rear end, for my husband. Okay, so that didn’t quite come out the way I intended, but I’m sure you get the gist. Remember… 48″ is great, but 2 feet is still sweet! Let’s fight for our personal space, and overall respect!
*Not to be confused with chicks; chicks are cool… Women are catty biotches.
**Still not to be confused with chicks… Remember the difference? If not, see *.