Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My Personal Space Invaded

Originally Posted: December 2005

People are invading my personal space too much. Stay away. I don’t need you to rub up against me at baggage claim. I was there first. Get another spot. See over there? That’s a nice spot for you. It’s like the people that show up late at a general seating concert and push their way to the front. Because they’re more important than the people that showed up early and played by the rules. Too many rule breakers are rewarded in society. And we must all put an end to this.

The guy next to me on the plane kept trying to read what I was writing. I was writing, “Stop reading what I’m writing. I’m serious, stop reading what I am writing.” I even tried shielding my writing with my left hand. He leaned in. And this thirty something guy had something I had never seen or smelled before in my entire life—old person breath on a young person. He smelled like a grandparent. A real old grandparent. Not a new, fresh to the world of grandparenting grandparent. It was like sitting next to a portable nursing home. My head started to create the illusionary scent of mothball to balance his breath. Those two things go together like peanut butter and jelly. Hot chocolate and marshmallows. Me and suffering. Most amazing to me, now that I think about it, the mothball is still in existence? Meanwhile the moth has been extinct for years. Or at least the kind that eats our clothes. I have some pretty tasty clothes and no takers?

It seems that people all over are trying to edge their way ahead of me. Whether it’s in shopping lines, or the gym, or the highway. All of life has become a competition. People will take advantage of me, of you, if I let them. At a restaurant, they will try to give you the worst table first and only the best table if you ask for it. Now if you ask for it while they’re seating you, cool. If you ask for it when a couple is ahead of you and deserve it… THEN YOU HAVE INVADED MY PERSONAL SPACE! Even if I am not part of the couple. My space has been compromised.

See, I am a rules player. I play by the rules. I believe in an orderly universe. This is why I signal when I drive. This is why I consider how my actions in public may affect others around me. There are the people that start a cell phone conversation right next to me while I’m already on a cell phone conversation. HEY, GET YOUR OWN CELL PHONE TALKING AREA! That just blows my mind. I wonder if the next generation will consider talking on a cell phone at a restaurant rude or will that become acceptable behavior? I am also, apparently, one of the few people that realizes that you don’t need to yell on a cell phone. That the technology has actually come so far that those microphones can pick up a voice at a socially acceptable level. Maybe that person next to you doesn’t care to know all your personal business, that ever occur to you? What might be interesting to you, may not be so interesting to others.

Which brings me back to the plane. Your cute kid running up and down the aisle knocking into everybody is not so cute to everybody else. And maybe it was cute for some of us the first three dozen times he did it. But on a six hour flight, you have now invaded my personal space. Come any closer and I’ll have this guy breath on you and your kid. It is a bit disconcerting and unnerving to have a wild two year fly by every few seconds. And you knew it was going to happen and it did. I was just hoping it wasn’t going to be with me. But it was. The kid wiped out and fell on my shoe. The kid burst into tears. And all around the plane people’s heads shot up and suddenly I was no longer a victim, I was child abuser. Crying and pointing at me. I envisioned two air marshals coming over guns drawn, to secure the situation. That didn’t happen, so I just sat back and looked forward to the remaining three hours devoid of personal space trying to enjoy the rhythms of the guy behind me kicking my chair… tray up, tray down, tray up, tray down. And this is why I try to never leave my house.

© Copyright Orny Adams, Icrushed Productions 2006


clairobics1969 said...

Grrrr! I totally agree!!
When I'm in the supermarket, I wait patiently for the person in front of me to finish without invading their personal space and then suddenly when it's my turn, I'm given one third of the time everyone else gets, the guy behind me is rattling his loose chain and his wife looks so depressed, like she's been force to wait an hour although Im through in about 10 nanoseconds.
Finally, without waiting for me to actually move the guy leans across me to start pulling out a carrier bag for 'his turn', because like u said, he obviously thinks he's more important than me.


Anonymous said...

Is this the first documented case of male PMS?