Once upon a time when I was a wee lass of 13, my girlfriend and I had this morbid curiosity about funeral homes. We wanted to see a dead body (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know… sick). We would walk past a mortuary every day, and our curiosity grew and grew. Then we came up with a silly story that we were doing a report for school on death and funeral homes, hoping we could get a tour of the mortuary (no, I don’t know what we were thinking back then, but we both turned out perfectly normal, I promise). The funeral director was more than accommodating. He was so kind, gave us a tour of the front of the mortuary (no dead bodies), took us into this conference room and talked to us about life, death, and “personal space.” That little experience satisfied our morbid curiosity forever (even though we didn’t see a dead body) and I had a fabulous lesson on personal space that has stayed with me ever since.
For those who aren’t aware, personal space is the region surrounding a person which they regard as psychologically theirs. Most people value their personal space and feel discomfort, anger, or anxiety when their personal space is encroached. I, myself, get angry and irritated. My son likes to constantly invade my personal space and stand super close to me… not because he’s obnoxious, but because I’m “Mom” and he doesn’t get that there are personal boundaries yet. I get annoyed and irritated and tell him to back up a bit, or quite frankly, “get out of my face.” This tells you just how serious I am about not having my personal space invaded, that even my own child needs to keep an appropriate distance unless we’re giving/getting hugs or kisses or snuggles.
This morning I went shopping. I was in the process of checking out, and this woman who was behind me made absolutely certain that her cart remained about 2 inches from my body at all times. If I moved an inch, she made sure she moved her cart an inch as well… the entire time. I felt my anger and blood pressure rise and keep rising during my check-out process. All it would’ve taken was one small movement with my hip and that cart would’ve gone smashing right back into her. But I maintained, left without causing an incident, and cussed her out the minute I got into the car where no one could hear me.
Don’t other people hate to have their personal space invaded? Are people really so stupid and inconsiderate these days and just don’t realize that maybe you really don’t need to stand so close to a stranger when there’s a ton of empty space behind you? Is it really that hard to stand an entire foot behind someone in a line? Are they so afraid that someone is going to cut in and take their place in line that, heaven forbid, there’s any space between them and the person in front of them? This drives me insane. People, please! Respect one another’s space! But if you don’t, and a cart or an elbow comes crashing back in on you, don’t say I didn’t warn you! 😉
SOUND OFF!! Do you have any silly pet peeves that drive you to absolute madness? How do you handle it when it happens?