So I’m returning a vacuum cleaner belt because I bought the wrong one. It’s a simple exchange, and I know it’s near Christmas….I also know it’s a Saturday…..I can handle crowds. I’m the next person in line behind a Hispanic woman and it’s taking forfreakingever. She doesn’t speak English and they’re translating the complicated procedure for her credit card dilemma. I’m patient, it’s Christmas time, so all is golden. As we continue to wait, I can feel the line growing, and then I literally feel ‘it‘. My bubble….my personal space has been invaded. I shift ahead slightly…..the invader moves with me. There’s no touching, so I’m sure it isn’t a pick pocket or perv…but my irritability grows.
A person's personal space and comfort zone, varies. Estimates place it at about 24 inches on either side, 28 inches in front and about 16 inches behind for an average westerner. This person was practically resting their chin on my shoulder, so having reached the point of no return I take a half a step forward and turn which put’s me almost nose to nose with a 60 year old man. He’s startled. I’m pissed.
“Could you step back a bit please” I say with a barely even voice, just a little too loudly. It's not a question, and he get's the point. But then.....Mr "Imsocloseletsbefriends", get’s this constipated look on his face and takes a couple steps back which causes the other 10 people to move back as well….. and they are not happy. I see irritable faces and I actually hear grumbling, but do I give a flying candy cane? No.
I turn around , my precious bubble again intact just as my Spanish speaking friend whips out a wad of cash and solves her problem and finally I’m at the counter.
When my transaction is done (in about 2 minutes) I tell the clerk “Merry Christmas“, and then turn to face the hostile masses and gave them a “Merry Christmas” as well.
I loves me the holidays…..but I love my bubble even better.