Sunday, December 12, 2010

Could You Step Back A Bit Please.

If I came with an owner’s manual it would have a few helpful tidbits. Such as: If I’m driving, don’t bug me by grabbing my arm or touching me….anywhere really (and this includes my Mom). If I’m at a party, no problem….get as close as you want. If you have a beef with me? You’d better not be so close I can smell your breath. And if I’m in line at Fred Meyer waiting to return something…I do NOT want to feel your body heat on MY back, which is exactly what happened today.

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.


Adventures In Gay Dating said...

I feel you, Geoff. Working in retail, my "bubble" gets invaded at least several times a day. Some customers think that if they don't get right up in your face with their rank, garlic breath, you won't understand what they're saying to you. I constantly have to step back from people.

A Lewis said...

Bubbles are happy places.

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