Today: A touchy subject.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I am a boundaries person.  I think I always have been.  If I could walk around life with a hula hoop about my body, keeping people out of my personal space bubble without being hauled off to some sort of facility, I would.  Few things make me more uncomfortable than space invasion.  I’m not talking about Martians, I’m talking about the people in line at the bank that inch up so closely behind you that their breath assaults your ear lobes.  Or the people who,  feeling like they’ve seen a glimmer of your soul or something, are compelled to hug you when a simple handshake would suffice.

And speaking of handshakes, space invaders are the ones whose handshakes of peace last longer than the second collection.  Have I ever told you about the woman who works at Target and always reaches over the debit card swiper thing to touch my hand and “bless” me?  I am sure her intentions are good, but I am convinced that people like her were sent to Earth to terrorize people like me.

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Just last week, I was hanging up little arrow signs to direct people to a work event (because I know the directions I wrote out in French were correct, but the ones I wrote out in Spanish…. probablemente no), when someone coming down the hallway complimented me on my coat.  Before I could turn to thank the woman, she was completely up in my grill, touching the collar as if to carefully inspect the stitching.  If she saw the color drain from my face and noticed my hyperventilating, she didn’t let on.  Space invaders rarely pick up on the behavioral cues of the socially awkward.  They just go about their days, confident and comfortable.

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Besides my loved ones, obviously, there are a very few people who are allowed in my hula hoop without the threat of being snap kicked.  I just learned about that move today.  Sounds both dangerous and awesome, right?  Very Michael Jackson.  Anyway, I make exceptions for a select few.  Namely: the women at Gaelic Day Spa (there’s nothing Gaelic about it, but they give some of the best pedicures in town), most children (surprise hugs are best, that way I don’t have time to work up a defense strategy), and people who are falling, fainting, or otherwise incapacitated (and therefore, don’t mean to touch me… they sort of can’t help it).

Last night, while enjoying savasana at the end of class, I felt my yoga teacher approach the person next to me.  Not because I peeked, or because I am psychic, but because I have an acute sense of hearing.  Sort of.  Before I knew it, she had moved the blocks at my feet to the side, knelt down, and very gently massaged my feet.  For several seconds, I dwelled in what can only be described as a personal hell.  And then I got a grip.  This is the same woman who helped me to try my first wheel.  If I can trust her to not let me crack a skull, surely I can trust her to not be some sort of weird creeper, right?  Besides, it sort of felt nice.  Like, very nice, actually.  Especially when I started breathing again.

Maybe it’s time I widen the proverbial hula hoop?  Also, for the record, I would never actually snap kick anyone.  I come in peace.

Also On Tap for Today:

Where do you fall on the touchiness spectrum?

7 thoughts on “Today: A touchy subject.

  1. I’m probably pretty close to you (or not close to you at all) on the touchiness spectrum.

  2. At a previous job one of the higher ups was a total space invader and it made me so uncomfortable!! You would think it’d be common sense not to stick your face in other peoples space, unless you have an intimate relationship – family, partner, bffs. It’s just weird! But I think your yoga teacher is ok 😉

  3. If its a total stranger, I’m driving, or in a bar that’s too crowded (I’m officially old) I am more than happy to drop-kick someone to Mars if they get to close. But generally I actually don’t mind hugs as greetings from people who aren’t “besties” or boyfriends. Maybe its growing up in California where people you don’t know will start chatting with you just about everywhere you can imagine. I’ll admit after being on the East Coast for over a decade, going home to that kind of intense friendliness is shocking and sometimes a bit scary, but also makes me homesick! 🙂

  4. You just described my personal space policy to a T. I don’t like to have my personal space invaded. That sounds a little risqué. I have been known to take a dramatic step away if you get too close and I don’t know you. Rude? No. Totally. Freaked Out. What is rude is people up in your business. I digress. I love the picture of the clouds in the previous post.

  5. I am right there with you when it comes to personal space. I don’t get why strangers need to touch and feel other strangers. When I was pregnant, I felt it even more so. Whenever I left the house I felt like a magnet for crazy belly touchers.

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