The lyrics to that song of the same title by The Police are little bizarre, bordering on creepy but that title is very relevant to my philosophy on personal space. In one word, I’m protective. Of my personal space that is. Another word, I’m hypocritical, in the sense that I’m okay giving people hugs or putting a sympathetic arm around the shoulders of someone who is in need of a hug but wo unto you if a dude stands so close to me that it merits a chaparone and some chewing gum, than something just ain’t right.
Like I said, I’m hypocritical. Because if you are a female or a child I’m alright with you being inside my invisible comfort circle because that feels natural to me. But if you’re a dude and are within arms length of me than you better be related to me or married to me. The latter being impossible because I’m heterosexual and it’s still illegal in most States.
Before I get hate calls I think it’s important to clarify that I’m not homophobic. I grew up with gay cousins and uncles. I have friends who are gay. I love them all in a platonic way. But it doesn’t mean that I’m comfortable with a dude breathing on my neck or tickling my back.
The theme for this post is rapidly deterorating into something else but I bring this up because there is a dude that I barely even know who is a Personal Space Pirate. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. The people who have to stand on your feet or are almost sitting in your lap because they think that makes for a better connection while communicating. The guy who enjoys to get close enough to have a conversation in whispers? The guy who moves a step closer every time you step away? The kind of guy who makes you feel claustrophobic in an empty parking lot?
I’ve always been a stickler for private space. I like to think that I told my parents in baby-talk from my crib that I don’t like play dates or day care because I’m sick of kids slobbering on my arms, leaving snot in my ears and pulling my hair. As a teenager I shied away from showing any affection, especially the public kind. But inevitably there was that one crazy old geezer or that kid with the beard in third grade that loved to stand uncomfortably close.
So, if I’ve ever given you the creeps by invading your personal space, don’t even ask me politely. Just put your hand on my chest, put some muslce into it and push me off a ledge because I don’t want to annoy you the way that some dudes annoy me. To them I say (in my best gangsta impression and Compton attitude, “Ya’ll bettah ax somebodeh!”