I am my own personal space parking cop. A brown bomber of boundaries. I recall my first overseas trip in the 1980's. My girlfriend and I were standing in a crowded bus in Rome, blonde whitebait squeezed in amongst the dark haired sardines. We were facing the side and two nuns, imposing in their black habits and sitting adjacent, smiled indulgently at us. After a short while, they began clicking their tongues, talking animatedly in Italian and shooting thunderous looks at the two young men sandwiched behind us. It took us a little longer to realise, that the once crowded bus had progressively emptied with each stop and there was now no reason for the young men to be pressing up against us. Ah the innocence of the maiden traveller. Perhaps this is where the need to protect my aura began.
These days my vehicle of choice is a car (and don't get me started on tail-gaters). I sometimes drive to the club for a meal at the bistro. To place my order, I dutifully join the queue, a long, laborious line that never seems to shorten. Adding to my frustration, the woman behind me is standing so close I can feel her breath on the back of my head. She then proceeds to turn and talk to the person behind her, each time bumping me with her shoulder bag. Is it really necessary to stand that close to me?
Off to the supermarket I go, lining up again at the checkouts. Must people park their trolleys so close that they ram the back of my ankles? Once I start unloading my goods onto the conveyor belt, what is the point of keeping their trolley two centimetres from mine, accidentally nudging me forward. An ill-conceived attempt to hasten my exit? It wont make the cashier go any faster! I am tempted to use the bottle of “Buzz Off” in my shopping, for purposes other than for which it was intended.
I learn a partner dance several nights a week. Yeah, I know, dance is a contact sport. However some guys take this a bit too literally, spinning you around and thrusting you against their chests with vice like arms. I guarantee I waste so much lipstick on men's shirt fronts when my dial lands like a projectile into their impertinent pecs. When the man is vertically challenged, a different and particularly discomforting scenario arises. I often end up eye to eye with him and with an alarming case of Strabismus. The worse case is what I call “StrabismusDyspnoea” where the man is too close to my face, has bad breath and body odour! The joy of dance.
So, these are my laws. If you do want to enter my zone, please indicate and wait for me to give you a wave. When changing lanes, please bring with you breath mints, deodorant and a heightened awareness of distance, or you may find yourself side-swiped and slapped with a fine.