No I haven't lost my mind. And no, I'm not talking about E.T. Nor am I referring to the video game. Or the movie. (Was that a movie?) I'm talking about those strangers you meet everyday who have no idea what the terms "personal space" or "get the fuck out of my space bubble" mean. You know the ones.
The ones behind you in line at Dunkin' Donuts who think that just because you move your big toe an inch forward the line has advanced and they can now move two feet forward.
The ones who are about to drive their front bumper up your tailpipe while sitting in traffic.
The ones who for every step you back away from them, take another step forward.
The ones who give you unwanted hugs and handshakes.
The ones at BNRSs (Big Nameless Retail Stores) who think that in order for you to hear their question they must have their face an entire two inches away from yours.
They are often creepy and sometimes smell bad and are always stupid.
I am plagued by Space Invaders. Perhaps this is because my personal space bubble is so big. I mean like, if I am not on a first name basis with you, or haven't seen you in five years, then you should be standing a full 5 feet away from me at any given moment. No I don't want to give you a hug. I don't care if your uncle is Jean Claude Van Damme, stay the hell away from me. Don't even try to let your shirt sleeve rub mine. If I haven't seen you in 5 years, there's probably
a reason for that. If I'm not on a first name basis with you, you should probably also assume I don't want to be. Get me?
This little plague often prevents me from enjoying simple things. For example, I am wary of going to any place that is guaranteed to have throngs upon throngs of strange people just milling about (i.e. carnivals, fairs, concerts, etc. etc. etc.). I can't even go to the beach on a Saturday because I am just certain it will be too crowded and somebody else will lay their beach towel down within two inches of mine. Next would come the small talk. Then the breathing down my neck. Then me storming home utterly pissed off that someone dare ruin my day at the beach.
Lately this problem seems to have gotten worse.
Recently a fire broke out in the basement of the most popular Dunkin' Donuts in town. So now, it seems everyone and their fucking mother is at my Dunkin' Donuts. Yeah I said it. My Dunkin' Donuts. Before tragedy struck, I never had to wait in line. I never had to place an order because the people there knew me. I simply walked in the door, and a few seconds later my coffee was on the counter. Nice and simple.
Now I walk in the door, and I stand in line. I am later and later for work every day because the line gets longer and longer. No one knows my order anymore because they had to hire so many new people to keep up with the increase in business. I have to park in the "no parking" zone because there are never any parking spaces available. And I have to fend off the Space Invaders.
The other day I was in line. Waiting as patiently as possible when one of them attacked. I was rounding the final corner to the counter and there he was. Breathing down my neck. I took a step forward. He took two. I took a step to the right. He starts leaning on the wall. Slowly, I inch my way forward, so as not to draw attention to the growing distance between us. Suddenly I find myself only inches away from the guy in front of me with Space Invader still breathing down my neck. I begin panicking. I start having heart palpitations and am finding it almost impossible to breathe. It was a mother fucking nightmare.
The next day I find myself at the deli. Waiting patiently in a far off corner for the deli guy to get me a half pound of cheese. There wasn't anymore out front so he had to go "out back" and get it. A woman pulls her shopping cart up next to mine. The other deli guy calls her number. She places an order. Since my enormous fear of Space Invasion causes me to watch everyone
carefully, I notice in my peripheral vision, that the lady is glancing down at the space directly in front of me. I look down. I made the mistake of standing in front of the flat breads and tortillas.
Space Invader: (*inching closer*)
Me: (*inching away*)
Space Invader: (*Pushing her cart into mine*)
Me: (*Turning my cart in the exact opposite direction*)
Space Invader: (*Is determined to have her cart touching my cart*)
Me: "Am I in your way?"
Space Invader: (*Smiling*) "Oh no not at all hun, I'm just looking for the low carb tortillas." (*Now standing directly next to me, leaning over the tortilla rack*)
Me: (*Mentally screaming "where the hell is that deli guy?!!*) "I think they're right there." (*Pointing directly to the low carb tortillas directly in front of where I made the mistake of standing*)
Space Invader: "Oh there they are!" (*Practically shoving me out of the way to get to the low carb tortillas.*)
Me: (*Moving farther to the left so that she doesn't run me over in her rush to gather up the low carb tortillas*)
Space Invader: (*After digging through the pile of low carb tortillas, has decided that none of them are to her liking and decides to start digging through the rest of the tortillas, and is now once again standing directly in front of me.*)
Me: "Are you sure I'm not in your way?! Because I can move." (*Eyeballing the deli area and realizing that I'm pretty much screwed if I'm standing anywhere within eyesight of the deli counter. Also suddenly realizing that 1 Space Invader is better than 3.*)
Space Invader: (*Now somehow angry at me*) "No you're fine right where you are."
Me: (*Well that's good to know, BITCH, because I was standing here FIRST!!!*)
Deli Guy: "Here's your cheese."
Me: "Thank fucking God."
Visually, it probably looked like this:
Am I the only one who suffers from this plague? Am I just weird? Is there no such thing as personal space? Is it wrong of me to become infuriated when Space Invaders' carts touch mine?
I'd like to end this with a cumulative What The Fuck.