Thursday, June 2, 2011

Personal Boundries

In the past few weeks, Shawn and I have been trying to explain 'personal space' to our children, the physical kind. I am sick of trying to elbow my way to my plate while eating because one or the other or both of the kids are literally hanging on my back. I'm tired of big craniums blocking my view of photos on my computer because they can only see them when their noses are thisclose to the screen, and having to cut a phone conversation short because the decibel level has gotten out of control. To do this, we have explained personal space as a bubble around a person, and that a person sometimes wants to be ALONE inside that bubble. I don't know if it's helped or created more fuel for arguments between the two. "Mooo-oom! Kaiden's in my bubble!"

So when a news story on the, "Today Show" mentioned personal space in it's teaser, I set aside my frosted strawberry Pop Tart for a moment to listen. It wasn't the same personal space I was thinking of, but interesting nonetheless. The piece was called, "How Twitter Changed The Way We Communicate." After citing some of the benefits of Twitter, it focused on the 'next generation's' (they always like to throw that around) perception of false intimacy they have with the once inaccessible celebrities. They feel that they directly communicate with their idols, which can create fantasies of a personal relationship with them. Selena Gomez apparently gets 'hate Tweets' because she is dating Justin Bieber and a lot of 12-year-old girls feel that he is 'their guy.' (I'm really not up on teen celebrity dating habits).

Anyway, the gist is that Tweeters and Facebookers feel they have the right to say anything about themselves or anyone else, and are not realizing the consequences. I mean, really, how much easier is it to tell someone off on the FB page, than to speak your mind face to face? Walls have come down, discretion has flown out the window, and people no longer bite their tongues.

My beef is not with the social networks however. My anger is directed more towards cell phones and idiots people who use them. Case in point:

I was finally at the end of a harried grocery shopping errand and realized that I had forgotten the BBQ sauce, and as always, it was on the other end of the store. While standing there deciding how much I needed, I picked up an unpleasant conversation. It wasn't hard, the woman was 3 aisles away, and I'm sure EVERYONE heard her. She was in the process of screaming at a boyfriend, or husband or whatever and apparently he was an ass wipe. (Her words, not mine.) She proceeded to shout accusations of all types, something like this:

"Oh, so that's where we're going now?! You want to go there? I'm done you d*ckhead."

"I've worked plenty of jobs and paid rent, I'm a mother 24/7 you a$$hole, you hardly ever take and f*cking time to see them!!"

"That's a bunch of bullsh*t. I don't have to take that kind of sh*t from you!"

Anyway, you get the idea. Not pretty. How does a person even decide whether you're having baked beans or green beans while carrying on a conversation like that? And then proceed to eat them with that same mouth? She was obviously oblivious to anyone and everyone around her or just didn't give a damn. And then she turned into my aisle. As other profanities spewed from her mouth, she looked at me and rolled her eyes as if to say, "Can you believe what an ass this guy is?" Really? You want me to sympathize with you, when all I can think is you may be a mother 24/7, but what do you subject your children to in the privacy of your own home when you can lay it out there for complete strangers to witness? Wouldn't want to be there. Or currently where I was at, frankly. Luckily my kids weren't with me, or I would have said something. (Umm, maybe I'll just stay under the radar and avoid the laser beam eyes.)

What I'm trying to get across, is that conversations that used to be held within the 4 walls of your dwelling place, are now right out there in public. I don't want to be subjected to that. I don't want my kids subjected to that. Have some decency (or dignity)! Take it outside or even better, to your car with the windows rolled up and maybe a hose from the exhaust pipe to the window.

Finally, BBQ sauce in hand, I sprinted for the checkout.

But it doesn't end there. While pushing my cart across the lot, I notice a rather young driver backing up. I see it, the 70+ woman with hair dyed Christmas red sees it, and she's deliberately continues walking, knowing that the driver doesn't see her. I can only assume she does this so she has the excuse to slap her hand on the trunk of the car, shake her fist in the air and scream,  

"Watch where you are f*cking going, ya damn lady!" 

Wow, there are a lot of angry people out there.

Maybe we SHOULD limit them to 140 characters or less.


  1. I have my own issues with cell phones and tweets, but your whole point about personal space really hit home.
    I made my kid carry a hula hoop around his middle for a day. The point? Anyone in the hula hoop is in your personal space, and if your hula hoop touches someone, you've invaded theres.
    Totally stupid and embarrassing, but it worked!

  2. What an incredibly awesome idea. I need to find a hula hoop!!