Friday, March 6, 2009

My Space

Personal space is a very real thing.  The average westerner has a personal space of about 2 feet in each direction.  When people come within those two feet, we will instinctively begin to feel uncomfortable, and subconsciously, or consciously, move away from them.   

My husband and I were at a business formal event when we were approached by a close-talker.  Now, from my experience there are two types of close-talkers:  the ultra-friendly kind that you don't want to offend, and the psycho kind that you definitely don't want to offend.  This guy was of the ultra-friendly sort, but that did not make the situation any less awkward.  

We stood there, literally backed into a corner, with no place to go.  My husband was practically sitting on the refreshment table and I was literally rubbing elbows with the man behind me.  

While they were talking, I stood there, calculating our options...

--We could both step to the side and offer him refreshments, but that would require a combined effort...

--I could move in closer to the close-talker himself to the point where HE feels uncomfortable.  It could be misinterpreted as "coming on," but I was willing to take that risk.   

--I could fist-bump and high-five him after everything he says.

--Pull an Elaine-from-Seinfeld and yell an enthusiastic "Shut-up!" with a violent shove.

--Ugly laugh.  Any ugly laugh.

--Sneeze and wipe.

--A repeated standing bow.

--Pick and flick.

--Fake a lost contact, and crawl away.

--Sock puppets!

As I grew more and more anxious, and my "calculated options" became more and more desperate, my husband simply handed him a business card, and within a minute the man had left.

{tearing up}  I married a social genius!

11 comments:

Pam C. said...

Your husband's initiative is impressive, but I would love to know what you would ultimately have chosen.

When I was in seventh grade, I had a teacher who was a close talker, but not only would he invade ones space, he would hold onto ones elbow and gently squeeze while talking. It seemed odd at the time, but now as the parent of a seventh grade daughter, I think I would be more concerned by it.

Tiffany said...

I was all for the sneeze and wipe or lost contact until your husband came up with that move. Brilliant!

Token Asian Friend said...

Pam C- I was considering moving in closer to him, but mostly because I was curious to see where his personal space was breached.

And, looks like you discovered a 3rd kind of close talker: the creepy kind.

michellejohnnie said...

I must make some business cards and carry them with me from now on!

Kamity said...

That is AWESOME. Maybe you could have titled this post, "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Seconds." :D

Laurie said...

My father-in-law is a close-talker. But he often crosses over to the creepy, elbow-squeezing kind (or in his case, full-body hugs). Usually I just say something about the kids needing me, and walk away. I wonder what would happen next time if I hand him a business card . . .

that raven chick said...

you could have done a genie impression and vanish into thin air

that raven chick said...

token, as much as I admire and look up to your awesomeness!!!!!!!!!!!! it makes me quite uncomfortable that through sitemeter, you can potentially find out where I live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you are going to kidnapp me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! please do it sooner rather than later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

melmommy said...

does anybody really like a close talker? What is up with them anyway? I think there ought to be some law passed against it, especially the ones who are so inconsiderate and have bad breath. Or you're in church and they lean in so close to you and think they are talking quiet, when in all reality they are being so loud? Can you tell, I've recently dealt with this myself? It's annoying. At least 1-1/2 feet people! They have laws for distance between cars right, make one for people too.
Okay, I'm done!

melmommy said...

Sorry that was so onery! I'm very pregnant and ready to have this baby out. Do I get some free pass to be a ronch?????????

Token Asian Friend said...

Melmommy-free pass granted. Ronch on.