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Juji's Blog


Get Outta My Space!

Filed under: Posts — Juji @ 01:24:22 am

Personal space. We all have it to varying degrees and the exact amount we need often depends on cultural factors and our own life experiences. When I'm about to blast someone's head off for breathing over my shoulder at the supermarket, I refrain when I realise that it's someone probably from a very crowded country where it's considered okay to stand within an ant's dick of a total stranger.

The family I came across this weekend doesn't fall into that category though. They were Aussies through and through. I was at the beach for the weekend and get a bit thingy about my personal space on the sand. That's 'cos the area between the red and yellow flags (do you have them? Where the lifeguards patrol?) gets really, really packed, and I like to kinda get into my own headspace reading, writing, listening to music, and pondering my navel without hearing mums yell at their kids and listening to people talk general crap about general bullshit. (I could pretend I'm a super hot swimmer who knows the surf and conditions well enough to not have to swim between the flags - it's certainly much cooler. But I ain't. If I got caught in a rip, I'd scream, swallow mouthfuls of water and undoubtedly die a very wet death). Anyhow, I spread my gear out really wide. Between towel, boogie board, chair, small esky and other general crap, I can take up a fair bit of space. I then left it all there and went for a walk. On my return, some family of forty thousand had set up their gear right in front of mine about two inches from the foot of my towel. Slow breathing so I didn't start hyperventilating, I decided I wasn't gonna move, so I planted my butt on the towel, and took a long leisurely lie down - so my feet were just about in their face. They gave me strange looks and started glancing at each other as though I'd invaded their space, and I remained as nonchalant as ever. Given they were lying on their stomachs, their direct line of view was me. I even parted my legs slightly to make them feel even more uncomfortable. Get a look at that, you lack-of-personal-space-awareness-freaks! I stubborned it out for a while but did end up moving later. I prefer to look at the waves rolling in and see who's catching what, rather than become a temporary member of someone else's family. One family's bullshit is enough.

When I went to Brazil, it was very okay to say hi to just about anyone, have a chat in an elevator and so on. At first, being the somewhat restrained Aussie I was the, it unnerved me, then I got used to it and slipped right into the friendly vibe. If you say g'day to someone in Oz, unless it's in a bar or club, people look at you strange as though you're gonna kill them or something. Where I actually walked when I left my gear spread all over the sand at the beach was a few k's along the beach. As luck would have it, there was a dead seal with its head bitten off lying there. I pondered a while about why a shark would bite a seal's head off and leave the rest intact? Did he see amore attractive seal comin' in on the next wave? Did the first seal taste bad? Did the shark die of food poisoning? Did a bigger shark come and bite the first shark's head off? But all that's a whole other story. Anyhow this chick took a look at the dead seal and started to walk away looking pretty upset. I said to her in a friendly, nice way, "Maybe you shouldnt'a looked". She looked at me like I was an alien from Mars about to abduct her in some spaceship I had parked amongst the sand dunes. Like all I was doin' was being kinda nice and sharing a human-to-human moment in the sombre face of death, and she looked more scared of me than the bloody headless seal all abuzz with flies. I tell you!

Everything I've written above about needing social space can be null and voided in the event you're a very cute, hot guy. I don't mind if you sit two inches from my towel, I don't mind if you sit on my towel. Come to think of it, I don't mind if you sit on me.

What sort of personal space rules apply where you live? And what's the worst space invasion you've ever experienced?
Juji x

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