Thursday, July 10, 2008

This is NOT a Post Office Story......

This may look like it's going to be a Post Office story, but it isn't. The fact that it occurred at the post office means nothing. This is about space invasion.

I'm not talking about little green men and flying saucers. I'm talking about my personal space. That 12" area that surrounds each of us. The area that is ok for grandchildren to play in. The area that friends can easily be a part of. That area where you feel just a little bit uncomfortable sharing with strangers.

So there I was - standing in line at the Post Office. (I swear this isn't going to be a Post Office story). It all started when I got out of my car and headed to the door. I wasn't necessarily in a hurry, but you know how it is by the end of the day. You just want to get home. All the way to the door, I heard someone behind me, almost running. They had "clippy" shoes on and I could hear her hurrying. I went right to the line and stood behind person #8. Miss Clippy Shoes came right behind me. And when I say right behind me, I mean RIGHT BEHIND ME. I thought to myself that she surely didn't mean to be so close and that she would quickly discover her social foopah and soon back up a bit. No deal. She stayed there.

I'm not sure I can tell you how close she was because I didn't turn around. But I'm guessing about 6". Seriously. I could hear her huffing. Sighing. Like the whole process was taking way too long - which is was - but this isn't a Post Office story.

I thought about turning around and looking at her and maybe that would embarrass her into backing up. I thought about all the things I could say to her:
"Back off!"
"Do you mind???"
"Um, excuse me - but why are you standing so close to me?"
"Seriously Lady - you're too close to me!"

But I just stood there. I wasn't afraid of her. I could take her. Plus - I had witnesses. Post Office Witnesses - and we know how hostile they can be if they have to.

As time went along, and the line moved forward, we both did. Together. In tandem.

I was surprised when they called "Next person in line please" that I was the only one who went up to the window. She stayed behind.

I didn't really look at her face - but when my transaction was done, I left the building and headed to my car. As I was getting in, I heard the familiar clip clop and here she came, to the mini van next to me. I got in, buckled up, put on my sun glasses and started to back out. SO DID SHE! She backed out and almost ran into me! Now - it was WAR! I tailgaited her. I did. Out through the parking lot. She got in the left turn lane and I got into the right turn lane. I turned right - and so did she. From the left turn lane. As we sat at the stop light, she behind me (as it should be) I just couldn't help but realize that this woman was somewhat distracted. I'll bet she had no idea that she had invaded my space. She had her own agenda and that was that.

So what is my lesson to be learned from this? I'm not sure. It just proves to me that everybody is different and what bothers me doesn't always bother everybody else. Is there a tolerance lesson here? Probably - but I hate being tolerant and I doubt I'll take that idea any further. :)


Kendall Smith said...

I'm with you. I need my personal space.

Amy W said...

This was too funny. I'm really enjoying your stories, by the way. Always told Sheryl-style.