Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Bubble!

Do you ever cringe when someone stands a little too close for comfort to you and you don't even know them? Close enough you can feel their breath on your skin or even smell their perfume?

When did people feel it was appropriate to get that comfortable with strangers? I always find that uncomfortable that unless I am familiar with them or they are family, I prefer the bubble.

You know the bubble I am referring to, that one that dictates the amount of space directly in front of me and to the side so people don't confuse our relationship as being more than friends so about a foot in each direction. An arms length preferably, unless I invite you into my bubble that is, like giving you a hug upon departing our ways or even saying hello sometimes.

It appears as though society has forgotten those said rules and our personal bubble space is being invaded and no one says anything or they don't seem to care just how uncomfortable you are with that happening.

Take for example what happened this Sunday. We decide to head to the beach because summer is almost at an end and school begins next week. We figured we could squeeze out a little more time and spend the day completely relaxing.

We got to the beach at 10am. It opened at 8am but since we have marine layers in affect here, fancy technical term for clouds at the beach, we decided to wait a bit for it to warm up. So there were a few people begin to stake out their claim on the sand.

You know what I am talking about. Your personal space where you lay out all your stuff, your beach towels, coolers, umbrellas, blankets, and stuff so you know where your boundaries are right?

We have a tendency to move as close to the water as possible to avoid being drenched when the tide comes in and not only that the sand quality is better without all the pieces of driftwood all over the area. We also want to be able to see our kids from our chairs when they head to the water or make sand castles. We also want them to be able to see us from the water just in case they drift out of sight.

We were all enjoying our time of watching the kids build sand castles only to be lost to the waves as they crashed on shore and surrounding the castle like a blanket taking pieces of it back home to the ocean floor. The kids spent the large part of the day playing in the waves, boogie boarding and even watching a school of dolphins just beyond the breaking point of the waves.

We enjoyed lunch with our ocean view and even caught a sailboat race later in the afternoon as the tide was coming in. Life was so relaxing and everyone was having a great time.

Imagine our surprise however when a large, large family placed their belongs and attempted to set up a full blown operational kitchen and living room directly next to my daughters chair that you would have thought they knew each other.

Because they didn't have enough room for their bedroom, their proceeded to occupy the sandy space directly in front of us that if I were to lay out in front of my chair we would have been instantly related.

Anyone feeling it yet?

Not only that, more and more family members kept showing up. They continued to call others from their cell phone and let them know that the house was almost built and where to find it.

Steve and I looked at each other to shut each others mouths as they proceeded to hang open because we simply could not believe it, and looked around the beach and noticed acres of land on the shore line that had not been occupied and wondered why here, next to us, in our personal bubble??

What do you say? The beach is public? No space is really yours right? I mean I can't even park our stuff in front of someone else because I think it's rude. So what do you do?

I mean I could smell the food cooking in their make shift kitchen already and it did not smell good at all. It is apparent that bubbles don't keep odors out.

So we just packed up our stuff and left. We had spent enough time there and we did not want to relocate our belongs for this situation and did not want a family confrontation in front of our kids. As we were walking back to our car and crossing the sand, when Steve and I looked back, we saw the family was adding a dining room and second floor where we had just vacated our space.

Next time, Steve said we were going to have to build our own home and put up caution tape and orange cones. I told him it still wouldn't work, some people just don't see the bubble anymore.


Mari said...

Yes - I can just feel it. I don't know why people do this, but it's frustrating when it's your bubble they try to occupy.

caitlyn(: said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
caitlyn(: said...

HAHAHAHA this was freaky but scary at the same time. i really didn't know what to think when i walked up from out of the water to dry off and there were two kids laying out on their towels right in front of us! not to mention as you were talking about in your post about the large family that "built their house" to the right of us:)

awesome post mom, it made me laugh!

love you,


RCUBEs said...

That's very rude! But a lot of people now don't care. Now, I wonder, if we reverse the situation and it was you doing what they were doing, wonder what those clan would have done? Then again, thank God that He is in your hearts...That was the advantage, you were slow to anger as He is...Blessings...

Beth E. said...

Oh, I hate when that kind of thing happens! I definitely have to have my bubble of space around me.

Sorry that happened to you! I think you should take highway cones next time and mark off your territory! LOL

Warren Baldwin said...

Kat, we literally had someone build a house on top of us like that. They had 4 1/2 acres but chose to build right on top of us ... in the country! Made no sense. But you are right, some people do not have that sense of propriety.

One time a guy a work (before I was preaching) came right up to my face to talk. He had terrible breath. I kept backing up all over the work place. I finally put my hand on his chest and said, "You stand there please. Your breath is terrible." He said, "Oh, ok." He did stand there!

Our7isheaven said...

Totally know what you mean! I hate my bubble to be invaded.

That is scary that people do that when they have all that space especially on a beach or wherever.

Kat, I also wanted to just say thank you for all your encouraging words on my blog. You are a blessing even though I've never met you personally! Thank you and may God bless you and yours.

Our7isheaven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mich said...

I'm always reminded of the scene from Dirty Dancing (Sorry, 80's girl here) where they are talking about "my" space and "your" space... don't know where the thought came from except your "bubble" post triggered a memory.

thanks so much for the sweetest comment you left. i have really been blessed with some great new bloggy friends. I so appreciate your words of love and encouragement. It was just one of those days...and then I had to listen to my own sermon. :)Practice what i preach so to speak. thanks for understanding.

momstheword said...

One time at McDonalds the kids and I went to get our food and when we came back, a family was sitting at our table. They said they didn't know it was ours and I said "You are sitting on our coats and you removed my kid's shoes off the chairs."

Another time we were at McDonalds and a woman and her friend and kids came up and sat at the table next to us. She told her little daughter "There isn't enough room for you here so you sit at their table" and her preschool aged daughter came and sat down right next to me!

I did speak up and say sorry, she couldn't sit there as I had my arm in a sling and it was still hurting and I was afraid she'd bump me, but I was still shocked that the woman would do that.

I have people stand so close to me in line that I have stepped back and bumped into them. That is waaay to close.

Five Moms & A Blog said...

You are so right. My dogs would eat any and everything if they could, lol! Especially the beagle.

Five Moms & A Blog said...

oops, sorry. That was me, Nan.

Andrea said...

RUDE..I totally agree. Blessings, andrea

Collette@Jesuslovesmums said...

That sounds awful!
Collette xxx

Kelly L said...

WOW - that is crazy.... You are a much better person than I am because I would have said something.. but that's just me.

Love to you and best wishes to your kids on their new school year!

Laurie said...

Yes, people have forgotten about personal space. What a wild story. Wild and amusing and unfortunately probably common.
Glad you could move. Love, Laurie

GammySel said...

I always see situations like this as an awesome opportunity to minister the Love of Christ. What a great way to evangelize... one of two things will happen, they will leave your space very quickly or you will bring another lost soul to Christ!! Either solution will bring glory to our Savior!


Searching for God in the everyday said...

That was funny. I mean the "building their house" part, not the "infringing on your space" part. Yuck! Glad to see it didn't ruin your family time!

Heidi said...

I'm definately a fan of the bubble. Nice pic.

Wendi said...

How unkind! I am not really surprised. In this me, me, me society we live in there doesn't seem to be many boundries left.

Beth Herring said...

Oh, I just felt your pain, but you have such a fabulous and funny way of describing it!

Indeed their house was built on the sand so you KNOW what happens next!

Loren said...

Wow! some people are sooo rude! You all were more than graceful :)....sad thing is, did they even realize what they were doing or that they were offered such grace??? I doubt it. God works around people all the time and it's sad that they don't even realize it. You can rest knowing you were a good example to all around you and especially your kids!

love you

Andrea said...

Mailing your mom's card, today!
Thanks for the address! Blessings and continued prayers, andrea

Greg C said...

I had to laugh at this post. We have had the same thing happen to us which is why my wife hates going to the beach. It also happens when we are out fishing. I guess people assume that if you are anchored and fishing that you are in the hot spot. We have had people come up so close to us and then toss out their anchor within a few feet of our boat. And usually when this happens there won't be another boat within sight so it isn't like there is a shortage of room. Once my wife asked the person if they would like to just tie up to our boat. The person got insulted that we would ask.

I don't mind getting in my personal space meaning one on one unless they are agressive or have bad breath. I have found out that you can always fight back. If someone gets too inside my bubble I just move in closer and do something crazy like touch them on the arm and that usually drives them back.

Kat said...


I must say that the one that gets me is this. And I know it is going to sound so rude of me and definitely not politically correct. But, no matter where we go, I always end up next to a person who is oversized and ends up spilling into my seat. So that I am uncomfortable and miserable the whole time. Be it a plane, train, theater or stadium. It drives me crazy. I pay full price for my seat and only get half of it. At the recent concert we went to my husband paid a ridiculous amount of money to get us really good seats (good thing I didn't know in advance or I would have stopped him) I mean, like $400. And sure enough If I didn't end up next to the lady who took up her seat and half of mine. To make things worse she was a griper and complainer and blah, blah, blah the whole time to her friend next to her. It drove me crazy. I ended up standing for most of the 3/12 hours we were there. I think that if you need two seats you should have to pay for two. Why should the rest of us suffer?

And did I mention it was over 90 degrees?

And I know that is a bad attitude and truly unchristian like attitude, but there you have it. My great big pet peeve about getting into others space.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I know exactly what you mean. What can you say, we usually move if we can. That happens to my husband and I all the time when we go to the show. The whole place is open yet someone comes in and sits just seats away or right behind us! It makes us sooooooooooo angry.

momstheword said...

I don't think it's just kids that feel that way either, you know?

I think we all want to feel valued in that way!

That's why I like game or movie nights, or even just going to Costco with my son(s). It may be just an errand but we're still talking and besides, my son loves going there!

christy rose said...

That is funny that you said you looked back and saw that they were setting up their dining room and second floor in the space that you were in before you left. Nothing like a slap on the fanny as you get out of their space, or so they assumed. LOL

I like my bubble too. I know what you mean.

God a Have Faith said...

Well since we were there at the same time, I know exactly what you are talking about! I actually had to bite my lip to keep from asking him to move a bit, but it wouldn't have done any good. Certain people just don't know about morality and personal space between strangers. I know that in our culture we have 3 foot private space bubble around us that we do not like crossed. In other cultures the space is only about a foot. Maybe that was what was going on there.

Great Post and Love Ya!

Rebekah said...

There is a certain etiquette to "beach'ing". And that is odd that if there was plenty of open beach that they unloaded so close to someone else. I dont know, some people just live in their own world

Crown of Beauty said...

This is so real, Kat. And you narrated it so well.

We just learn to keep our distance when needed, and like you and Steve did, shut our mouths.

I like the way you posted the perfect picture for it, a bubble... and the way you described it.

A very good post indeed.