life on the funny farm

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Personal Space


In this culture of cyber facelessness, we have grown to feel comfortable in sharing life details that past generations had kept private. Seems the most insignificant nonsense is now glorified and freely shared with the world.

Just this morning I offered a man a cup of coffee. He looked up at me with a pleased-as-punch expression and said, "I don't drink coffee", clearly expecting a response from me in which I pulled up a chair and asked him to tell me more. It seemed he found himself to be quite the interesting character being so far out of mainstream and all.


I have had a Complete Stranger tell me that while her husband's sperm count was low, his motility was off the charts. A pregnant woman in a check-out line once divulged to me that she had discharged her mucous plug that morning and that her cervix was beginning to dilate. I don't know why people feel the need to drop these pearls of privacy. I know that My Face or Spacebook (do I have that right?) encourages its members to share 25 things about themselves with the world at large. My question is Why? I like to think of myself as a compassionate person, but my God in Heaven, who cares?

And before you say it, I know I sound like a hypocrite, b/c here I am writing a blog about the mindless goings-on of my family. Although I mostly tend to write about life-stuff that amuses me or what we're up to so I can keep friends and family in the loop, I'll be the first to admit I've bought into this sense of "triviality grandiosity".

But I'll tell you what, why don't we all just try to simplify our conversations a bit and answer yes or no where applicable. If I want to know if you'd like ice in your drink, I don't need to know about the sensitivity of your teeth, a simple no will suffice. If I offer you some trail mix, I can honestly go my whole life without knowing the effect of seeds and nuts on the irritable tissues of your bowels. And for God's sake, if I politely inquire about your pregnancy, please do not feel the need to share with me the details of your vagina.

There's something to be said for good old-fashioned personal boundaries.

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