I was in a fabric store briefly the other day to check out one of the clearance bins and couldn't resist going over and running my hands over the velvet samples hanging on the rack. I'm very tactile and I really love velvet, so I couldn't help myself and had to touch it. It struck me that the name that I assumed for blogging was more appropriate than I had previously realized. People used to touch me all the time. My clothes, my hair, shoulders, back, arms, whatever.
Before you think that this is a post about sex, it wasn't that kind of touching. It wasn't grabbing or groping (I think people knew better than to try that), but people would just come up and touch me in a fairly non-threatening way. I never knew that this wasn't the norm for everyone until I was at a bar with several friends, knocking back a few beers and having a rather spirited discussion along the lines of "dontcha hate it when that happens?"
"Dontcha hate it when people just come up and touch you?" I asked. If this had been a commercial, this is where they would have put the "needle scratching across a record" sound effect. They all stared at me. The conversation started again and it came out that, apparently, I was the only one who this happened to. Even the guy who I was seeing at the time didn't really believe me. It was a startling revelation for me, though. I never knew that this wasn't normal.
Later, while my boyfriend and I were playing pinball, I was in the middle of a good game and felt some hands running down the hair on my back.
"Who's there?" I called back, unfazed and without taking my eyes off my game. An unfamiliar female voice answered.
"I just saw your hair flowing down your back and I had to touch it. Sorry!" Alright. Whatever. I was used to it and, to be truthful, it really didn't bother me. While I respect others' personal space, I'm fairly flexible with my own. She walked off and when I finally lost my ball and stepped aside so that my boyfriend could take his turn, he just stared at me.
"What?" I asked.
"I can't believe it," he said. I shrugged my shoulders.
"Told you," was all I could think of to say.
This all stopped when I moved to a part of the country where people will barely talk to you, let alone touch you. Here, heaven forbid you talk to the stranger next to you while standing in a line because they'll look at you like you just peed on the floor. Ah, it's just as well. My husband wouldn't be all that crazy if people still came up to touch me and it's been so long that I probably wouldn't be so crazy about it either.