Personal space is, well, a personal thing. Different people expect different amounts of it from different people. Some cultures are touchy-feely, all hugs and hands on the face and spooning strangers. Others save handshakes for the honeymoon, preferring to perform intercourse by mail. Most of society is a smidge more moderate, of course, but there are lines everywhere, and since you usually don’t know where one is until you cross it, let’s look at a one in particular.
Several years ago I was walking along with a few friends, one of whom was a female type lady person. We had just eaten, and she had very messy hands. She remarked, “I have a problem. There are napkins in my back pocket, but if I get them my pants will get dirty. And none of you guys have access to my back pocket.” Now, her pockets were not hidden inside a labyrinth or behind a locked door. They were on her pants, where they were supposed to be. It just turns out that the only people granted access to the pack pockets of a young lady are herself and her boyfriend. I realize that this should have been obvious, and had I thought about it I might have figured that out, but to be explicitely told was, frankly, hilarious to me. And it got me thinking.
It made me take a moment to consider my pocket access privilege system. As a single man, I have only two levels of access. If the pocket hangs away from my body, as long as I know you, and you ask me for permission, you have access. If the back side of the pocket touches my body, and I am not in the midst of some sort of pocket related emergency, then only I have access. Unless you are a woman. Then you can reach right in. You don’t even need to know me. You don’t even need to ask. Just take your time, and don’t neglect the front pockets. There’s good stuff in there… and they are in a good neighborhood.
There are plenty of reasons why ladies don’t go digging around in my pockets. The body that the pockets are associated with is the main one, but if any of them were to study my behavior, there would be another reason. Let’s just say the napkins in the back pocket would never have been an issue for me. Number one, I wouldn’t have had any napkins in there. If my hands are messy, my pants ARE napkins. Unless they are nice, in which case I wipe my hands on my socks. If there is a spill on the floor, I lose a shoe, and stand on said spill, thus absorbing it. Then I wait for the sock to dry and put the shoe back on. Simple. Oh, and if I am in a situation that is likely to get my hands messy, I preemptively pull a pocket or two inside out. Then, when the job is done, I tuck my hands into the pulled out pockets. This wipes my hands off on the pocket interior. When I pull them free, my hands are clean, my pockets are inside in, and the mess is hidden. I learned that trick from a plumber. So let that be a lesson to you. Don’t pick a plumber’s pocket, even if you DO have access. Two words: Poo knuckles.
And so ends another analysis of something that didn’t need analyzing. So far I haven’t heard any complaints, so I’m going to keep on spewing these things up onto the net to see what sticks. If you have any ideas, thoughts, qualms, questions, comments, observations, lessons, gripes, anecdotes, or, really, anything else, let us know. Otherwise you’ll just keep getting this stuff, whether you like it or not.