I’m starting to behave like a dog who has had invisible fence training. When someone “trespasses” into my space I get zapped! An alarm shoots through my body, my heart rate jumps and I start to sweat. I had no idea I had even been fully trained to respond to trespassers.
It turns out there’s a demarcation circle around me that no-one else can see and I have apparently adopted– aka my Covid invisible fence. Frankly, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone or even to myself that the line that must not be crossed is 6 feet. We’ve been told again and again and again that 6 feet will keep us safe and I choose to believe that rule of 6.
However, if you asked me what the length of my kitchen countertop is I couldn’t tell you in inches or feet but I could eye ball it and just know it’s 9 feet and my friend’s is 12 feet. I just kinda know . I am someone who operates on intuition and “feel.”
So in Corona-speak, I know what 6 feet is, I don’t have to measure it. Apparently my body knows it as much as my mind because anyone who trespasses sets off my internal alarm.
That said, It’s hard for me to bring myself to say anything when a friend crosses the line. I really don’t feel like correcting and telling them to, “Stand back…You’re In My Space.” That just feels so off putting, neurotic and just not nice. I would rather lean back and hold my breathe until I can shuffle backwards or step aside.
I shared this experience with a friend about a woman who I adore who kept coming up close to me to tell me something in a whispering way. I freaked as she started to step through my invisible circle. “Can’t she feel that she is trespassing?” I thought. Apparently not, she stepped right through the invisible line and sweetly told me something she had needed to share.
As she spoke these were my racing thoughts, “OMG, I’m so uncomfortable, I’m sweating, I have no idea what she is saying, I have to hold my breath, if I lean back any further I may fall down” and then she stepped back a bit.
“Shit,” I thought, what if she really breathed some germs my way, I will be so pissed at myself for not saying anything. But I didn’t say anything. I just didn’t want to be a bossy bitch. That’s exactly what I thought. It happened a few more times with her and after the 3rd time I said, “Please don’t take this personally, but I’m super uncomfortable as you are standing too close to me.” She stepped back totally apologetic and frankly I believe a bit embarrassed and said, “I am truly truly sorry and if I do it again, please say something right away.” I guess that was as much as we could hope for but I was left feeling so badly and so was she. Hopefully, if I make it through this friggin Pandemic, we will chalk it up to acceptable Corona behaviors and laugh about it in the future.
But for right now, it turns out I am living with this invisible boundary and am not ready to let anyone except my husband trespass.
Oh this dance is really something! But, I’m not complaining. I just want to make sure as time goes on I don’t start to Bark like my beloved puppy Jazz.