This is a close talker:
“HI I’M TODD AND THESE ARE ALL MY PORES. HAVE YOU CHECKED OUT THIS THING IN MY NOSTRIL YET, BECAUSE BOY, DOES IT LOOK ABOUT READY TO SLIDE OUT. ALSO, I HAD FISH FOR LUNCH.”
As someone with an acute sense of personal space – I notice every bumped knee, every accidentally-brushed-up-against-butt-cheek – close talkers are probably some of the most terrible people I ever have to interact with. Because even if a close talker is a really terrific person, has a good heart and can crack a decent joke, they still come off as a cretin.
Each time I realize I’m with a close talker, I want to drop the line from Dirty Dancing when Patrick Swayze tells Baby, “This is my space; that’s your space. Mine. Yours.” while illustrating the concept with sweeping arm movements in front of their torsos. I don’t do this, because a) I’m not trying to win a dance contest with these people and b) they probably wouldn’t get it anyways, because they suck.
Close talkers make me so uncomfortable I slowly edge back, trying to establish a little breathing room for our conversation. But no. The fuckers will inevitably inch forward, turning our talk into a slow and torturous dance as I back away and they advance. And it seems like close talkers are never the people you want all up in your face area: not the really attractive, funny people, not your close friends, not the love of your life peering deeply into your eyes, not the regular tooth-brushers. It’s always the slightly-creepy new acquaintance who seems to think that by breathing on you and letting you count their eyelashes will somehow endear them to you. Hell, their obliviousness to personal space makes them come off as having a general lack of awareness in all other areas, including personal hygiene, humor and tact. This is not fair, but it is true.
Featured photo courtesy of lucius_kobbit/Flickr