In recent years there has been a lot made of space. Not the NASA kind of space. Not the Star Trek kind of space. Or parking spaces or office spaces or even line spaces. Personal space. Know what I mean? As in: I need my space. Gimme some space. You’re invading my space. Gotta find some space. There’s even an entire blogosphere devoted to it called My Space. So, it’s quite the commodity these days.
Used to be that people just wanted to be alone. Or go for a walk. Or see a movie without company. Maybe sit under a tree and read a book. They even played hookie from time to time. But they didn’t carry around metaphysical walls and boundaries over which others were not to step. They did not erect in their minds individual planets with their own solar systems in order to get a little peace and quiet. Nope, back then I think we were more sociable than today.
So how does one make that space? That personal space that is so sought after, valued and treasured? It seems to me that there is no one way to do it. It seems to me that everyone has their own way of making their ‘space’ their own.
Roomie for example, makes it with dirt and clutter. He has so dripped, dribbled and drabbed over the coffee table that I won’t go near it. His side of the kitchen counter is frightening and I go to great lengths to avoid it. Heck we even divvy up the stove – my half is clean, his is dirty. Yep that’s how he maintains his personal space.
Others use food – hey the bigger the body the more space you get to occupy, yes? Don’t believe me, ask my fat ass. (Note to self, must find other ways to make space).
Some make it with noise. Ever notice how crazy noisy kids are in grocery stores? They throw themselves on the floor and scream bloody murder. Boy do they get a lot of space, people go three aisles over just to get out of that space.
How about fences or walls. The neighbor who isn’t exactly neighborly erects concrete walls, 8 foot fences, electronic gates and covers them with growing vines to get his space.
The do-it-your-selfer uses his trusty power tools to ensure the garage remains his personal space. The wife doesn’t want to go near the dirty noisy things and as long as something is running, she will stay safely ensconsed in the house in front of the television or air conditioner.
Many of us bloggers use words. Pleading words. Pleasing words. Funny words. Angry words. Authoritative words. Impressive words. Kind words. We fill our spaces up with words and sometimes pictures too – the words of course, are really just thoughts so I guess we use our mental faculties to make space. How very metaphysical of us.
Yet with all this space making going on, it seems to me that we aren’t any happier than we used to be. In fact, we may be less happy than we once were. When social decorum was a quality not an abberation, when manners were sought after, not criticized, when people tried to get along, not get apart.
So what’s your take on space? New frontier or life avoidance? How do you make space? Are others welcome there? What do you do to get space?