Elle Severe Presents

Encroachment

In Bitch Please, Rants on August 6, 2012 by K. Vargo

I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me, but specifically only in DC:

You are out.  It’s crowded so naturally people might bump into you on occasion.  But that’s not what I am talking about.  I am talking about standing there and having somebody physically touching you.  You wonder, “is this not bothering them?”, so you move the half inch that is possible to move and guess what? So do they.  The person is on top of you.  And they don’t care.  And if you kept moving, so would they.  They are completely oblivious to your presence and could care less that they are elbowing you and totally encroaching on the tiny piece of real estate you have managed to occupy.  When this happens, I get a look in my eyes that prompts a “don’t go Dorchester on them” from my best friend.  We don’t spend much time in places like this because I just end up seething and frankly, it’s not enjoyable.  I realize being from New England that I have an inherent aversion to being touched, but this encroachment issue makes me mad for another reason altogether.  It is a metaphor for a prominent personality type in DC:  The Oblivious and Entitled.

There was one time I did actually lose my shit.  My friend and I were at Duffy’s across from the 9:30 Club just hanging out until it was time to go over to the show.  I am sitting on a stool and this guy with fluffy blonde hair, an oxford shirt and blazer is standing next me.  Let’s call this guy Georgetown.  Picture a younger version of Christie Brinkley’s ex husband, Peter Cook.  There is plenty of space – really, there is – but you know, he is the most important person in the room so he encroaches on mine.  I move my stool over.  Fine.  He moves over again, and now he is elbowing me.  I move over one more time.  So does he,  you know, just cause.  Cause that is his right and he does not care or feel that he is elbowing me.  After I move the third time I turn to him and say, “Can you stop touching me? I have moved over three times” to which he says, in the most condescending tone ever, “It’s fine.”  That’s when I lost it and said to him “Don’t you dare tell me what’s fucking fine and not.”  My friend had the pleading look in her eyes that says “please don’t get in a fight.”  God I wish I had a dollar for every time a friend shot me that look.  Anyway, I try to calm down so I don’t ruin our night and Georgetown stops encroaching – until he leaves.  This asshole backs up close to my stool, elbows me one last time and leaves.  To be honest, the end of the story is a little fuzzy to me because I was so mad that I went into a blind rage but I clearly recall that one last shot he got in.  What a classy guy.

This is one of those stories that makes me mad all over again whenever I think about it (you know you have one of those stories).

I did not experience this in Boston.  Maybe it is the aversion to being touched leftover from the Puritan days.  Maybe we’re just assholes in a totally different way.  DC is one of the wealthiest, most educated populations in the country but apparently there is an inverse correlation between that and courtesy in some circles.  Next time someone willfully, purposefully encroaches on my territory, my fist is going to encroach on their face.  Okay, not really but I am going to daydream about it and then talk a big game.  So yeah.  You’ve been warned.

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