Pet Peeves

If there is one thing I can’t stand, that’s guys getting too touchy with me. OK, I admit I’m pretty non-tactile. But heck right? I buay song means i buay song.

When I was studying in NTU, i used to have this problem with a certain schoolmate of mine, Boon Tong Kee (BTK). We got along pretty well because of similar interests in the arts but what I really couldn’t stand about him was that he was really touchy when we went out. Call me a prude but I dont like it when guys put their arms around my shoulder or attempt to hold me in any way. Am i your arm rest? Why the heck do you need to put your arm around me while we’re walking? It just totally puts me off! Gosh! Even if a guy just rests his arm around the back of my chair, I feel like my space is being invaded. Like back off creep! Budge into my space again and I’m gonna charge rent!

Frankly, since young, I’ve always felt that the action of putting an arm around a chair is akin to laying stake on one’s possession. Hence I always feel that this action is rather demeaning. Only exception being if you were to put your arm around your gf/bf’s chair. That, i don’t care ‘cos it can be construed as a sign of affection.

Of course over time, I realised that a lot of guys tend to rest their arm on the back of chairs out of habit. I’m sure there was no intention to demean the other party and in such situations, i can be quite forgiving. Quite a contrast from when i was younger and would ask them to remove their arm. Actually if u think about it, it’s quite inconsiderate ‘cos if you rest your arm on the back of someone else’s chair, then how’s that person gonna lean back?! So learn this lesson guys. Hands off!

This brings me to another pet peeve. Recently, i met up with this acquaintance , Mr. Bombastic. Now… i was once crowned the Queen of Egos… and it was said that no one’s ego could be bigger than mine. I think it’s time i retired. When i met up with Mr. Bombastic, 90% of his conversation was about how good looking he was, how his career was aided by his looks, and how other guys are often jealous of his ways with the ladies. I nearly retched in public. Granted, this chap was once a good looker – keyword here being “was”. So i hinted to him kindly that no point mentioning past glories right? But Mr. Bombastic’s ego provided an impenetrable shield which easily deflected my hints.

Huge ego aside, what irritated me most was that while asking me for the time, he actually held my fingers and looked at my watch. Yo buddy, if u can’t see my watch, i can turn my hand. In case u didn’t know, the arm socket allows for 360deg movement. (Besides, people usually grab the wrist when they want to see the time, not the hand! Wrong body part sonny!) Argh! I was extremely put off by this half smirk he had on his face. Did he think he was being charming? *Vomits*. I made a mental note never to meet this person one on one again.

Then there’s the other friend, Bear that i met up with recently to catch up. We went for a movie together and what really irked me as that he kept leaning over to my seat. Wah lau! (Another irreplaceable Singlish term). What’s the deal man? Keep to your side right? In order to keep things cordial, i leaned to the other side of my seat throughout the entire movie. I mean, we may be rather good friends… but that doesn’t mean i’m comfortable with being all cosy.

After a while, i think Bear got the hint and kept mostly to his own seat. But whenever i shifted nearer to comment on the movie, he would take the opportunity to lean on me again! ARGH! In the end, i decided to just shut up and stay at the extreme half of my seat.

Then there’s another thing that i just don’t get. Some guys like to put their hand on a gal’s lower back when crossing the road. Now this bugs me too ‘cos i can cross the bloody road myself! Sometimes i try to justify that it’s a “gentlemanly” action. But for the majority of the guys who have done this, somehow, i just didn’t feel comfortable. I think the reason for that is ‘cos the situation didn’t call for it. Had it been a formal occassion and the guy wanted to guide the gal into a room (for e.g.) and he puts his arm on her lower back to guide her through a crowd or something, that i can understand. But when a guy does that unnecessarily, i just hate it. It makes me squirm and whenever i sense that a guy’s gonna do that, i usually just walk really fast so that he wouldn’t have the opportunity to.

Maybe u’re thinking now if i have so many pet peeves, why don’t i just tell the guy that i’m uncomfortable? Problem is, i’m a “straight to the point” kind of person so i usually can’t find a nice way of phrasing what i want to say and of ‘cos i’m sure some guys harbour no ill intent and hence i don’t with to cause any embarrassment either.

That said, i’ve come to realised that there are a few guys that i know i wouldn’t be put off, if they did the above. The reason is that i know them well enough to trust that they aren’t taking advantage of the situation to get cosy with a gal. A very good e.g. would be Iceman. Whenever we hang out, i’m perfectly comfortable leaning against him (and vice versa) and i don’t feel uncomfortable if he tickles me or anything. Another person i know i’m really comfortable with is my Kor. Heh… maybe that’s why he’s the only person i’ve asked to pose as my bf before… haha.

Anyway, the above doesn’t just apply to guys… not that any girls have tried to put their arms on my shoulders or invade my seat in the cinema. Just that i suddenly recalled that another acquaintance, Hazeline, has a habit of standing real close when she wants to talk about something confidential. I always feel that if you want to be hush hush about something, then go somewhere private and talk lah! Why must stand so close? Makes me feel like my personal space is being invaded when she wants to complain to me about certain things.

Ok… i think that’s enough griping for one night. In case anyone starts thinking i’m a paranoid prude, i just want to say that if u stand too close and u see me quietly backing off… then don’t come closer!!!

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May 2005