3.22.2009

Touchy Feely Icky

I'm going to go ahead and make a blanket assumption: 

Most guys like it when girls come up and touch them. 

Being a guy, I get to hear things other guys say about being guys. And the things I've heard in my life lead me to believe that my blanket assumption is true. Given the vast sampling pool from which I've cultivated the data, I'm going to go ahead and assert that I'm correct here. And it's because of the size of the sampling pool that I also feel safe in saying the following:

I'm not most guys.

Now, that's not to say I hate it when girls touch me. Girls I know, yeah, they can hug me or place a hand on my back. It's nice. It's a fine greeting from those wonderful females with whom I share a familiarity and kindred spirit. Heck, girls I'm married to get the additional privilege of being able to just walk up and plant a wet one on my lips. Of course, that particular demographic only includes one sample, but she's a damn fine one.

Strange girls - that is, any girl I don't know from previous dealings - coming up and touching me, however... They give me the willies. Big, big willies. The creeps even. 

Now, when it's someone like a waitress (or sometimes even a waiter - this isn't just a female thing, but the probability of a dude just walking up and touching me is so very low, I'm leaving them out for simplicity), who deals with a vast number of people daily and whose job it is to be friendly and inviting, I can forgive it. I don't much like it when they come up to take my order and put a hand on my shoulder, or pat me on the back as they walk off, but hey... I can understand it, which -- while not comfortable at all -- is acceptable. Well, to a point, anyway. I've experienced a few who get a little TOO touchy, and I will overtly rebuff their attempts at physical contact and hopefully send the right message. Only once have I had to flat-out say "look, stop touching me." And it didn't go well, she swapped with another waitress. I felt bad. But at least my skin stopped crawling.

But when someone is just a plain ol' stranger, the creepy factor increases by an order of magnitude. And it wasn't as much of a problem until I got the big ass arm tattoo. 

Just a few moments before posting this, a young lady of about 22 years of age or so came up to me on the patio of the Starbucks near my house. Before even saying a word, I felt a hand on my arm. She was standing somewhat behind me, and when I turned around, she said "I saw this from the parking lot... Wow, it's impressive!" 

I turned around to face her, pulling my arm away. I said, as friendlyish as I could, "Yeah, well, most people have arms, nothing really to get too excited about..." 

She laughed, and stated that she was talking about the tattoo. "It's really intricate, where'd you get it done?" She reached out and grabbed my sleeve, pulling it up so she could see more of the work. 

I turned my arm more, trying to free it from her grip. I pulled up the sleeve myself, and showed her the rest of the ink. I explained that I go to Todo at ABT Tattoo. 

She reached out AGAIN and touched the top part of the tattoo.

Now, I really wanted to snap on her and tell her to fucking stop touching me. But instead of indulging some pseudo-Aspergers reaction , I just kept doing my little dance of politely distancing myself from her and answering her questions. I don't want to be rude or mean, but I also don't want random girls touching me. It's a fine line, I suppose. I finally ended the interaction by grabbing my empty cup of coffee and standing up, while making a joke about needing more caffeine. She smiled and the interaction ended.

And this is not the first time. Hell, it's not even the first time this week, and it's Sunday (even though I gave up my Christian convictions long ago, I still look at Sunday as the first day of the week, mostly because it's that way in iCal.app). At the gym this morning, a friend of a guy I was working out with came up and did the same damn thing, only she stopped with the touching after the first touch. 

I have no idea if this is some sort of localized interaction explicitly confined to the South, or if girls everywhere feel that boys secretly (or not so secretly) want them to touch them anyway, so they just do it... Maybe I'm just fucked up. Okay, definitely I'm fucked up, but I don't think that I'm too far off base thinking that touching only comes after a familiarity has been established with an individual.

Am I wrong?