Thanksgiving -Recipe for Disaster
Your Hostile Projectiles are No Match for My Invisible Force Field
This is my Thanksgiving column. As a vegetarian you probably expect me to write an article on the horrors of eating turkey — antibiotics, hormones, inhumane factory farming. As an anarchist you may think I’m going to rail against the hypocrisy behind the meaning of the day — the slaughter of Native Americans by the white man, the taking over of someone else’s land. Or perhaps you’re hoping for some vegetarian recipes. In that case you shoulda tuned into my NPR Vegetarian Thanksgiving interview last year. Instead I’m going to talk about how to use the science of proxemics to get you through the massacre at your own families dinner table.
Face it, most of us don’t have a picture perfect, greeting card kind of family. Chances are, this Thanksgiving weekend someone’s going to irritate you. In my opinion, a lot of fighting, arguing, grumpiness around the holidays originates from the fact that we wonder how we could possibly be related to these people. Er, I mean we’re all too close.
Close in propinquity and proximity. We don’t have our normal personal space. This is made even worse because it’s always freaking raining on Thanksgiving and you can’t escape outside for that much needed break.
Proxemics is the study of personal space and people’s perception of it. The term proxemics was first used by Edward T. Hall in 1963 in his book The Hidden Dimension. He stated that we all have an invisible force field around our bodies and it’s important for our mental health to preserve our own comfort zone. Proxemics involves all our senses. It’s not just someone standing too close to you, it could also be Aunt Rhubarb’s obtrusive perfume or Uncle Pill’s loud cell phone talking.