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How much PDA is too much PDA?

May 22, 2011

We’ve all been there.

We’ve all been standing in line at an amusement park/movie theatre/<insert location>, and right in front of us are to idiots going at each other like the other person’s face is a huge caramel apple they need to finish in 30 seconds to win an all-expense paid trip to the Bahamas. Throughout the whole ordeal, we feel awkward because we’re making a concerted effort to stare

EVERYWHERE but directly in front of us. We fidget to make ourselves look busy but just end up looking like schizophrenic epileptics, and ultimately we decide that the ride or movie we’re waiting for isn’t worth that trauma, and we leave. Another moment ruined by the happiness of others.

Or maybe that’s just me?

Either way, PDA exists, we’ve all dealt with it, and I don’t care WHO you are, but when you’re not the one engaging in the PDA, you find it either awkward or annoying. There be no road in between.

Don’t pretend like you haven’t felt that twinge of discomfort when you’re in that movie theatre one row behind a particularly horny pair of young adults who are putting on a better show than the movie you bought tickets for. I have been in movie theatres where couples walk in with clothing on their bodies and are practically pulling the Tarzan look by the end of the previews and let me tell you, it doesn’t look nearly as good as it does in the cartoon.

I am particularly sensitive to these Public Displays of Affection. For me, simply the act of holding hands is 1) annoying and 2) awkward — here’s why: 1) Okay, I see that you two are happy together, happy enough that you feel the need to grasp each others’ hand in an effort to tell the world, “Hey, we’re together. And we’re going to show everyone this by guiding each other through the streets like 6 month old children to ensure we won’t slip on a crack and break our mothers’ back.” Whatever. You guys can be all happy and stuff — just don’t be happy in front of me. I understand that you’re experiencing the incandescent joys of mutual affection, but don’t be mutually affectionate out in the open. There are poachers out there. They’re gonna gitcha. 2) Other people holding hands makes me feel awkward. I just imagine what they’re thinking (or at least what I’d be thinking) and it drives me nuts. Once you start holding hands — when will it stop? Hands will get sweaty, paths will need to be parted, lotion will need to be applied. Is there a non-awkward way of culminating a hand-hold? And once culminated, will it rise again? And, for the love of God, are we gonna do the finger-twining hand hold, or the hand-clap hand hold or the most awkward single-finger-hand-touch-hold-thing? And how can I focus on walking when there are all these thoughts to be processed?

I realize that I may be (definitely am) alone in this — and since I know that I find hand-holding unusually problematic and controversial, I have a question to pose to both of you readers out there: how much PDA is too much PDA? I’ve discovered — through many failed attempts at finding common ground on this topic with others — that hand holding is fine for the rest of the world. Pecks on the cheek — acceptable. But making out on a park bench like you’re a janitor mopping up someone’s face after lunch? Where do we stand on that?

We could get into random nitty-gritties like, are eskimo kisses acceptable, or too lame to be allowed? Extended hugs in extremely public places like airport terminals — okay, or outrageous? Feeding your significant other at a public restaurant — degrading or delightful? I think that, by now, you all know where I stand on these issues, but I don’t doubt that you all have widely differing perspectives.

I’m not saying I have the same mindset as a Muslim father who thinks that seeing the skin on his daughter’s finger is an abomination. I’m fine with looking at other people’s hands AND fingers. I only take offense when another person’s hand and fingers try to come into contact with mine. Then it’s unacceptable. (I’m kidding, I’m kidding!)

I know I’m too squeamish. Yes, yes, I know — but where does the line get drawn? And how rigid is that line — if it even exists?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 25, 2011 10:21 am

    Oh brother – are you seriously calling hand holding PDA?! I love you. However, I passed by a young couple walking down the street the other day – they had their arms draped over each other’s shoulders as they walked – I will admit that I was a bit bothered by this situation but mostly because it looked uncomfortable and difficult to stay in step.

  2. May 25, 2011 4:39 pm

    I say, PDA, baby. There’s not enough love in this world as it is. Just keep your clothes on, please.

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