Picture this:

Can more invasive social contact by others indicate shrinking boundaries around privacy?

Can more invasive social contact by others indicate shrinking boundaries around our privacy?

It’s nearly 10 p.m., and you’re at home, brushing your teeth. Your iPhone starts screaming. You snap to attention, no thanks to that inherent anxiety that accompanies living as a young single woman in an urban environment. You grudgingly answer the phone, hoping to be greeted by an automated pharmacy reminder’s monotone, and not a friend needing a ride at this time of night. Instead, it’s some dude asking if you’ve heard about Prop Something for the third time and if you have a few minutes to talk. You grit your teeth and try muster up some manners.

Sound like last night? Join the club.
As you all know elections are today, November 6th. While we’re excited to be casting our ballots, we believe we can speak for nearly all in lamenting over the amount of recent “encouragement” we’ve received to cast those votes. Just this week alone, we’ve received half a dozen calls from local campaigns encouraging either a vote for a particular candidate, or a yea or nay on a particular measure (We’re looking at you, “Yes on Prop 32″-ers.) It’s a given that building support through direct contact methods like telephone calls is far from new, but we’d like to make a case for some boundaries around the use of those methods. Call us old-fashioned, but we fondly regard that old (and apparently outdated) custom of refraining from calling a lady after dark.

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40951465_715ff45902This may come to no surprise for those of you who’ve ever walked home from a party by yourself past People’s Park when some unsuspecting gentleman exclaims “Daaayum girl, you’ve got some fine ankles!” Or maybe you’ve tried to silently weave through the sleeping quarters (a.k.a. the sidewalk) of snoring residents while tipsy: the People’s Park sobriety test.

Or perhaps you’ve tried to offer an unopened loaf of bread (name brand, we might add) only to be scoffed at and asked, “what am I supposed to do with that?” Our point is that People’s Park is not the kind of place you’d take your kids to play on the jungle gym or have a picnic, and the people who call it “home, sweet park” are not exactly ideal neighbors.

Just ask one Hillegass Avenue resident who recently confronted several People’s Parkians about their abandoned belongings on the sidewalk. The guy was reportedly pushed to the ground and then sprayed with his own hose in a brawl, last Wednesday, that we can only imagine was quite unpleasantly scented. Takeaway message: those creepers in the park that compliment your ankles late at night really are creepy.

Image Source: mary hodder under Creative Commons
Residents, Homeless Try To Coexist by People’s Park [Daily Cal]