What do you enjoy reading the most here on my blog?

Search My Blog

Friday, November 30, 2007

Public Displays of Affection

Most of the time, I get my ideas for what to write about directly from the morning paper. My morning paper of choice is the Chicago RedEye, mostly because I live in Chicago and it's also free. The paper is pretty much just all of the popular stories from the Chicago Tribune (the RedEye's parent newspaper), and reading through everything but the sports and clubs/bars/annoying-music sections takes me about 10-15 minutes.

The focal story on the cover is about PDA (the kissing kind, not your damned PalmPilot kind) - and the sidebar invites readers to respond to: "Do you think PDA is OK? If so, what types are acceptable? And where?" So here are some of my thoughts on the subject.

I think that PDA is completely fine, in theory. I mean, call me a nerd, but I take the term at its completely-literal meaning. Public displays of affection are just that, basically "letting everyone know how you feel." Everyone seems to have decided that PDA only refers to one particular type of affection and a limited list of display options. I'll address the common denominator first.

You have love/lust for someone and don't want to hold back in public. Fine. I really don't care, and I think it's fine at pretty much all levels. From hand-holding to humping, whatever you want to do, you do it. As long as the recipient is willing, of course. I'm perfectly comfortable being on the same train as a man who's dry-humping a woman while he licks her face and also tenderly holds her hand - I'd just prefer it if she actually wanted these things done to/with her. My guidelines are that it's all good - but it's up to the PA-displayers to make sure that what they're doing doesn't violate any actual laws.

Frankly, the public indecency laws need to be abolished. We shouldn't be allowed to dictate what is "decent" and arrest those who don't follow the code. If that's truly acceptable, then I want Fergie to be deemed "indecent" due to her song "My Humps" and have her locked up for life, if not given the death penalty for corrupting the minds of preteen girls nationwide.

The last question asks where it's acceptable, and the answer is right there in front of your face. "In public." If it's being done in a location that is not public property, I find it wrong to consider it a "public display of affection." People can argue that the 'public' refers to "the general public being able to see it", but I see it as the guideline itself.

For example, a Walgreens is not a public place. It's open TO the public, but the business owner reserves the right to refuse service for whatever reason. You are a guest in that person's establishment - it is not public space wherein you can do whatever you want. The CTA, however, is a form of public transportation and I think that PDA is acceptable there.

So in conclusion, PDA is acceptable to me at any legal level in any public place. In the words of my newest role model Scott Adams, "But of course, there are obvious exceptions." One such exception is my parents. I am not comfortable with THEIR public displays of affection, in any venue or at any level. I'm also not very comfortable with PDAs made by anyone grotesque or ancient. Sorry, but if I'm barely comfortable looking at you, I'm certainly not going to feel comfortable looking at you while you're doing anything of that nature. Abe Vigoda could be tonguelocked with Heidi Klum - I'm still not going to find it pleasant. However, my comfort levels have nothing to do with things being OK or acceptable.

Lastly, I just want to touch upon the common misconception that all PDA involves this love/lust concept. Affection is based on "affect" and refers to ANY feeling or emotion. Crying on a park bench is a public display of affection. Screaming really loud when someone scares you in the park is a public display of affection. Even two screeching girls reminiscing on the street about how long it's been since they've had a martini-induced night of debauchery would constitute as a public display of affection.

Start limiting one, and you'd have to start limiting all of them.

Just remember - even though you should accept it, that doesn't mean you should always be comfortable with it. You just can't punish them because you aren't comfortable with it.

(The RedEye article online)

No comments: