A couple of weeks ago I was reading my prayer book before Mass. A man dressed in sweatpants and his wife (I’m assuming) came and sat in the pew in front of me. The pews at my Church are very narrow and close together. The man settled into the corner of the pew, put his arm on the back of the pew, and turned and started looking at me, my prayerbook, and what I had next to me in the pew (rosary case, glasses). I could practically feel him breathing on me. I did not raise my eyes to look at him to give him a message to back off, but began fervently praying that he would turn around. Shortly before Mass began he told his wife he was going to the bathroom. He left, came back, adjusted himself in his sweatpants and settled into the corner of the pew again and remained in this position all during Mass except when he got up to receive Holy Communion. I would stand and he would be right there looking. I kept trying to move away from him. I was so grossed out and felt like my boundaries were violated. And then because I felt so guilty for thinking these things in Church I even reached over and put his hymnal away for him.
I feel stupid because I didn’t know what would be an appropriate action to take in this situation. Even now it still bothers me.