What I think I do.

What my husband says I do.

Wikipedia says a hobby is a regular activity done for pleasure.  Therefore, I am dignifying the act of people watching as a hobby.  Sword to right shoulder, sword to left shoulder.  I was introduced to this activity on a family trip to Miami while sitting next to my grandmother Bebe on a bench waiting for my mom to run an errand.  Bebe asked me “do  you know what we are doing?”.  I said “yes, waiting for my mom.”  She said “no, we are people watching.”  She added “ look at that lady and pay attention.”  I did.  The lady was very pretty and seemed to be in a hurry.  My grandmother saw something else.  She challenged me to wonder what this lady was thinking when she got dressed..  I was confused, the lady seemed ok to me.  Bebe pointed out the lady was wearing an anklet over her pantyhose (this was in the 80s) and took me to what became my first lesson in people watching; a series of self imagined scenarios that this woman may have gone through while getting dressed and leaving her house, where the anklet ended up squeezed under her hose.
The rest of the wikipedia definition states that ¨continual participation can provide substancial skill and knowledge about it.¨ Well I am looking forward to that because, according to my husband, I am not so good at it.  He says I am too obvious and almost want to introduce myself.   I insist it is not my fault that two ladies with the most incredible manicures decide to go into intimate details while sitting at a  table arranged back to back from ours in one of those tourist-trap-restaurants.  The dark haired one accounts she is a mistress to a married guy who plays golf and lost thirty pounds since they´re seeing each other.  This is juicy stuff for a newlywed!  My husband tells me I look like a tennis match spectator and that I haven´t touched my food.  I take a big breath and focus on serving my pasta using the fork and spoon method and pray that my attention goes to creating the perfect twirl so I am not tempted to turn around any more.  I must have looked again because the dark haired mistress is telling me my husband left and is making signals to me from the plaza.  Alex pulled this prank to make a point, and he did.  People watching and people listening are not the same thing.  The latter being rude to the parties involved and the uninvolved as well.


1 comment :

  1. Dear Carolina: People watching is not a hobby, not a job, not something you do to kill time. It´s an art. One that requires talent and practice. Well done it will provide you with an infinite amount of tools to go about life. After gaining enough expertise you will be able to "read" most of your "watchees" and with this skill you will also conclude that there are chapters in that book that you would have rather skipped. But its all part of the game. Good luck and good watching!