Are you one?

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Are you a people-watcher? Do you look at people and wonder what’s their story?
I am not a huge people-watcher. Like I know people who like to go to places like fairs and other public events just to watch people. I am not that interested. I don’t mean to sound self-centered; it’s not that. I think it’s a personality thing. The people who have told me they like to do that are “people persons.” I am SO not a people person. One of my favorite quotes, which I’m thinking of having stitched on a sampler, is from Albert Einstein and goes, “Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not too sure about the former.” A people person looks at any random member of the public and sees the potential of a new friend, or at least an interesting story. I look at the same person and also see potential — the potential that they will do something really, truly, mind-numbingly stupid or offensive. (Yes, I’m a cynic, but give me a break. I spent 2.5 years working with tourists.)
That said, though, I will admit that, every so often, I get intrigued by someone I see and I would love to know what is his/her story. Or sometimes it’s a group of people, or, even more broadly, an entire situation. Take tonight, for example. I tried to go to bed when Robert did but I couldn’t sleep. I could tell I was really dehydrated. My tummy felt yucky so I couldn’t stomach drinking tap water and my water cooler bottle was empty. So I decided to go to Love’s to get some Dasani. There I was, at 12:30 a.m., driving downtown. I passed probably 10 other cars and I couldn’t help but wonder what the drivers’ stories were. Why were they out at almost 1 in the morning on a weeknight? Some of them were easy to surmise. The guy in the yellow Mustang — probably a college student. You expect them to be out late. But what about the mini-van I saw? Where were they going or coming from? Was it good or bad that had them out on the streets at this hour? And did the people I saw in Love’s make any assumptions about MY story? Did they think I was a person who worked a late shift somewhere? Did they think I was drugged up, or coming from a bar? I don’t especially care what they thought, mind you; but I am curious. Maybe I’m the only one who thinks of this stuff.
Eh, forgive me, it’s 1:20 a.m. and I’m rambling (of course, I ramble any time of the day so I don’t see what difference the exact hour makes). Back to the original question: are you a people-watcher?

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About msmaryb

I'm a native Californian who lives in Oklahoma. I'm a full-time student, pursuing a Bachelors in Anthropology, following which I hope to attain a Masters in Archaeology. I have three kids, one husband, no pets, and a lot of friends - most of whom live inside my computer. I love to read, write, watch tv (shut up, we can't all be brain surgeons), shop, and travel. I'm trying to set foot in all 50 states before I die. I have 38, so far. I love the Beatles and Maroon 5, and if you think those two things are incongruous, well, they are. But that's me. When I love something, I love it 100%. I don't do anything halfway. I want to know everything there is to know, so I'm trying to cram as much into my brain as I can in the short amount of time I'm allotted in this dimension.

4 responses

  1. I’m not per se a people watcher. But if we are waiting for a movie to start or something along those lines, I will people watch. I too have wondered what people are doing on the road at odd hours, what their deal is.

  2. Well, I’m a lot like you in that I’m a terrible misanthrope; Ben always laughs when I say “God, I hate people so much. I wish they would all f***ing vanish.” Okay, not all. Not Ben or the kids, or my witty, smart blogger friends, or even my mother-in-law. But most everyone else. Stupid, annoying, and can’t drive.
    But sometimes you DO just wish you knew the story behind a situation. Once Ben and I went out to breakfast with the kids around 8 a.m. In the booth across from us was an impeccably tricked-out Newport Beach babe; she had fake boobs, fake nails, expensive highlights, and looked like she must have risen at 5 a.m. to get ready to dress and make up. She was also toting a baby girl who looked fresh from the factory — I mean, the kid was a month old, tops. She was soon met by a handsome, affluent-looking man, and you could tell by the whole tone and tenor of their conversation that this was a “date” but that they barely knew each other — he wasn’t the father of the baby, that was for sure. Where was the father? Was she auditioning to catch a new one? This soon after childbirth? Ben and I talked about it for days. That morning, we were both avid people watchers.
    Apart from that, people can take a flying leap. And if they happen to land in a big heap of poop, we’ll be there to notice and speculate about it.

  3. Total people watcher. In fact, hubby and I both are always wondering what people’s “stories” are.

  4. I am a people watcher but I don’t often wonder what thier purpose is. It is mostly “OMG who let them wear that?” or “Why did she park her car in the fire lane when she’s wearing jogging shoes and workout gear?”. I guess that is the nature of my job and me. To be critical of the “mind-numbingly stupid” people.
    I do believe you were taken over by the 1am thought process. Early A.M. thinking is not always productive but can be interesting.