I don’t actually know anyone who has said they don’t like to people-watch. I suppose some people need the watchees to be exceptionally entertaining in order to stay interested, but everyone enjoys to take even a split second to just do a quick social soak of those around them. I, of course, am no different and could (and occasionally do) spend quite a period of time publicly spying. While I am a firm believer in equality and equal rights, let’s face it– not all people are equally entertaining. There are certain categories of people I find more fascinating than others.
Someone driving a new car. This is fun and easy, as this is the person easily recognizable in a super-shiny little machine without license plates, with the beautiful toothy, ear-to-ear grin of a child. Ever watched a kid get it’s first puppy? Someone driving their new car, even if they have had it for a few days, looks exactly the same.
A woman in heels/A man in a tie. Because they own this place, or at least give off that confidence. Hallelujah that on “those” days all you need are some shoes or a tie to lift you up and welcome the whole world (or tell it where to put that sales report, if that’s the confidence you need). I’ve noticed you rarely see a woman in heels or a man in tie look down when they walk. And people are attracted to confident people, and not just romantically attracted. We all prefer to be someone who appears and acts confident, because it makes us feel less timid.
A couple on a first date. Like the diamond in the rough of people-watching. You can never plan for these things, but it is so exciting when you realize that is what you are eaves-dropping on. This is especially good if it is a young couple, like high school or early college. When I watch a first date I like to do play-by-play in my own head:
“Does he open the door? There’s a reach, he grabs the handle, but OH NO he walks through first, leaving the lady waiting on the sidewalk! Oh, ouch, Bernie. That’s going to earn him some time in the penalty box.”
“I can’t believe it, Scottie. The guy has seen how many romantic comedies?! Luckily, he can still recover by offering to buy her dessert at the end of the meal. But does he know the cardinal rule of dessert offerings?”
“What’s that, Bernie? The Only-Suggest-Something-Double-Fudge-Or-Kiss-A-Second-Date-Goodbye Rule?”*
“That’s the one, that’s the one.”
People with unruly large dogs. I do not mean the type of unruly dog that eats trousers off mailmen, but more that large lanky dog that things it’s a terrier and has an entire day’s worth of pent-up energy. This dog is simultaneously running circles around it’s owner (leashed), chasing errant squirrels, paper, children, or shadows. Ah, and biting into the air at nothing, while barking.
Any club or gathering where all members are of the same gender and over the age of 65. Always adorable. At Caribou, for example, there is a gathering of men that talk sociology, psychology, and politics all the time. They often try to rile me up on health issues, but I don’t get too riled anymore, especially about the relationship between the government and health care. I just tell them to stop eating our sugary muffins and have some carrots once in a while and they will be okay. And the only thing that competes with the loveliness of children laughing is a gaggle of little ladies giggling at their own gossip.
*Maybe not applicable to all women, but certainly applicable to Modern Mugwumps. On the off-chance that you are taking notes. . .