We all do it. We watch people. It’s called people watching. There are those who claim this activity for their own personal hobby while others just observe without much reason. In these acts of observation, a person learns many things. A girl in her perusal of the weight room may learn how much a guy can lift and a guy might discover that a particular girl has an affinity for raisins and applesauce together.
Across the dining commons table, I saw one of my acquaintances observing those around her. Abruptly, I piped up, “Do you people watch?” After an affirmative answer, I asked Maggie, “How do you watch people?” Bluntly, she proclaimed, “Just stare.” This created a ripple of laughter throughout our companions and a bantering conversation commenced about times caught staring.
People watching is an uncomplicated hobby. Of course, there are a couple of essentials in which a person should invest. If you are to take up this particular hobby, purchase an exceptionally boring book and a large cup of caffeination. Once these are chosen, it is time to carefully consider where your observation shall take place. Will it be the small café down the street or a local park? After the location is set, opt for the chair or bench that gives an especially good view of a large portion of the park or restaurant. Be prepared to spend an hour or two in this spot. The coffee is there for stimulation just in case the people activity is on a minimum and your book becomes the main attraction.
On the off chance that you might be interested in tapping into your inner child, start asking yourself questions about the people that you observe. For example, in the movie Date Night, Phil Foster asks his wife, “What’s their story?” in regards to other restaurant diners. This question produces an amusing scene where the Fosters create original stories for unknowing couples. The realm of imagination has endless possibilities. In my mind’s eye, I have often observed couples fall desperately in love in the space of one normal moment or a seemingly typical dog that has complete control over its owner with a calculated movement of its tail. Therefore, ask yourself, “what’s their story?”
If you fear being termed a ‘stalker’ or a ‘creeper,’ I suggest that you consider a different hobby. People watching is not for the faint of heart nor for those who are not curious about their fellow earthlings. However, there are a couple of ways to not gain the above labels. Namely, refrain from anything in the way of Facebook stalking, hiding in bushes, or physically stalking. Now you know the rules, go and observe your fellow man or woman.
published in the Bethel Beacon.