Tuesday, August 17, 2010

People Watching


I think all writers are people watchers. It's so entertaining and enlightening. Plus it's fun!

While at the Roger's Cup tennis tournament last week, I spent a lot of time watching people: fans, people dragged to the event by fans, people attending so they could be seen, security, players, volunteers, ball kids, umpires, vendors...

I don't know if most people realize how much is revealed about their personality in the little things they do. They don't realize writers lurk in every crowd and watch.

Clothing says so much about a person. Many people wore the most inappropriate outfits imaginable to the event. The temperatures ran in the high 30s (Celsius or 90 - 100+ Fahrenheit) before you poured 10 000 people into a bowl and watched them stew and simmer for 12 hours. Probably not the best place for 3 piece suits or silk blouses and skirts. Or terry cloth dresses. Or polyester pant suits. Sweat stains make the most interesting patterns.

One poor lady cried when she stood up and saw the large diamond shaped sweat pattern on the front of her dress and then realized the front looked much better than the back.

We sat beside one young man who'd brought a girl he was trying desperately to impress. He was so excited to be there with her. He babbled. A lot! He bombarded her with information about the players, the game and the rules. Way more than a tennis newbie needed (or wanted) to know. It might not have been as bad if he'd known his facts. He enthusiastically tossed out incorrect info that had every tennis fan around him stiffening then smiling. He was excited, eager to impress and kind of adorable. I hope he got another date. :)

One man had the most interesting hair on his forearms - long, curly, almost prehensile.

One lady wouldn't stand up or move her legs to let the ready-to-pop pregnant lady pass. She had to climb over the woman!

A security guard stopped people from getting to close to the players with only the slightest movements - a tilt of the head, a lift of an eyebrow, a movement of the finger. Awesome presence!

Some fans wore crazy costumes supporting their favourite players - including wigs (did I mention the heat!).

One of the ice cream sellers probably used up more energy than the players. He ran up and down those stairs continuously. He was so careful to never get in anyone's view, to never move during the play. He made eye contact with his audience, smiled, responded politely to everyone. He probably made more money than all the other sellers combined.

A family sat behind us for one session - parents and 3 boys. The youngest was about 7 & his favourite player was Rafael Nadal. The little guy cheered loudly and at the right times. But when the game got tense, he'd whisper, "Give him hell, Rafa." Then he'd ask his older brother if his parents had heard him. :)

Some of what I observed this week will provide me with quirks or actions for upcoming characters. So even if I didn't have a computer I was working on my writing. After all, it's not just what we do, it's who we are. :)

Those are a few of my favourite people from the past week. Who are the most interesting people you've watched lately?

140 comments:

  1. Sounds like the people-watching was almost better than the tennis! People are crazy!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love how much you observed. I am guilty of minding stories in my head more than what is going on around me... which is unsettling when the possible house painter asks the colors of my house and I answered... incorrectly. There is some balance between reality and fiction that I am clearly lacking. Go figure. :)

    Great Post!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are right! Writers do this, and I found your post so interesting, I read every little detail. You are great at catching all those unique traits! Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jemi, this is so impressive. I've never been that observant, but if I'm going to write fiction, this is what I'm going to have to learn. Yikes! I felt as if I were right there with you.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds like you had a great time. I can see these people popping up in future writings. They are quite interesting.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'll be people watching tonight, at the school. Its back to school night :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mary - you're right - people are crazy! So much fun to watch :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks Julie! I can't believe you got your house colour wrong!! That's hilarious ... and so something I could do :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. When I was younger and got out more, I did a lot of people watching. It was so much fun. And it really does help you as a writer. Your observations here are very sharp, the kind of details that are perfect in stories. I love all of them but especially this one: "One lady wouldn't stand up or move her legs to let the ready-to-pop pregnant lady pass. She had to climb over the woman!"
    Ann

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks Terry :)

    I love checking out the quirks of other folks - we're all unique and that's what makes it fun!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Karen - thanks! I'm glad. Once you start people watching it becomes a bit of an addiction! But it's a fun one!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Mason - thanks :)

    I think bits and pieces of these folks will definitely show up in new stories - that's all part of the fun!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Summer - have fun! Back to school is a great time to see how people react. You can tell so much by the eye contact and the movements - enjoy :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ann - glad you enjoyed them. People are so entertaining. And that woman was a combination of rude and oblivious. Very odd!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've never people watched in my life. I know that seems like a capital offence to some writers, but I've never had the inclination. :-)

    Adam

    ReplyDelete
  16. People are strange. Strange and wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I loved especially your description with the eager-to-impress guy. I work on a college campus and always get a kick out of watching the students interact--especially when groups are joking around. You can tell so much about who is crushing on whom from the body language and, of course, the babbling. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Adam - really?? Think of all the fun you're missing! :)

    I think part of it comes from my being a teacher - I need to observe the kids to monitor their comprehension and well-being. So I just got used to doing it!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Matthew - isn't that the truth! Strange and wonderful indeed :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yup, really. :)

    I'm more of your "hermit" type of writer. Gimme a cave with broadband and I'd be in in a shot.

    Adam

    ReplyDelete
  21. Laurel - that would be a great job for people watching!!

    Crushes are the best to watch. Feelings are completely reflected in eyes and body language :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a fun post!!

    Hmmm. I've been people watching two Hong Kong students adapt to wide-open spaces, an entire block dedicated to a GOLF COURSE!

    And they saw STARS in the sky!!!

    Fun, fun to see a different culture react with gasps and pressed lips!!!

    P

    ReplyDelete
  23. Adam - that sounds kinda fun too! I'd miss my people too much - although I'm more of an observer than a participater in some situations :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Patti - they must be overwhelmed by the amount of space!

    I've been lucky enough to be with people who are seeing snow for the first time - we've had so much fun! :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Lots of interesting people there! I like how you noticed small details that help paint a vivid image of these characters. I watch people too, but I rarely take the time to notice what I notice, if you know what I mean... (I hope that guy gets a second date too!)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Cruella - people are great! :)

    It's always fun to notice the little things that make a person unique. I'm hoping he got that date too!

    ReplyDelete
  27. That little seven year old is too cute!

    I remember saying a bad word when I was that age, then crying to my parents because I thought I was going to hell.

    Shelley

    ReplyDelete
  28. Those details are so telling! I spend a lot (LOT) of time in airports, and that's another great place to observe behavior. Sometimes I like to watch someone and make up a story about them, their background, and where they are going and why.

    ReplyDelete
  29. How fun. Those are great observations. I love people watching.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Story Queen - exactly! He was a real cutie for sure - and so happy when Nadal won that match. It was great :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love people watching! As long as I can do it without looking too creepy, I try to people watch as much as possible!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Sarah - Airports would be great for people watching. You can see how they react to all kinds of situations and emotions.

    I make up those 'what if' stories too - so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Holly - it was fun - and those were only a few of the best! People watching sure gives you a good insight into characters. Plus it's fun :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Shelley - yes - avoiding looking creepy is very important! That's why it's easier when it's a large crowd :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Haha I looove people watching; especially when the people are odd but adorable couples!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Saumya - you're right - couples are so much fun! The interaction between couples is great - body language, eye contact, movement - so telling :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. One of my favorite places to people watch in on the beach and not because of what they're wearing. The little kids chasing the waves and digging in the sand, the people fighting the breeze to put up shade or lay out towels, the grumpy people with sunburns. It's so intertaining.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Susan - you're right - there are so many fun moments on the beach! Kids playing on the edge of the water are great!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love people watching! Some people can be so crazy. It's like a free show. :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. What wonderful observations, Jemi! The woman who wouldn't get up speaks volumes. I try to remember that it's actions like that which will show the reader far more than saying someone is self-involved and rude.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Kimberly - It is! In tennis there's a mini-break after every 2 games - the players sit for something like 90 seconds. It's the perfect time to watch the rest of the show! :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. This post reminds me of when I was little and went to a baseball game with my family. I was bored stiff, observed all the people and then reported on them after the game. My parents thought it was so funny that I'd watched the people instead of the game.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thanks Tricia :)

    Yup -- that one action told me all I needed to know about that one woman's character. Showing really is more powerful than telling!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Karen - lol - that's awesome! Nothing like proving early you were meant to tell stories.

    My daughter was the same when we went to a baseball game when she was younger. She knew how many vendors worked in each section, what every advertisement read, which section had the most people... :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. I went into DC this weekend, I was totally sick and wanted to die but I still didn't look as anger or hateful as the bald white guy sitting across from me on the metro, pissed that he and his wife had to sit apart from one another. I suspect he was a racist too, given the sneers he gave to the other occupants on the trains who didn't share his same skin pigment.

    I LOVE people watching, large crowds, trains, I give people back stories and try to figure out where they're going or how they got to here.

    That lady who wouldn't move for the pregnant lady should be punched in the throat. Any lady who was preggers would agree.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Erinn - yikes - I hope you're feeling better!

    Some people are just so cranky and miserable all the time - and the over-reactions are wild! I sat beside one racist man for one match - he was by himself and made a few disparaging remarks about another person. He did stop after I gave him 'the look' thankfully. People like that drive me batty.

    I totally agree with your assessment on the woman who wouldn't move!

    ReplyDelete
  47. I have to laugh at the way some people dress that does not match the weather. I think of those poor Mormen people walking around in triple digit weather wearing long pants, shirt, and I think a tie. They should wear a nice pair of shorts.

    Stephen Tremp

    ReplyDelete
  48. I love people watching. It always makes me smile when people do things that they think nobody else notices...especially in cars at traffic lights. lol.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Stephen - I can't even imagine wearing all those clothes! I much prefer to dress for comfort :)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Lindsay - you're right! Traffic lights are awesome places for people watching! Most people are oblivious that there are writers out there watching their every move :)

    ReplyDelete
  51. Very cool! So interesting to learn about people, isn't it? Some great observations...

    Let's see, I had someone come into the office and ring the bell twice, slam it really. I can't think of any others, but I agree traffic lights are a good place to people watch! I work in a mall office too; the mall is a very good place to people watch ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Erica - it is so interesting! I think being able to make those observations helps me be a stronger teacher and writer :)

    The mall would be awesome for people watching. My daughter recently started a retail job and she's had tons of great people in already!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Baseball games always provide an assortment of interesting characters. Sometimes the church crowd is just as odd, too!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Great observations, Jemi! To that pregnant lady who climbed over a person - kudos to her! Heat + pregnant + person not moving = very cranky and outspoken (at least it would if it were me). :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. What a great opportunity to observe people - and you took full advantage. Really loved the descriptions you gave us of the people you watched.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I love this post! You should make it a weekly feature :) I love people watching, having the baby has curtailed it slightly but I managed to get some in at the airport which is a great place!

    I really want to know if that boy got a second date, bless him.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Alex - baseball games rock for people watching! Any sporting event is good I think :)

    ReplyDelete
  58. Kimberly - me too! If I'd been closer I'd have helped out, but we were too far away. Can't believe anyone would be that rude!!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thanks Helen - they were fun! And there were so many people there to check out! Because it's tennis, you have natural breaks, and it's the perfect opportunity to check out the stands :)

    ReplyDelete
  60. Alexa - I know - my heart went out to him - he was such a cutie :)

    Having the baby with you does tend to make it harder to do ANYTHING else! Airports are so great for seeing how people react to stress and changes and meetings - lots of fun!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Oh, I have to watch it when I'm watching! I've been caught staring.

    It's awkward. I'm a weirdo. I see someone interesting and my mind starts weaving and spinning their story and they catch me ogling and offer up a smile and I think, "Oh shayt, I just got busted," and I look away and try not to turn red, but I burn from cheek to scalp every time.

    Everyone's got a story, and funny how few of them (us) realize it.

    - Eric

    ReplyDelete
  62. Eric - that's the danger! I'm usually able to get away with looking past them casually as if my eyes were already moving :)

    But I think the blush probably gives me away too!

    I wonder if people would think it was cool we're considering them or their quirks as novel fodder - or if they'd run screaming in the opposite direction :)

    ReplyDelete
  63. I love obseving people wondering what is going on in their lives, what are they going to eat and so on I am not nosey just curious about my fellow people who I see most days without exchanging a word.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Yvonne - it is so interesting, isn't it? I tend to make up backstories too. We have some 'strangers' we see all the time - we've made up entire backgrounds for them - so much fun :)

    ReplyDelete
  65. Love your observations! The boy with the date was so cute:)I'm glad the other fans understood his postion and didn't correct his innacurate info. That was a great observation in itself.

    I've done this ever since I can remember.

    My most interesting lately was a guy in line in front of me at the supermarket. He was buying roses and a box of chocolates. I figured anniverary or he was in trouble.

    He smiled at me. I smiled and told him how pretty the flowers were.

    He asked me if I'd like them! LOL! He'd never get out of trouble at the rate he was going.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Terry - he really was adorable with the girl - I hope it worked out :)

    Love your story - he sounds like he was digging himself in pretty deep! Such a ladies' man :)

    ReplyDelete
  67. I loved this post! And I hooted out loud at the poor woman with the sweat stains! I probably would have sat quickly back down and waited, til I was the only one in the stadium, to leave!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Beth - thanks :)

    I felt so bad for the lady! We were all covered in sweat - there was no way not to be - I was just thankful for my own wardrobe choices! :)

    ReplyDelete
  69. I find mostly everyone fascinating. We used to play a game at my old job. Certain computer books would come with an author's picture and we would make up lives and personalities for them. Good times. So I do that all the time when I see new people.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Hannah - that's a great game! You can often tell a lot about a person just from 1 photo! So much fun :)

    ReplyDelete
  71. Jemi
    You made me smile, I felt like I was right there in the stands with you. :)
    People kept doing saying things around me all holiday; it was as if they wanted to be included in a book. Ibiza was a great place for listening to teen boys wishin', hopin', watchin' and boasting!

    ReplyDelete
  72. DL - lol :) Yup - I did manage to squeak a few matches in there too!

    ReplyDelete
  73. Elaine - thanks!

    People are amazing! And teen boys are so much fun :) Sounds like you had a great holiday!

    ReplyDelete
  74. I get accused of not paying attention all the time. It's just people fascinate me almost more than events.

    Great piece.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Mary - I can understand that! People are so fascinating :) But I did manage to watch all the tennis too!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Fantastic observations! That little boy was awesome! I bet his parents did hear and they probably thought it was funny, haha!

    That poor prego lady. It sure says a lot about the woman who wouldn't move for her.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Laura - the little guy was such a cutie! And I think you might be right about his folks - they were such a nice group!

    Yup - that women was NOT creating any good karma for herself!

    ReplyDelete
  78. You're a true people watcher. Thinking back over my week, there was a lady that bought a book at my signing and as she was paying she asked the manager if she had a job application she could take to her son. She said she had to get it for him or he'd never apply. I couldn't help but wonder if she realized that was not a selling point to hire him.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Hi Jemi! - Love, love, love to people watch. Especially at places like train stations and airports. Also cafes. There's a man who comes to the one near my house quite frequently. He's probably in his 70s. He always wears a tee shirt and short short short shorts! Made of terrycloth.

    I mean, the tips of his butt cheeks are visible when he is in line to pay. In the winter, he wears a coat, but takes it off and there are the butt cheeks again. o.0

    Also love to people eavesdrop. Hear plenty of great dialogue. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  80. Kathi - that's awesome! Pretty sure he's not going to get hired if mommy had to pick up the application for him! Yikes!!

    ReplyDelete
  81. Marisa - Yikes!!! That's a major YUCK! No one needs to see that - ever! I've got a horrible image in my head, but I'll bet the reality is even worse! *shudder*

    I agree - eavesdropping is another awesome activity for writers :)

    ReplyDelete
  82. Haven't gotten out much lately. I always enjoy watching my granddaughter. I also like watching people passing by on the street visible from my back bedroom windows.

    One of my favorite places to go watch people is Venice Beach. You see some of the strangest people and combinations of people types--homeless, tourists, druggies, health nuts, sellers, entertainers, teenagers, hot babes, muscle men ---what a mix of humanity.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Lee - Watching grandkids has to be the best people watching of all! :)

    Venice Beach sounds awesome. I so enjoy venues like that - where there is such an eclectic group of people. Watching the interactions between and reactions to the different 'types' is so enlightening!

    ReplyDelete
  84. Ah, I love people watching, and it sounds like there were some interesting people there! I find my coworkers very interesting (though they probably don't know I'm watching). They'll say they hold to one belief or viewpoint and then, as soon as that is unpopular, they'll switch to try and stay with the crowd. They don't even realize they're doing it, but people always try so hard to impress one another.

    ReplyDelete
  85. I love people watching. Last week I was working out in the front yard as several teenaged boys went door-to-door in my neighborhood asking for supply donations for a no-kill cat shelter (old towels, cat food, etc). They were so polite and so sincere in their efforts, I felt compelled to work them into the short story I'm drafting.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Tiana - there are such interesting people everywhere! But it's easier to watch them in large crowds :)

    Watching people switch sides and trying to figure out which side will win is always fun! It can be kind of funny - people are so desperate to impress sometimes!

    ReplyDelete
  87. VR - It's so much fun!

    What an awesome story! Kids and teens so often get a bad rap - and I find the opposite is so often true. This is yet another great example of the huge hearts teens have! Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  88. Wow, Jemi. You saw a lot of stuff. You kept me entertained just reading this post. :)

    I LOVE people-watching. Of course right now, all I have to do is look outside my window with all the teenage drama going on in my neighborhood.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Karen - I'm so glad you enjoyed my observations :)

    You're right - you've had the most interesting break up in your neighbourhood. Hopefully the poor girl has moved on and not towards a stalking charge!!

    ReplyDelete
  90. What an interesting game that must've been.

    I must admit that I'm a people watcher myself. An observer, if you will. I usually observe the most interesting of people around me, but right now, I'm observing couples more. I've been in a few relationships myself, but it still doesn't hurt to see how other people view or have relationships.

    Anyway, interesting thoughts, an awesome game (I felt like I was really there!), and write on!

    ReplyDelete
  91. Vatche - it really was an incredible few days!

    I love observing - and couples are so interesting! You can tell a lot about them by their unconscious movements and eyes. So fun!

    Glad you enjoyed it - thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  92. I love your observations. It brought the place alive with all the variety of people you described. My favourite people watching place is the local food court -- I affectionately call it the fishbowl.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I love people watching when I'm out and about too... it didn't get bad until I started taking notes. Pretty much everyone thinks I'm a crazy stalker now!

    I do think my writing has benefited from it though!

    ReplyDelete
  94. It's so much fun watching people, isn't it? People are CRAZY!

    I saw two guys run down the street like crazy last night to get to the pub before last call at 11 pm. They missed it, and as we passed them we heard one say: 'If only I hadn't taken the time to piss on that front door-step...'

    Ah, London.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Lynda - thanks!

    The fish bowl is a perfect name for it! So much happens in a food court - romance, trauma, exhaustion, frustration... A great place for sure. :)

    ReplyDelete
  96. India - LOVE it!! I haven't taken notes yet - I wonder if maybe that's a good thing :)

    ReplyDelete
  97. Talli - that's a perfect example of how crazy people are! I really hope it wasn't your front step! :)

    ReplyDelete
  98. I'm not an active people watcher. Actually, when I write my characters take on certain personality traits and quirks of those I've known in the past. Its like some kind of subconcious thing that happens. I won't realise until I reread later where I got the idea from. Loved your post!

    ReplyDelete
  99. Creepy Query Girl - thanks :)

    That's a great observation. I think a lot of what we observe is subconscious. We know when someone is angry or sad, but don't always know WHY we know that. As a teacher, I've worked at finding out what the clues are so I can help my kids more quickly. :)

    ReplyDelete
  100. I'm a people watcher too! Once I was staring at someone so long, that the person asked me what was the matter. It was like I was in some sort of trance. Yikes! I was pretty embarrassed!

    Are you a writer? Then you MUST enter this CONTEST!

    ReplyDelete
  101. Jessica - that would have been awful - but it could happen so easily! People are entrancing - and it's fun to watch how they cope in different situations!

    ReplyDelete
  102. OMG Jemi! That was wonderful! And you described them all so well, I feel like I know them all.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Lisa Gail - thanks!

    It always amazes me how we are able to take one small image or action and create the whole picture. It's really all we need. :)

    ReplyDelete
  104. Unfortunately, even though people watching is great for creative people, I tend to quickly forget what I've observed! But I do remember a few times when I've seen a mother scold her child; now THAT is funny.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Amanda - some people carry notebooks to record these observations, but I haven't done that ... yet! :) It always seems to come back to me when I need it in my writing!

    ReplyDelete
  106. People watching is so much fun! Love all your descriptions, they're awesome.

    Tonight is movie night at our park, and I always watch the kids. It's a fun way to work when I'm not working!

    ReplyDelete
  107. Julie - Thanks :)

    That sounds just about perfect - fun with the kids and time to people watch too - Enjoy!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  108. I feel for that pregnant woman! MAKE WAY PEOPLE! Avoiding obstacles isn't easy when you're lugging around a 7 pound child in utero.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Lisa & Laura - no kidding! When I was preggers with my son my belly entered the room a full 5 seconds before me. Thankfully most people are great!

    ReplyDelete
  110. Hehe Loved reading your post Jemi! I’m such a people watcher and an eavesdropper! I call it research but I’m pretty sure my non-writer friends call it “pervert” :)

    ReplyDelete
  111. Lua - thanks! :)

    Isn't it fun doing 'research'? And it really is research - we just have to be careful - as you say, not all non-writers understand! :)

    ReplyDelete
  112. So, did you SEE any of the match?? lol! You could write an entire story with those 'characters.' The girl that cried when she saw the stain on her dress, and the curly arm-haired man stand out for me. Maybe they could get together!

    ReplyDelete
  113. Lynn - lol :) Yup I actually did most of my people watching during the change overs :)

    They actually might be a kind of fun couple - pretty close to the same age, similar styles. Hmm... might be fun!

    ReplyDelete
  114. Oh, I love to people watch. Sometimes it's more fun then the event going on in front of you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  115. Jessica - you're so right - it can be. Although I'm a total tennis nut, so in this case the matches totally ruled! :)

    Thanks so much for dropping by!

    ReplyDelete
  116. there're lots of fun to see so many character in a crowded...
    Sound the crowded was more interesting than the tennis performance..

    Thanks for the very nice post, Jemi!!
    really enjoy reading this post.

    all the best,
    nensa

    ReplyDelete
  117. I love to people watch! I am so showing this to my husband becasue he thinks I'm crazy.
    Love this post!

    ReplyDelete
  118. Nensa - thanks so much :)

    Crowds are SO much fun to watch! I really did enjoy the tennis too though! :)

    ReplyDelete
  119. Renae - that's awesome! Let him know it's all completely normal... for writers anyway :)

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  120. I love people watching too. Everywhere, anywhere.

    The security dude reminds me of Ranger the way you described him! Did he look like him?

    Wonderful post, as always. :)

    Love,
    Lola

    ReplyDelete
  121. Lola - it's so much fun :)

    Actually he was very muscular - large biceps - with dreadlocks - some of them pulled back in a tail - twinkle in his manner - deep brown skin.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Great post! I went to Vampires Suck tonight with my 14 year old. I loved listening to the HS kids behind us (although at one point I wanted to ask them to be quiet). Apparently, GW Bush is the reason for all of our countrie's financial problems. I had no idea he was behind everything... So funny listening to them talk politics. When the movie started one of them was laughing way too early and way too loud, which was fun in itself. :)

    People...fun creatures. Glad I'm not one of them. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  123. This is absolutely lovely. I particularly liked the one about the security guards. I could actually picture them. These sorts of characters have such a menacing presence. I also liked your observation of the icecream man.

    Recently I’ve seen a few interesting characters who’ve inspired me to write. One was a woman of about 35 who, I suppose, you would describe as Gothic. She had a bazillion piercings all over her face, wore long black clothes and big chunky boots. I stood next to her trying to cross the road. She had the most infectious laugh. Another was a woman who had to be at least 90 who was having tea with a friend. You could tell she was a posh old bird, insisting on wearing heals though she could barely walk in them. She had a ring on each finger, huge diamonds, gold and lippy on her teeth. Priceless.

    Anyway, I dont know why but it wont let me post from my wordpress username so check out my blog here susiemander.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  124. Sharon - lol :)

    That sounds like so much fun! Listening to those teens would give you some great voices for any YA writing!

    ReplyDelete
  125. Susie - thanks :)

    Those ladies sound like terrific characters. I'm picturing them at adjacent tables at a coffee shop - and wondering what each would think of the other!

    Sometimes Blogger enjoys giving me a hard time - don't know why! I'm glad you left the link because sometimes I can't get info from the pictures or names!

    ReplyDelete
  126. What a great place to people watch! I love watching people in resturaunts especially. If you've seen date night with Tina Fey and Steve Carrell, how they fill in people's conversations they can't hear, I do that too.

    ReplyDelete
  127. Jackee - it really was a great place for it!

    Restaurants are another great spot. Friends, first dates, families, date nights for married folks, business... so many different things to watch!

    I agree - filling in those conversations is fun!

    ReplyDelete
  128. I love the little boy who worried that his parents heard him tell the player to "give them hell". I love to people watch, too - people are so entertaining!

    ReplyDelete
  129. Susan - he was a total cutie! In fact the entire family was sweet :)

    People watching is so much fun - and most people have no idea they're being watched!

    ReplyDelete
  130. I've never liked watching people before I became a writer. I thought it was sort of invasive, you know? But in this profession people-watching is fundamental, I think, so I started doing it and now I think it's most fun! heh

    Thanks for sharing your observations. I'm most impressed by that security man. I'd like to have seen him in person. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  131. Mari - it's funny how we get past that discomfort for the stories :) Being a teacher, I've always watched my kids for their feelings and tensions - it was easy to extend that.

    That security guard was awesome - I remembered him from a couple of years ago - very impressive.

    ReplyDelete
  132. I love watching people! You learn so much that way. Great fodder for the writing!

    ReplyDelete
  133. Reminds me, I need to pay more attention to people-watching. It truly is the stuff of characters.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Carol - you're so right - there are so many people out there who make fabulous characters - either by their words or actions or look!

    ReplyDelete
  135. Margo - I think it's a great use of time for writers! We need to do that 'show don't tell' thing, and people watching puts us in the right mode :)

    ReplyDelete
  136. Hands down, it was those two manly tree guys singing "You probably think this song is about you," in my back yard. I'm still chuckling and still singing the song.

    Patricia

    ReplyDelete
  137. Patricia - I laughed when I saw your post early! I can just see them singing along with Carly Simon! :) Great visual!

    ReplyDelete
  138. I really enjoyed reading your descriptions of the people at the tennis match. I never thought much about sweat stain patterns! :)

    Felt like I was there in that heat. & I'd be sure to get some ice cream from that considerate ice cream seller!

    ReplyDelete
  139. Notes - thank you!

    I'll definitely think of those stain patterns from now on - I'll dress carefully for sure!

    The ice cream seller was terrific - I bet he made a fortune :)

    ReplyDelete