I LOVE watching people. Not in a creepy-peeping-tom way, but when I’m out an about in the world. I find myself trying to figure out their story or their situation, making up those stories and situations in my head.
When I picked up lunch on Wednesday I was helped by a short round lady with a nose ring, loud voice and confidence coming out her ears. Standing next to her at the register was a very tall, skeleton-thin woman with super pale skin and her hat pulled so low she didn’t have to meet anyone’s eyes. They were so totally different in appearance and first impression it makes me wonder – do they get along? Do they take breaks together and laugh about the silly/annoying/awesome customers (Wait, do awesome customers exist?). Are they as completely different in personality as they were in surface appearance?
Pre 9/11 I would volunteer to pick up and drop off my friends and family at the airport because that’s PRIME people watching. I married a man who enjoys it too so we fight for the best spot at restaurants (no one wants their back to the room). We share our observations and guesses, get pretty snarky sometimes, and enjoy the show always.
There were times in my youth when I would hang at the mall, alone, because I wanted to be around people but not really *with* anyone. Sometimes I want to be alone in the crowd.
I find it very difficult to draw people, or take portraits that are anything but candid (especially of myself, on both counts. Except Forrest – he’s the best subject ever).
I’m a happy wallflower at a party where I don’t know many people. I like to be the background plate refiller, dirty cup gatherer, fluff the pillower at my parties and friend’s parties, observing to make sure everything is running smoothly but not necessarily in the thick of things. I’m perfectly happy sometimes to stand and wash dishes and listen to a group laugh and talk and enjoy themselves.
There’s a deep part of me that wants to be on the outside looking in and observing, not necessarily participating. I find it so interesting to watch the ebb and flow and rhythm of life going by, the stories unfolding and mixing, the way people interact and don’t interact…
I like to think all of this means I’m just introverted… not creepy. = )