Friday, January 09, 2009
Conversations in Passing
I am fortunate to have a mother-in-law who is very generous with her time and money. The week after Christmas we spent in California at Disneyland and watching the Rose Parade in person. It was way fun -- warmer than Utah but still cold, and I spent the whole time people watching.
Have you found as a writer that you are a people watcher? I listen to other people's conversations (not on purpose, sometimes you just can't help but overhear), I look at how they dress, how they interact with others and many times I can discover what their personality or character is.
It's great stuff for filing away and storing for characters in future works. I thought I'd share some of the comments I overheard and let you join in my glimpse of their worlds.
Comments at the Rose Parade and later at the float viewing:
(two younger girls behind us that screamed -- really screamed -- anytime they were excited about a float or band...ugh) "Look at them!" (when a school from Mexico was going by) "They all look alike! How strange is that? There aren't any black's or anything."
(when horses went by - every single one of them) "How sad! Don't you think they look sad?" "Yeah -- I don't know how those people can live with themselves."
"How big is your horse?" from a group to our side. The rider answered back, "19 hands!"
"Well, if you're selling them 2 for $10, why can't I join with that lady that wants to buy one and get it for $5?"
"You'll have to talk to my boss, lady, I don't make up the rules."
"I would have gotten a bigger bag if I'd known you were going to eat some. You said you didn't want any." (my hubby said that sounded alot like us...sigh.)
"Oh, look, ice cream!" (It was pretty chilly...we couldn't figure why anyone would want ice cream...lol)
"Look at all the seeds."
"I want to pet the dog!"
"I tell ya! I was going around this corner, well, maybe a little fast, but not too fast, and the car is all wheel drive, ya know? So it starts sliding as I'm going around!"
"How much longer are we going to be in line?"
"Have you been on this ride before?"
"Yeah, it's the bomb!"
"Where did you get those shoes?"
"I love your hair."
"We'll get something to eat as soon as we get off the ride."
"What about this sweater? I don't think it's heavy enough."
"You'll need to use the Disney Card for that purchase."
"I can't use my Visa?"
"I'm afraid not."
"Look, it's Goofy! I want a picture with Goofy."
"Can we ride the train all around the park this time?"
"This is the end of the line to the women's restroom?" (I heard that one a LOT...grin) "It's longer than the line to the restaurant!"
"You know, they really should make more stalls in the womens restrooms."
"They don't have any lockets from Pirates of the Caribbean here!"
And just since I mentioned the women's restroom...grin...in Baker California there's a hamburger joint called Big Boy's that has a great breakfast buffet. We ate there both on the way down and way back. On one of the trips, I needed to visit the facilities, and there was a line out to the waiting area. One of the women behind me commented: "I work in an office with 33 women and 2 men. The guys pretty much have the restroom all to themselves. We are always waiting."
I figure one day we'll all have a voice in building something and the architect will get a clue that women have to relieve themselves much more than men, and it usually takes longer! grin.
I wish I had tape recorded everything now, it would have been funny to get all of the conversations I heard down, but that's all my memory came up with.
Try it sometime, the next time you're in the grocery store, hardware store, or library -- it's amazing what people talk about when they don't realize anyone is listening.
Happy New Year.