People Watcher


I often get accused of staring at people. I can’t say its always unwarranted. Im fascinated with people’s stories. I compare interactions, I consider dialogue, I especially wonder about couples. I suppose it might come from my lack of observable relationships growing up in my own home.

My parents divorced when I was 8, and i dont remember much before that. After the divorce, my family sort of scattered to the winds. My dad disappeared for months at a time. My brothers – 6 and 8 years older than myself – went to live with friends or girlfriends. It was just my mom and I. We had a particularly boisterous family living next door to us. This family seemed to be the end all be all of family happiness to my mom. They were big and loud, aside from that I wonder if they were half as happy or functional as my mom gave them credit for.

As a married person of nearly nine years, I still look at certain couples when im out and about and wonder. I wonder if they’ve had trials. I wonder if someone is cheating. I wonder if they ‘work’. I suppose i’m looking for something to compare my own relationship to, but that’s impossible. What does a successful marriage look like? I cant say why I wonder this about strangers, but it makes for interesting people-watching.

For instance, today im sitting and eating lunch at a burger joint. Im in a booth contemplating the movie I just saw and a family draws my attention. The husband looks like a cheater to me. Cant tell ya why, he didn’t have panties hanging out of his back pocket, but he just had a shady glow about him. It struck me as sad because he was sitting with his wife and their two girls. He was the type of balding that still could be in denial about. His top tuft was gelled within an inch of its curly life. He had a wandering face. Not just his eyes, but he would turn and look at people nonchalantly. When you are sitting in a booth with your wife and two girls, if THEY cant hold your attention, you are shady in my humble opinion.

Perhaps their lack of interaction or glancing just at each other led me to that conclusion. The wife, who’s back was previously turned to me, stood up to take one kid to the bathroom and I noticed all the ‘notice ME’ make up she had on despite her stretch pants and T-shirt. There was a booth between us occupied by another single woman. Middle aged, happy, shimmying along to Elvis on the overhead music. She walked to get her order in her track pants and football shirt. Nothing extraordinary, aside from her giant rack.

That’s when I noticed the man, wife still in the bathroom with kid 1, take his phone out while his other girl is flopping about the booth barely looking at him. I see him hold his phone up at a curious angle, straight-on to the knockers between us.

Shady as phuck.

His wife comes back, not even glancing at him, as the little one runs on ahead and passed their booth.

The man starts swiping his phone as if he’s actually doing something, and not photographing nearby boobs. The wife comes back and sits down.

They continue to sit across from each other, not speaking to the other, not laughing or smiling. It all seemed very sad to me as I watched.

I wonder if people look at my husband and I while we are out. I wonder what they assume or read into- other than needing a gym and jeans. I suppose it depends on the day and time and circumstances. I am not always excited and giddy when i’m around him. We have recently been asked if we were newlyweds. We got a good laugh out of that. Our marriage has been through more than our 8 and a half years should hold, but here we are. Still happy to be a team.

There is now a family sitting down where “boobs” was sitting, and the husband has a crusty booger peeking out of his nose. At the very least, I hope my husband has enough respect for me to tell me if this happens. Or enough self respect not to want to be seen with kids, wife, and wife’s bogies.

On an only slightly related subject, they say 50% of marriages end in divorce. If my husband already divorced someone, does that mean we are exempt from the statistic?

Also, i’m curious, have you ever taken a shady photo of an unknowing subject?

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9 thoughts on “People Watcher

  1. Interestingly you criticized the other man for looking about while he was with his family while you were observing him while you were with your family. You didn’t take any sneaky pics of anyone’s boobs did you? I’m kidding with you of course. I’m a people watcher too. I love creating a back story based on what little info I can glean from a brief observation.

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      1. I would be happy to turn my phone over so you can see that I’m not a total creeper like that guy you saw. I have to people watch so that I can create credible characters in my books. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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  2. I feel bad for the poor woman jiving to the overhead tunes! She had no idea her boobs were now in someones phone, capable for him to share with his buddies (or worse!)
    People watching can be interesting.. But usually i’m too into my fries to notice maybe people if i’m out at Burger joint!

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