I’ve always stuck my nose in things that were none of my business. I hate to be the one who isn’t “in the know.” I don’t even have to know the people involved. If I’m in a grocery line up and the people one line over are having a great fight I’ll put down the People magazine and lean over the gum display to hear better. In fact, you could all do me a big favor and speak up if you’re talking about something really good.
I suspect this fascination with other’s lives is due in part because my own life is fairly boring. Don’t get me wrong- I don’t want trauma and drama in my own life, but I do like to hear about it. This is why I’ve always been a reader. I’m attracted to the conflict. Books aren’t small. The things that happen to the characters MATTER. With books you have a front row seat to everything that happens and how the characters respond. A movie producer once said, don’t give me accidents give me disasters, don’t give me funny give me hilarious; don’t make me sad, make me weep. Books give us a chance to be in the middle- and I can’t imagine a better place to be.
Do you eavesdrop in public?
7 Replies to “In the middle of things by Deb Eileen”
I eavesdrop in public — can’t help it even when I want to. It’s amazing how many people seem to be oblivious to the fact that they are in public. My favorites are couples who fight in public. I pity whoever is on the worse end of it but at the same time, can’t believe they’re playing their drama out in the produce aisle. Mothers who carry on really loud conversations with their children also puzzle me. Oddly enough, I won’t answer my cell phone in a crowd and I’m very self conscious about chatting with a friend or my significant other in line at the store or somewhere we can be overheard. Maybe I’m paranoid my dialogue will show up in a book somewhere 🙂
Not only do I eavesdrop (what a strange word), but also try to watch without seeming to watch. What people do in public can be rather startling, but don’t their actions cause you to wonder what the do in private???
Of course! Though I don’t bother being unobtrusive. I never lean in, I only listen if they’re talking loudly enough for me to not be able to help it. People, seriously, keep your voices down or you’re goin’ in a book!
You mean there are people who DON’T listen in on a really nasty public argument? Seriously, have you honestly ever met such a person?
I watch and listen to everything. My mother’s nickname for me since I was a little kid is “antennae ears”. The nickname has now been bestowed on my six year old niece who is just like me. When I was little, my mom couldn’t even hide things on top of the refrigerator. I’d walk into the kitchen and look up and say, “What’s that?” and point at it. My niece is just like that. Maybe she’ll be a writer too.
Oh, and if you don’t say hello to me on the beach, or smile back at me and include me in your conversation in line, I’m liable to start making up mean stories about you in my head for future writing. So be warned…be friendly and talk clearly!
A friend and I were going to an italian market today. We were stopped next to a car with 2 women who obviously were quite upset with a guy who “…is always like that”, “…why did we expect anything else” and of course “…he’ll never change!”. Then they pulled away.
We considered following them to ask who he was so we could avoid him too. Food won!
Oh, I am such a nosy parker. But it’s easier to do it when no one’s noticing (eavesdropping) otherwise I risk becoming part of the discussion and ultimately on the team for finding the solution. I like snippets more than the full story, so that way my imagination can run wild …
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