Watching humans

Without a doubt, people watching is an amazing exercise in confusion and humor.

I love to watch humans. I try to figure out what their story is, who they are, do they walk with confidence, do they appear shy, are they gregarious, what do their clothes tell me and so on. If you want a writing prompt then people watching can give you plenty.

This morning I was in a lobby just as people were changing shifts and the human interactions were telling. A tall security guard carrying an ice chest lunch box strides out of the elevator on his way home passes a cute petite woman who responds shyly to his bright hello. Who are they? Why is she shy? What makes his walk so peppy and his greeting so cheerful?

The best people watching is done in shopping malls and airports. There are crowds of people moving in different directions, talking, juggling bags, looking for direction signs, noticing other humans and finding their way around.

It’s fascinating.

Disneyland is another great people watching place. I tend to notice the parents with the children, who are really too young to be there, trying to force their tired, cranky and sensory overwhelmed toddlers to “have fun”. The adults spend all of their time corralling kids and arguing with each other, while wistfully watching the childless couples strolling, holding hands, flirting and laughing. I don’t understand why people think a toddler has any business in a place with so many things that distract and agitate the child. Most of them are scared to death at the sight of a six foot tall Mickey Mouse!

What is your favorite place to people watch? What are you looking for when you watch humans? Have you ever been busted while observing someone?



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