Tuesday, April 29, 2008

People Watching

I like to people watch. One place I get to do this every week is at church. We sit near the back, and this allows us to see everyone who comes in. I can see who they are talking to, watch them look for family and friends, or watch them look for a place to sit. I am very curious about people (The Man calls it “nosy”). When I meet people, I like to ask them lots of questions. And I like to people watch.

On this particular Sunday, I see a dad walk in with his son and daughter. The service is about to begin; both a kid’s choir and the adult choir are on stage. The music has started, and people are settling down in their seats. This dad is looking around, not wanting to disturb anyone by being the last family standing. The kids begin to sing in their cute, squeaky way. He consults an usher, whispering into his ear. The usher shakes his head no, and the man looks around frantically one more time. Finally, he takes a seat with his kids, obviously defeated that he did not find whoever it was he was looking for.

He watches the kids sing and then he watches the adult choir sing. The kids are dismissed to children’s church and he sits alone. The adult choir sings their last song and exits the stage. Choir members slowly trickle into the sanctuary, tip toe to their seats, whispering hello to their spouses or friends.

One lady walks in and looks around. An usher spots her and walks right over to her, points across the room, and walks her over to where this man was sitting. She lights up at the sight of him, as if to say, “Oh, there you are!” and he does the same when he sees her. She sits down and they look at each other with questioning eyes, “Where were you?” He motions as if to say, “I was here the entire time.” She points up to the front, so he would know she was singing in the choir. They settle down and my attention goes back to the sermon.

As I watched all of this, I realized I was smiling. Because I was amused. She was already up on stage when he walked in. He and their kids were the only people standing and she did not notice him. He was obviously looking for her; I would imagine he knows that his wife sings in the choir, and he was watching the choir while they were signing. It either did not occur to him that she would be up there, or he did not see her up there, or both. I found it humorous that they could not find each other but were perhaps looking right at each other. It’s evidence that no matter how long you have been married, there is still miscommunication. This one appeared to be a small misunderstanding, but depending on what happened that morning before I saw what took place, and depending on their personality types, that could really piss off a person. Hopefully it did not bother either one of them and this incident was only for my enjoyment.

I felt better about The Man and our relationship. Not in a self-righteous, we’re-better-than-them way, but like, hey-we-do-that-too! way. It made me feel normal. And that is why I like to people watch. It (usually) makes me feel less crazy.


kelvinkao said...

Hehe, nice story!
I normally do my people-watching on the bus. I see less interactions though. What I more frequently see is people just sitting there by themselves. And I would wonder what was going through their minds.

Catherine said...

This was a great post.

I love people-watching, too. I love airports. Those are GREAT people-watching places. I'm constantly wondering things like, "How is it possible that someone so clean-cut looking in a business suit can have a heart tatooed on his ring finger?" Or "Wow. That woman has kissed her son's head five times in the last 30 seconds. Is she just really affectionate or getting ready to send him off to college?!"