Tag Archives: people watching

Sometimes its impossible not to eavesdrop

Yesterday was another fly day for me. This time it was Nashville, TN to Austin, TX — via Houston, TX. I had one of those layovers where I didn’t get off the plane, since my flight was just continuing on to my final destination.

My first flight was no where near full. I don’t think there was a single row with more than two people in it — several with only one. It was an easy flight, and we actually arrived in Houston a little early. We were told we could deplane if we wanted to use the restroom and get something to eat, since we had time to kill. I opted, instead, to just use the lavatory on the plane and use the time to call my husband and my mom with travel updates.

Waiting for the next flight
Waiting for the next flight

As people started to board for our flight from Houston to Austin (which I have spent a lot of time contemplating ones expense of flying that route versus driving it) I found myself very glad to already be seated. This flight would be completely full. There were 14 of us already seated and just waiting for everyone else to join us so we could continue on our way.

I rarely pay much attention as people board behind me. I really don’t care who sits beside me, because, I admit it, I’m not a chatty flyer. I use ear plugs to attempt to keep my ears from plugging while I fly, and that makes it hard to visit with anyone. So. I just don’t.

All that being said, it was impossible to miss someone going, “Tsk. I thought we had good places in line. Look at all these seats already taken!” I glanced up to see a man and woman joining me in my row. I was glad to see two people who knew each other sitting with me… they’d talk among themselves and I’d be off the hook when it came to chatting.

As they sat down the woman started complaining about the air being on above her and telling the guy to turn it off.

“I should have known you’d start complaining about that before you even sat down good.”

I internally headdesked. He told the woman she’d have to ask me, since my air was the only one open and blowing. Now here’s another thing with¬† me and flying. I hate being hot. If I get hot on a plane, my stomach starts to ache. So I’d rather be a little chilly than hot, any day. I nodded that she could move my air “vent” but she couldn’t turn it off.

And with all of that, in less than thirty seconds, I felt myself very uncomfortable with these two. All I felt were negative vibes, and I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on much of their conversation. (I mean, c’mon, they were less than a two feet away from me!)¬† I was more and more uncomfortable as time passed. I found myself hoping I that never come across as negative as these two did. Heck I found myself scared to breathe funny lest they start discussing what I was doing and why either I was wrong or how they could do it better!

Luckily the flight from Houston to Austin takes about 30 minutes, so my experience was short lived.

I enjoy people watching, and the occasional eavesdropping session usually makes me smile as I find myself filling in the blanks with my own imagination. But this was one time, I wish I hadn’t pretty much had to eavesdrop. I strive to surround myself with positive people, and when I find myself trapped in a sea of negativity… I feel uncomfortable and out of place. I have my negative moments, but I try to keep those to myself or just with people I am close to… who know that my feelings are short lived and don’t define who I am.

My seatmates… well… I would define them as being negative people. And perhaps my assessment is totally wrong! But I wasn’t given much at all to assume otherwise. I sure hope I never do that. This trip made me be more aware of my attitude more than ever, and perhaps that’s the positive in that sea of negative.

Woman in the maroon dress

Last night, I “worked the door” at the bar I work at downtown Nashville. That just means I checked IDs (GUH! 1990 = 21. I feel so OLD.) and attempted to beckon people in the door.

Knowing I would be the first face they’d see at the bar, I decided to take a little extra care in how I dressed versus my typical bartender outfit of tank top, jeans and comfy shoes. I wanted to present the bar well (and actually DID bring a few people in based on my appearance because, “you make this look like a respectable place!”) and beyond that my allergies have still been going nuts, and dressing nicer makes ME feel better and gives me drive to keep going.

Now, working the door isn’t my favorite job at the bar. I don’t mind it, but I’m not the best at yelling out to random people, “No cover! Live band! Come check us out!” I’m too much of a people watcher. I can easily sit for hours on end, just watching the people pass. And within that, I’ve gotten pretty good at predicting ahead of time which bar a person is going to want to enter based on their dress, attitude, etc.

And boy! Let me tell you… dress, attitude, etc. is all over the board sometimes. I love the diversity! TV can never give the entertainment or variety of just sitting back and watching others interact with each other and their surroundings.

It just so happened, a large group had just come out of the bar I was at, and they’d come to a stop in the middle of the alley. I looked down at my phone to check the time, when a maroon purse and gold-ish (not gaudy gold, but gold toned) heels caught my peripheral vision. I could tell a woman was trying to get around the group.

My head snapped up to look as this woman walked away. And I’ll be honest. I was mesmerized.

Walking away was an elegant, sophisticated and confident black woman. Without missing a beat, she slung her purse over her shoulder, and she walked with a stride that never faultered. Her maroon dress hugged her curves just right, showing off a perfect hourglass figure without a single piece of skin needlessly being revealed. Her tall heels complimented her toned legs. Her hair a perfect round halo around her head, which was held high.

It was a little like something you’d only see in a commercial.

I couldn’t stop staring in admiration. I knew nothing of this woman. I hadn’t even made eye contact with her. And yet everything about her screamed confidence. Nothing she wore was flashy. She had not gone out of her way to be noticed. It was just her confidence in herself that caught my attention. Her confidence in herself burned itself in my mind.

After crossing paths with hundreds of people tonight, as I left to go home it was that one woman and her confidence that continued to stick with me. It’s kind of like reading a dozen blogs in one day, but only bookmarking one. This woman has inspired me to want that kind of confidence just radiate out — in what I do and in how I present myself. Deep down, I’ve been looking for inspiration lately. I just never expected it to come to me as a woman in a maroon dress walking down an alley.