Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Peeing in Your Pants

"Ms. Snyder says the school bathroom is so dirty that you are better off peeing in your pants."
It's over hearing statements like these that make airports so much fun.
I had the pleasure of flying to Los Angeles last Friday for my best friend's bachelorette weekend. I don't know about you, but I'm a people watcher. In fact, I think a lot of artists enjoy observing people. When we write we create people with unique personalities, looks, and mannerisms, so an airport can be a treasure chest of inspiration.
  • I've met other writers. 
  • Given people parts in my writing, although they'll never know it. 
  • You get to hear different dialects and speech patterns. 
  • I've had the opportunity to talk to complete strangers and hear their life stories.
  • And it never stops astounding me how there really are no two people that look alike (except for twins). I like to observe, specifically, differences in facial structure, coloring, hair, and over all body type.
  • What can be better than penning away your masterpiece on an airplane? No phone calls. No internet (although Delta is now offering WIFI on their planes for $9.95 per flight). And the only interruption you'll get is when the stewardess offers you a snack and drink.
If you think people-watching might be for you, first beware that there is an art to people watching and it may take some practice. You have to observe without being caught- that is key- unless you plan on striking up a conversation with the person. But who knows where that conversation may take you? You may end up hearing about the life threatening mold growing in Aunt Gertrude's bed pan or hear about an exciting hike through a rain forest where someone found ever lasting love. It's a bit of a gamble. You can take notes, but don't stare and take notes at the same time. Remember, discretion. Also, female versus male people-watchers have to conduct their research a bit differently or you may end up with a bloody nose and a few broken bones.

Are there any other people-watchers out there?


  1. I love to people watch and write down the weird things they say. I overheard two teenage girls in a Target Starbucks recently talking about a spider that was in the car while they were driving. I wrote down every word:)

  2. Me, me! And this is what sketchbook keeping is all about, only it's much easier to get caught if you're drawing. A friend of mine was sketching in a railway station once, practicing crowds, when a very angry woman stormed up shouting, "Who are you working for!"

    Good observation is an art, and invaluable for writers. A great post, Anita, with a clicktastic title:-)

  3. I love watching people. I'm terrible about listening in on other people's conversations too.

  4. Oh yeah -- my next Alliterati post is gonna deal w/ observation and airports b/c I just had some good times at one, too :)