Is there anything better than sitting down with a nice hot or cold drink, depending on the season, and indulging in a spot of people watching? My beloved and I adore – okay it’s mostly me – speculating on the nationality, profession and reasons why other people are inhabiting the same space as us.
When I was a kid, I had NO shame. I would go over and ask. Of course, when you’re a cute kid – and I was cute – you can get away with this. In fact, totally unprompted and uninvited, I would sit down and subject the person or persons who were the object of my speculation to a barrage of questions. I don’t remember anyone refusing to respond, ever.
I’ll be honest, as I’ve grown older, little has changed. I loved auditing lots of different companies because I could legitimately ask them loads of questions in the course of my work. Also, I could tell you loads about everyone who worked with me but I know the reverse wouldn’t have been the case. They’d have told you I was married, had worked for the company for x years, supported Aston Villa and then they’d have struggled. They might’ve said I was a good boss, a good listener, someone who “walked the talk, ” who knows?
Nowadays I exercise my endless curiosity interviewing fit, young, guys and gals who cycle. But, to be honest, no one is safe. Sit next to me at dinner and you’ll leave having had an enjoyable time. I’ll know pretty much all there is to know about you, while you’ll know very little about me. You’ll have been hacked without even realising it. The upside is it will’ve cost you nothing.
It’s not that I’m deliberately coy, I do write a blog after all. It’s just that as well as being able to talk the hind leg off a donkey, I’m a very good listener. I lean in, ask a leading question and then nod encouragingly. It NEVER fails. My husband often says he feels sorry for my victims. “Victims?” I like to think of them as willing participants. After all, who doesn’t love talking about themselves?
Of course, I’ve had to restrain myself. I can’t go round accosting strangers and asking them all manner of questions, hence the endless speculation. However, as I get even older, I plan on becoming a sweet, determined, eccentric old dear who asks anyone, anything she wants. There’s got to be some benefits to being elderly!