Now that I have both feet firmly planted in “Single Land”, I can take my favorite pasttime to another level.
Observing the human condition.
No, this is not a Mutual of Omaha episode, where Marlin Perkins takes us to deepest, darkest Africa, for a lesson on primitive cultures. We are dealing with nature here, but on an entirely different level. This is a favorite way to pass time at the office, on the street, at the Mall (urgggh) or any public palce where humans congregate.
Before the ladies jump on my back and play the sexist card, it’s not about looking for a potential partner. It is an exercise in observation. I am a people watcher. I watch both men and women because everybody does stupid things in public. They are hard to ignore, whether they know they’re being watched or not. Besides, women watch men. They do it with just as much enthusiasm as men watch women.
I’m not a rubber-necked fool whose head spins when passing an attractive woman. It’s too obvious and it’s rude. Nobody wants to be gawked at. Please have some respect for the person. Women do want men to notice them. Women say they dress for each other, but they also dress to attract attention. why else would they do it? Any woman who has a sense for fashion and an awareness of her body plays this to the hilt. For example, if a woman has long legs, you know she’ll look good in a skirt and high heels. The outfits just enhances the response. She knows she looks good and she know men are watching. I notice women like this, but they are WAYYY out of my league.
I really don’t know what my league is, but…..
I prefer to do my watching in subtle ways. Sitting on a bench downtown, reading a freebie newspaper is a good basic strategy. My head doesn’t go back and forth like a mechanical duck in an arcade game. Casual glances work fine for me.
Remember: I’m watching both men and women. The women just show up better on my mental radar screen.
I can hear the responses now: How can you openly admit this? What are you, a pervert? Do you like to watch?
C’mon, we all watch. Everyone watches everyone else. We are all social voyeurs. It’s a better version of reality TV. It’s just like birdwatching, except your subject is vastly more interesting.
What’s even better is creating a scenerio to match the person you’re watching. You look at the clothes and try to figure out what their story would be. Some are just too easy. Middle-aged man (no relation) in a business suit. Banker, maybe a lawyer. He’s on his way to a big meeting, getting ready to close the deal. I would say that’s accurate. Put a woman in a business suit, maybe walking with a younger male collegue, and you might say, “cougar”. Check her shoes,though. Don’t be so quick on this one. We maybe be right, but you never can tell.
How about a teenaged boy, with stringy long hair drooping across his forehead and eyes, dressed head to toe in black, maybe wearing a pair of Converse Chucks? Slacker? Maybe alienated by his peers? This one won’t present alot of options. I can say this with authority. As the father of a 19 year-old girl, he IS a slacker. His idea of literature is anime. Why wouldn’t it be literature. Any good library has a whole section of graphic novels…errr comic books.
Ooh, I may have touched a nerve.
Let’s get back to the people watching.
Another good place to watch is at the Mall. On principal, I really don’t like the Mall, other than it’s air conditoned and a great place to get cool during the summer. Except if you want a snack, you have to pay. The Mall is where I can watch high school kids fumble their way through social situations. It makes me wonder if I looked like that at their age. But they are so insecure, so dependant on the opinions of their peers. They don’t know what they want or if it’s alright to have their own opinions. But if they do, they could be commiting social suicide. These kids can be brutal to anyone that’s outside “the norm”. I have first-hand accounts. It’s not pretty. Especially the girls.
So, how does this people watching thing you do have anything to do with being single again?
Really? You must be joking.
I am 48 years old (honestly) with half a lifetime of experiences with the opposite sex. If I could take the knowledge accumlated over the last 33 years, and applied it when I was in high school, I might have had a much happier academic experience.
After being set free from my last relationship, I decided to pull myself out of the romance rat race and work on me. As I mention in a previous post, I am trying to find out who I am. As a substitute, I will watch women. I will watch women walking on the street, while I am walking around at work, or while grocery shopping.
I will watch them here and there. I will watch them everywhere.
Yes, I’ll be watching.
Because most of the women I’m watching have lives of their own, and men of their own. I’m not checking out the left hand for the ring. I’m not thinking about a clever line to start a conversaton. I am just appreciating the scenery.
This is one post where I will encourage all readers to leave a comment. If you’re entrigued or outraged, if you’re stimulated or repulsed, I want to know.