I made my way down to Florida this weekend for a work celebration trip. It was very nice. We stayed in the Hard Rock Hotel and visited Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter). We had a fun Saturday night at BB King’s Restaurant and Blues Club.
One of my favorite things to do in new situations or in those with new people is people watching. It was nice meeting all my coworkers’ other halves and comparing them to what I had imagined in my head when people talk about their wives, husbands, boyfriends, and girlfriends.
Airports, amusement parks, and restaurants are other really great places to people watch.
I ate lunch on Saturday in the Three Broomsticks and sat by myself absorbing the scene and listening to conversations around me. A young boy, his sister, and their mother were sitting at the table right next to me. The mother and daughter were rather rotund while the boy was very thin. He was picking his food apart, while his mother was encouraging him to eat more. He was probably around 10, polite, and focused on removing the skin and meat from his chicken leg. His mother offered him some of her food and he said, “No, thank you, but thanks for offering. That was kind.” Nowhere on earth had I heard a child say anything so kind. It struck me so much I almost told them so.
As I walked through Hogsmeade, I was also touched by the pure and utter joy that both kids and adults were experiencing in reliving the books and movies. Plenty of children were dressed in full Gryffindor gear: robes, wands, hats, the whole shebang. I was almost proud when I heard children pick up an item from one of the amazing gift shops and know exactly what it was. “Look, mom, a time-turner!” “It’s the Monster Book of Monsters! It’s moving! Listen to it!”
Sunday, in the Orlando airport I made my way to my gate and walked to a seat. As I was approaching, I saw an obese woman with what seemed like a permanent scowl tattooed on her face reading 50 Shades of Gray. I’ve never read these books, but from what I’ve heard most people put them on a Kindle so no one knows what they’re reading. Just as I sit down her husband/boyfriend walks up and says, “This airport f—ing sucks. They’re going to make me go all the way back past security to smoke. I’m not going through TSA again!” I couldn’t help but think of how much a security threat it could be if we just let people outside after they’d already passed through security. He kept going on and on about it, pretty loudly. I was surprised no one carted him away as he was probably about 1 notch away from making a scene.
On the airplane, I sat next to Carrot Top’s step-mom. She was nice. She was going to Nashville with a friend for Thanksgiving and then to Las Vegas the week afterward. Right before my flight took off a disheveled young man entered the flight, dropped his backpack on a woman already in her seat, and loudly exclaimed, “Oh, shit! I’m so f—ing sorry. Dude. Wow. Sorry.” Carrot Top’s step mom and I agreed that he was on drugs. He kept trying to goad his seatmates into talking politics. In fact, after making a phone call while we were taxiing, he turned to the woman next to him and said, “So are you a Democrat or a Republican?” Awesome plane convo. She was an conservative independent, if any of you were wondering.
People are just interesting.
Maybe take some time to sit quietly today and observe the people around you.