Have you ever people watched? Just sat on one of the benches at the mall and watched the crowd? It's fascinating. You never know what you'll see.
There's always the harried mother of at least three small children, trying to get her shopping done without losing a child or her mind. Sometimes they take the time to sit and regroup. Maybe a bottle or a drink, or a wipe of a runny nose. Maybe time to soothe tears or give a hug.
There's often the fashionably dressed woman in heels, bustling
through the crowd, her heels tapping out a warning to more sedate walkers to get out of her way. Since I don't wear heels and makeup to go to the mall, these women always amaze me. I wonder if they're on a lunch or dinner break from work.
If you go early enough on a weekday, something I get to do having days off during the week, you'll see the senior crowd. Often white-haired women in groups of two or more in sweats walking the perimeter of the mall as fast as they can, chatting as they go. Sometimes it's a family member pushing a wheelchair of the elderly, or a couple holding hands as they slowly window shop.
There's usually a few groups of teens milling about. Some are in to fashion--to the extreme--sporting fashion labels that I certainly can't afford. Others are into their own kind of fashion--pierced facial features, spiked hair, dog collars. Even those into extreme Goth. Funny how you can watch these groups and be surprised which ones are the most curteous, while others aren't. (Usually not who you would've thought.)
Which brings me to the point of this blog. People watching. It's what writers do. Everyone has a story. My RWA chapter sold tee shirts and mugs a few years back with the saying. WARNING: What you do may appear in my next book. I had mine at work until someone broke it. Hmmm, wonder if that was the next person I meant to kill off in a book? (This is the tote bag with the same slogan available at Cafepress.com.)
Watching people lets me think, "What is that person's story?" Is the Goth kid rebelling against society or really a serial killer waiting to happen? Is the harried business woman trying to buy a power suit with her last few dollars in order to make a good impression on a much-needed new job? Have the older couple walking the mall been happily married, or does one of them have a secret they've hidden from the other for fifty years?
How about you? Do you ever people watch? Do you ever make up your own stories about people you observe?