Monday, November 28, 2016

People Watching - Christmas Shopping Edition

People are endlessly fascinating. As writers, we become expert people watchers and I had some fun this weekend while doing some Christmas Shopping.

Here are some folks who may or may not show up in a future story!!

  • the lady who, on Nov 27!!!, announced to everyone at the checkout that she was officially done her Christmas shopping. Her smug smile carried her through the front doors of the store while the rest of us in line either glared at her or whimpered after her with envy
  • the man wearing leather and chains with tattoos covering his hand whose toddler couldn't keep steady on his feet with all the crowds, so he hefted him up to his shoulders and softly sang Jingle Bells with him while they made their way through the store
  • the elderly couple pushing a cart through the store and chatting about Every. Last. Item. on the ends of the aisles. They held up traffic in the busy store, but, while I watched, not one person got annoyed. In fact, one teenager overheard part of the conversation and stopped to tell them that, yes, that pair of fuzzy slippers would be perfect for a twelve-year-old
  • the two women, busy chatting on their cell phones, who rounded the ends of the aisles and crashed right into each other, both of them dropping their bags and their phones. Just like a cartoon. Luckily, they straightened out the mess without too much trouble
  • the elderly woman who shoved me to the side so she could look at the jewelry I was checking out for my mom. When I stumbled (and nearly knocked down the display!), she sent me a glare and told me I should learn to be more careful. I froze a second before I started to laugh. She shoved her nose in the air, sniffed disdainfully, grabbed a necklace, and stomped off
  • the mom who pulled out a softball sized lump of some kind of homemade Playdoh while she stood in front of me in a checkout line. Her son's face lit up and he shaped and pulled and twisted quite happily while they waited for their turn to pay. Brilliant!
How about you? Spotted any great characters lately?

36 comments:

  1. That elderly woman who shoved you will get hers some day.
    Really would've enjoyed the women with cell phones crashing into each other!

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    1. She was certainly a cranky-pants!
      I had to laugh at those 2 - fun! :)

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  2. You definitely need to use that father with the tattoos and chains in a story. What a sight. The elderly woman needs to be a murder victim.

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  3. They all sound like they would be perfect for characters in a story. I'm torn between the tattooed father and the teenage talking to the elderly couple about the slippers. People watching is such fun. :)

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    1. It is! I was surprised the teen stopped texting to help them out! :)

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  4. Sounds like a way to make shopping more fun. You sure found some unique characters.

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    1. I did! Probably because I HATE shopping and am always looking for distractions :)

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  5. Love this list! But I had to laugh at the first one. I've just received another contract (starting next Monday), so I've resolved to start AND finish my Christmas shopping this week. Wish me luck!

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    1. Good for you!!! I wish you all the luck you'll need :)

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  6. Curious question: does Christmas shopping season in Canada begin in earnest US Thanksgiving weekend, or was this just a coincidence?

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    1. Good question! A few years ago, our retailers all jumped on the Black Friday/Cyber Monday bandwagon in order to stop losing so much business to US online businesses and cross-border shoppers. It's working :)

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  7. I'm glad you were able to laugh when the woman knocked you aside. 'Tis the season for good cheer!

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    1. Absolutely! No point in borrowing some of her nastiness :)

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  8. Excellent people-watching there! I need to settle myself in a mall or a park and do the same. :)

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  9. I haven't been Christmas shopping at all. I really notice the kids when I'm standing in line.

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  10. Yes, put cranky pants in a story and give her her just desserts ;)

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  11. I love it! All of those could be fabulous characters! I haven't been people watching...in a long time. Truth, since living in NYC, I kinda have the head-down, straight-to-business mentality about shopping. If I'm not focused on the task at hand, I'm marshaling one of my kids into appropriate behavior. Like the playdough lady.

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    1. Totally works - the play doh lady was awesome!! :)

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  12. I absolutely love to people watch! So many interesting characters out there and your shopping trip sure highlighted some fascinating ones. :) I love that you laughed when the woman was being snobby about the jewelry. Perfect!

    Thanks for entertaining me with your observations.
    ~Jess

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    1. It was fun! I'm not a shopper, but this helps me cope!

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  13. I love people watching, too. The train platform, waiting for the elevator on the campus where I work, even sitting in doctors' waiting rooms have provided some creative fodder. I hope you do something with these characters!

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    1. I think a few of them will show up one day! :)

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  14. People watching does give us inspiration to tell their stories. I love to do this...make up stories of people I watch.

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    1. It really is a great way to get ideas and characters! :)

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  15. I want to read about the leather and chains Jingle Bells singing dad!

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    1. Me too! I think he's got an Excellent chance of showing up in a story! :)

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  16. Shopping on Thanksgiving Day weekend brings out the rudest behavior in people and I've sworn off it. Sometimes the more chilling eavesdropping can be done in waiting rooms at doctor's offices.

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    1. Yvonne - no kidding. Even in Canada we have some crazies during that weekend of shopping frenzy (I waited until Sunday) :)
      And, yes, doctor's offices can be traumatizingly creative

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  17. People do tend to rush around when they hear of sales and specials so I guess watching them might be fun!

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    1. It is! Some people are just a little wacky! :)

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  18. Love these encounters. Why do the elderly begin to behave so badly? And why do people forget where they are when they're on their cell phones? They terrify me at intersections when I'm navigating through town.

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    1. Agreed! Cell phone encounters are bad enough with walkers, never mind drivers!!!

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