People watching. It has to be one of the easiest pass times there is in this world. It is way more engaging than twiddling your thumbs, does not require concentration the way reading does, even surfing the internet has it’s downsides, as I only know about 10 sites to go to and then I get stuck looking at the same pictures over and over, wishing they would change. But people, they are incredible and they are ever moving. People are always doing things worth watching, worth analyzing, or simply staring at (which is not the most polite thing to do, I know). Right now, I am looking at a lady who has more trouble than I do picking out clothes that match with each other, and that is saying something, as I have been asked on numerous occasions if I got dressed in the dark. There are women in running tights, though definitely not heading out or coming in from any sort of exercise. There are men with handbags, a store clerk with cat eye contacts. But these physical features are just scratching the very surface of people watching. The actions and the conversations are what make this pastime such eye candy for the long-term airport junky and bored citizen. Making up the life stories of the people who walk by, trying to decide whether a couple were high school sweethearts or whether they met and got married in Vegas last night, that’s when the game really gets going. There are so many military uniforms wandering around in the Minneapolis airport, and these are hard for me to pick a story about. War is too foreign for me to guess about, perhaps it is for them too and they are on their way to training, or perhaps they just wish it were still far away from what they knew too.
There are kids, dogs, cats, long sweaters, mini skirts, sports teams, musicians, people of all ethnicities speaking all languages, but again, these are just the outside, the surface. There are thousands of people, all under one roof, who live lives that are completely different from one another. People are sick, people are unhappy, there is anger here, and love, and republicans and democrats, people from the Bahamas and people from northern Finland. It are these characteristics that really make these people come alive to the watcher. These are the characteristics that are invisible to the naked eye, but so vivid to an awakened imagination.
So I people watch, and maybe it is rude and judgmental, but the fact that I can make up a life for someone who just walked by me in a pea coat and thick rimmed glasses, to me, that’s just imagination, and I always wonder what life others will come up with for me (or my family!).