Saturday, 3 August 2013

I think too much

I am the person who insists on sitting facing the restaurant when I eat out. I adore watching other people and I do it all the time. Always have. The couple having an argument, the awkward get-togethers and the families - I watch them. The people who are trying not to look like they are arguing are intriguing. The glasses banged down too hard, the body language - they lean away from each other, they don’t make eye contact and they don’t talk. And my plot bunnies hop off to make all sorts of situations up for them; how did they get like this?
Once I blew a couple’s secret affair wide open because I noticed at a dinner party that they did not interact at all. I thought there was only one reason why two people would ignore each other. Even if they hated each other they’d be snarky or roll their eyes when one said something the other disagreed with.
One day I was in the Medicare office. There was a large poster behind the service counter. As I was being served I looked at it, and I commented to the lady serving me that it was wrong. She asked me what I meant. The poster was of a woman with a small child standing near her, she also had a smaller baby on her hip and she wore a wedding ring. She was passing across her Medicare card. She was smiling happily unlike most of the people actually in the Medicare office. Queues… sigh.
Now, if she was registered correctly, her card would have her name, her spouse’s name, and all their children listed. There was only one name on the card she was handing to the assistant. I explained this to the lady and she said ‘you think too much.’
True that.
And I often think about why people do what they do, if that makes sense. For example, lunching with my children one day I watched a woman walk through the mall towards us from the railway station. She was carrying a largish handbag, but what caught my eye was that every few seconds she would look down into the bag or touch it with her other hand. I wondered what on earth she had in the bag that she was so concerned that it was still there, that she needed to actually check. She did it several times in about fifty meters. If I was a bag snatcher casing the crowd, I would have chosen her as a mark. Maybe it was just a nervous habit, but I don’t think so. And whatever it was in the bag; it was important or valuable.
And that’s the beginning of a story; or the yoghurt starter as I call it… was it the ransom for her kidnapped husband?

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