Today's topic - or more precisely, yesterday's topic - is eavesdropping. Sorry. Yesterday was Halloween and my blog writing took a holiday.
Do I do it? Of course I do. Do I mean to? Not usually. Unless I hear my name somewhere in the conversation. Then my ears automatically perk up and I'm acting all stealthy like trying to catch more of what's being said.
Am I stealthy? Not so much. I've been told I'm quiet, specifically by my husband who has threatened to put a bell around my neck. That's not because I'm trying to be sneaky, though. That's because he's spent the last twenty years listening to really loud music pulsing through his headphones. The word I hear fall from his lips the most often is "What?" It's got nothing to do with me being stealthy.
I'm no spy. Some people wouldn't believe this, but I'm actually very quiet a good portion of the time. I'm an observer. I like to watch. I like to listen. I'm a writer. That's kind of what I do.
I love walking through a store and catching tidbits of different conversations. It's hilarious. Without the full context of the story, things that people say can be absolutely ridiculous - and highly entertaining. Was she talking about a monkey? A kid? Her ex-husband? I'll never know - but it sets the imagination on a wild ride now, doesn't it?
Sometimes I'll wind up being a part of the conversation simply because I was in that place at that time. I won't say "the right place at the right time" because, frankly, there have been occasions when there wasn't anything right about it.
People tend to talk to me. These are people I've never met before, never seen before in my life. I was at the Yo Yogurt sometime last year, very innocently trying to pay for my strawberry cheesecake swirl with Heath bar topping and all the sudden I was privy to the cashier's impromptu road trip to somewhere in Kansas to pick up his buddy who was having car trouble. Not long ago I was in the Walmart and wound up hearing about the bee that stung a poor, unfortunate elderly woman. That led to her faulty windows, and the fact that her husband had passed on several years ago (hence the faulty windows) and the fact that the damn bees have been awful this year.
See, sometimes I learn a lot more by not eavesdropping. I think it's the smile. I invite people to talk to me because I look friendly. It still feels like eavesdropping, though. I'm still hearing information I didn't ask for - maybe information that really wasn't meant for me.
It's interesting, nonetheless. Have I used the things I've heard as a writer? Oh, you bet I have.