Monday, April 15, 2013

I Got Caught

Here's something a bit different for this weeks LIFE'S simple pleasures, but I must admit it is most fascinating, and I got caught doing it yesterday.
Week #15 - LIFE'S Simple Pleasures - people watching
Now you may say you don't have any TIME to waste and sit and people watch. And I say to that you are certainly missing out on some FREE entertainment. 
You must stand in a grocery check out line, don't you?  If you work outside the home, you must go out to lunch or the office cafe'?  At an airport waiting for flight?  Sitting in a carpool line? Sipping your Starbuck's coffee? Looking out your front door?  There are so many places you can people watch, even for just a few seconds or for a mindless amount of time.
This past weekend was my 49th birthday, yes, thank you!  Age is one thing I am not afraid of...can't turn that clock back!!! But I digress... I was taken out to lunch and celebrated, thank you friends and family... and after lunch we decided to stop by a local mall.... on a beautiful spring Sunday afternoon... oh what joy!  That mall had it all!!! Perfect for people watching!
People watching is different than voyeurism, I want you to understand that!  It's all a spin on 'words'.   I don't stalk people, I do extensive research through the Internet on them.  Just like I people watch, observing people and their interactions without their knowledge, not voyeurism (sexual pleasure) eww, sorry, I had to clarify that!
Instead of shopping I people watched.  I was discreet about it, for most of time, but then I got caught. 
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."  ~ Henry David Thoreau
I was watching a sales person, you know one of those movable carts (kiosk) in the middle of the mall.  It was full of toy animals that rolled around, boxed models of cars, helicopters that hover and different kinds of balloons.  She was actually dressed up like a mix between a clown and a court jester.  No face paint (that would be scary to people who are afraid of clowns).  As children would run up to her cart to see all the fun toys, she would entice them with a balloon... Sponge Bob, Spider Man, Dora the Explorer and other fun and brightly colored shapes.
She tried and tried, and smiled as she would hold balloons near their face, not in a threatening way at all.  Parents would smile at her and shake their head no or they would ignore her completely, tugging a little harder at their child's hand as they moved away from this and out of the crowded halls of the very busy mall. Teenagers would avoid her.  Adults would just keep walking and pay no attention.  The clown had her own little space.
She would change her movements, she would talk to herself, and then bounce her handful of 'sticked' balloons up into the air, she would do a little jig, and start all over again when the new wave of a crowd passed by. She would pace back and forth, smile and try again, saying to everyone who came near, would you like a balloon???? They were not FREE!   It's not that I felt sorry for her, I just couldn't imagine doing that job.
And then I caught her eye, she saw that I was watching her, and to me it seemed like she got a little sad.  Her eyes were pleading. I was a good 15 feet away from her and she said to me, "Please pray for me, I'm trying to find another job."  I smiled, like I didn't understand her... there are so many foreigners who are in the mall, maybe I couldn't understand English... but of course I can. 
I looked away. 
But then I turned back and she continued on with her task and I continued watching.  It's a fun way to pass time, many writers and story tellers get inspiration through people watching.  But of course I was drawn to her, the clown in her bright outfit and the rejection she was getting from everybody. 
She knew I was watching her, and when she caught me again she said "when God closes one door another one will open"... and it really, really, really touched me! 
Eventually I got swept up into the crowd and I walked away from that session of people watching, but the clown has kind of followed me.  Not of course in a creepy way, but in a somewhat metaphoracal way.
When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. ~ Helen Keller
I'm not sure how and why this came about in my life right now, but I think its a very good thing that I got caught.... now I just have to figure out why?
Week #15 - LIFE'S Simple Pleasures - people watching

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