Thursday, September 06, 2012

Ramblings on a napkin at Panera...

People watching... We all do it. Admit it. So it stands to reason that sometimes, people are are watching ME. This epiphany just popped into my head (as epiphanies tend to do) while I sit alone at Panera. My daughter has 3 hours of gymnastics, twice a week, and I try to fill those 6 hours in many different ways. But I can only walk so much, watch her cartwheel so much, and "work"* on the laptop so much before my brain explodes. So sometimes, I wander.

Occasionally, I find myself leaving a much larger carbon footprint than is necessary by driving in aimless circles, windows open, music blaring, and pretending it's 1994, where the biggest concern in my life was which parties I'd go to and what outfit I should wear to best showcase my butt and long hair. Other times, I'll sit beside the creek, throwing stones and composing brilliant** literature in my mind that will be forgotten once the van door opens to the din of my children's voices again. And some days, I can be found frantically scribbling on a Panera napkin, my breadbowl of broccoli-cheese rapidly cooling, in a cafe full of 20-somethings. I wonder if any of them are glancing my way... I wonder if any of them notice that I'm here?

Since we ALL people watch, surely some one, somewhere, watches ME.

It's a mathetmatical improbability for it to be otherwise.

When they're looking at me, what do they see?
What do YOU see?

Do I warrant more than a passing glance? Do I spark theories of possible lifestyles?

Or am I easily pegged as Just Another Housewife who is looking for a flash of glory before the grays outnumber the browns and the smooth loses battle with the wrinkles? An obvious cliche?

Are my questions truly unique or are they merely repetitions of millions upon millions of wondering souls, desperate for a chance to carve our initials into a tabletop more permanent than a chain soup and salad joint?

*Social Media Work = The Work That Masquerades as Play
**The most amazing words I've ever composed are the ones that never make it to paper or screen. It's a sad, sad truth...


StephLove said...

Interesting question. Hard for me to answer, really, because instead of seeing the outside but not the inside like a people-watching Panera customer, I see the inside (or that part of it you choose to share online) and not the outside.

If I'm out with the kids I usually assume anyone noticing me is noticing how cute the kids are but I've rarely wondered what they were thinking about ME. Maybe now I will. said...

I don't obsess over it, but it's something that just occurred to me as I people-watched and made up stories about those around me in a restaurant...

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