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People watching

(64 Posts)
WOODMOUSE49 Mon 12-Aug-19 12:33:50

I've had a weekly, now fortnightly, hospital visit for nearly three months so I have had lunch in town after/before the appointments. I used to read my book whilst waiting for food but people watching is fascinating.

I nearly put this in the PET PEEVE thread but ...

Seeing a family or group of people having a meal in restaurant, cafe or pub. Some not engaged (and this appears to be mainly children) with the conversation. They are glued to their phones. Not talking but texting or game playing. Only time they put it down is to eat, if they need a knife AND fork. Quite often the phone is still being used whilst the other hand holds the fork. I think to myself, is this killing the art of face to face conversation or discussions or standing in front of others to give a presentation etc. What a pity the adults don't involve them in the conversation.

I know teachers plan in opportunities for children to discuss or stand up and talk but are children coping well with this.

Any way, the thread is really about watching others as well as what we notice about them. Does anyone else do it?

Tigertooth Sun 18-Aug-19 21:32:28


Simple family rule: no phones at the table.

When I people-watch I notice how many people are overweight, and wonder why personal pride or just vanity doesn’t prevent this. Perhaps it’s become the norm

You sound like a really really lovely person.

Tigertooth Sun 18-Aug-19 20:51:36

I hate being watched - it’s so rude. We do know you do it you know!
It makes me really insecure - what are they thinking about me etc. Please don’t do it - it’s so horrible.

Jacks1 Wed 14-Aug-19 12:33:07

I like this very much and will try to remember this official name as it sounds so much more intelligent

Jacks1 Wed 14-Aug-19 12:27:55

I am totally on board with what u say. My family are my world too. Enjoy them and be yourself if anyone gets in the way of that then they are not needed by the likes of us.

Almostemptynesty Wed 14-Aug-19 03:42:59

That was boastful and mean.

I am overweight bc I have a rare disease that makes me very tired. It was diagnosed too late to be cured.

I was always quite active and trim before I was ill. Now I eat very little but am unable to be as I once was. I exercise as I can.

My family is delighted that I am still here on this planet. So while I feel embarrassed at my body, I feel loved. It is what keeps me going; knowing that I am needed.

And neither vanity nor personal pride really get to enter into my appearance now as my main goal isn't looking up to your standards; it's staying alive to enjoy and give to my family. Somedays it's all I can do to do the bare minimum of life functions.

And OP. YES! Nothing so interesting as watching people if I am lucky enough to be out and about. I'll even sit in our car and wait for my dh bc I can people watch.

We loved going to restaurants bc it was time specifically for our family. No distractions. Just family. I hate to see children/parents on screens instead of sharing with family at meals. So much of screen time is just wasting time instead of building family.

SueH49 Wed 14-Aug-19 02:32:15

^Grandma70s said
"When I people-watch I notice how many people are overweight, and wonder why personal pride or just vanity doesn’t prevent this". ^

If only it was that simple, that is a very judgemental comment and shows no empathy at all for people who in spite of their best efforts are unable to loose weight.

MissAdventure Wed 14-Aug-19 01:13:55

I don't really look at that stuff.
I look at their faces, their wrinkles, the things that make them attractive, their body language.
I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in celebrities, ordinary people hold far more intrigue for me. smile

Bijou Tue 13-Aug-19 22:45:10

When I go to town shopping I sit and eat my sandwich and watch the people coming to and from the bus station.
Not only are the majority overweight but even on a sunny warm day are wearing jeans and dull coloured t shirts. The sort of thing I would wear for gardening. I only saw two dresses and they were worn by elderly ladies.

WOODMOUSE49 Tue 13-Aug-19 20:41:54

I go with DH when he's working in Lynmouth, Devon. There is no mobile signal there, unless things have changed this year. last visit was mid 2018.

It's great walking around and sitting on the front. No mobiles out. People look at you when you pass. smile

CanadianGran Tue 13-Aug-19 19:54:19

As for the lament about conversation, I do agree that chit chatting with strangers is becoming a lost art. Everyone these days on a bus or at the doctor's office is busy with their phones. Even the mums at the playground; they will not connect with others if they don't look up once in a while!

My DH is better at striking up conversation than I am, and we had some lovely conversations on vacation while sitting at cafes or on the beach.

Justme67 Tue 13-Aug-19 19:29:01

I had no idea so many people enjoyed my simple pleasure, it has always been one of the things my other half allowed for when we were sitting having coffee, lunch, or anywhere, he always made sure that I was the one facing the activity. At one time I made up stories about families, find I have lost that art, but still interested in what goes on.

quizqueen Tue 13-Aug-19 19:19:31

I think if you stare too intently at strangers out in public these days, you are likely to get punched. I don't do people watching but I do talk to their dogs and look at the scenery; much nicer.

FarNorth Tue 13-Aug-19 17:49:51

I like watching the world go by, without making up any stories.
Maybe that means I'm even sadder for not bothering.

FarNorth Tue 13-Aug-19 17:47:24

Fennel maybe he was actually about to do a lot of hoovering, himself.

Pantglas1 Tue 13-Aug-19 17:34:00

Nothing to do with old age Destin, been interested in folks all my life and hope never to stop!

GoodMama Tue 13-Aug-19 17:29:42

Oh Destin, lighten up. No one here has mentioned hurting anyone or judging them.

In fact they are taking about the joy of seeing people out and about. Appreciating the diverse world we live in. Enjoying being out in the world, content to observe at times not always being the center of attention.

It’s wonderful to be content with your own life and be able to just sit, quietly observe the world around you and be happy to just watch the world go by around you.

The only person negative and judging here is you.

Amagran Tue 13-Aug-19 17:24:21

Sitting alone, watching everyone .... who you don’t know or where they have come from or where they are going to! Completely conversation-less, just making up little mental fantasies without speaking!

That's right Destin, just the way that creative people in the arts have been doing since time immemorial: playwrights, authors, scriptwriters, actors, film-makers, painters, sculptors......I could go on. But of course, if you do it once you're over the age of 60, you're clearly just a wrinkly old saddo.

dogsmother Tue 13-Aug-19 17:18:54

Me too, I love traveling and the time spent on the transport or in airports or train stations for that reason is fine by me as it provides wonderful people watching opportunities.

KatyK Tue 13-Aug-19 17:12:08

Nothing to do with old age. I've always done it.

Fennel Tue 13-Aug-19 16:49:08

I don't see any harm in it.
Except I sometimes find myself being judgemental, which isn't a good thing.
Going back to the strange man I saw in the supermarket with all the tattoos and devil's horns - he was buying a huge vacuum cleaner. What was he going to do with it? Maybe he was just a regular husband buying it to give his wife a present?

annifrance Tue 13-Aug-19 16:08:22

Best place for people watching is a Parisian pavement cafe.

MissAdventure Tue 13-Aug-19 15:58:53

I'm 56, (still working and bringing up a child) so not sure 'old age' or 'inactivity' has anything to do with it. smile

Destin Tue 13-Aug-19 15:56:06

Really wonder what appeals to folk about sitting and people watching - it’s such a passive isolated activity! Sitting alone, watching everyone .... who you don’t know or where they have come from or where they are going to! Completely conversation-less, just making up little mental fantasies without speaking! Maybe the appeal is that it’s a hobby that just comes with old age and inactivity when there is nothing better to do!

Amagran Tue 13-Aug-19 15:49:49

Yes, I am a people watcher too, but after reading the posts on this thread, I realise there are a lot of us around......I am now afraid to leave the house!! grin

Hilarybee Tue 13-Aug-19 15:42:58

I would use the phrase ‘interested in people’ rather than ‘nosey’. It sounds a lot better to me