Adventures In People Watching

This weekend I’ve had a unique opportunity at various locations to “people watch.”   The official (if you think Wikipedia is in any way official) definition of People Watching is:  People watching or crowd watching is the act of observing people and their interactions, usually without their knowledge. This differs from voyeurism in that it does not relate to sex or sexual gratification. Eavesdropping may accompany the activity though is not required.

My first adventure was at Meijer.  I know I go to Meijer nearly every week, so what made this trip different?  Well first I was by myself and usually I have my husband and/or kids with me when I grocery shop so this time I was more observant of my surroundings.  Second, I had two things specifically that I needed to get and then I was planning on “browsing” through the grocery section as opposed to being focused on a grocery list.  I started out  at the front of the store picking out a sweater, went to the back of the store to buy oil for the car (which ended up not needing oil) then to the pharmacy area to pick out some make up.  This part of the trip was extremely uneventful and there was barely anyone else in the store.  As I made my way from the pharmacy side to the grocery side I noticed that suddenly there were hundreds of people who had invaded the store.  I checked my phone to see if there was some kind of end of the world apocalypse coming – because surely one of the news apps I subscribe to would have alerted me with BREAKING NEWS:  CNN has just learned the end of the world is coming in 2 hours, everyone should go to the grocery store and wipe out the shelves.  Nope, no alerts on the phone, odd I guess everyone just decided to stop by the grocery store at the same time.

All I really needed (or technically had a coupon for) was milk.  Spend $25 get free milk – who doesn’t need milk?  The grocery was wall to wall crazy.  There were little old ladies bundled up like Eskimos moving at the speed of turtles, frantic Soccer Mom’s darting around the little old ladies and dodging in and out of the breakfast and snack food aisles checking their watches because school was going to get out in about 40 minutes – or yoga was starting in 10 – or something equally important, and a few straggling hipsters (if you can have hipsters in Midwest suburbia – maybe just college students) looking slightly lost.  There was so much noise and commotion I missed the alert on my phone:

  • WEATHER ALERT:  Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until Sunday

(I’m laughing while I’m typing because I went to pull up my phones history to get the exact wording and didn’t have to as there is a new Winter Weather Advisory that had just been issued.)

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So what do people rush to the store to buy when you get the apocalypse warning on your phone?  Oddly not the typical “Emergency French Toast” kit made up of bread, eggs and milk.  Although I thought I was going to have to take an old lady’s cane and beat her with it to get her to move away from the milk section – 1%, 2%, whole or skim…….. you’ve bought it for 80 + years what seems to be the problem making the decision today?!?!?  ANYWAY…… here’s what I’ve found.  The little old ladies bought batteries, milk, eggs, bread, butter, fruit, raw veggies, potatoes, cereal, some canned goods and a few of them had a bag or box of cookies or some other dessert.  The Soccer Moms (yes I know technically I fit into this category but I didn’t count because I was the one observing) bought milk, cereal, 2 or more bags of potato chips, soda, snack cakes and granola bars.  OK yes these items were in my cart, along with a sweater, a tube of CC cream and 2 quarts of oil.  Oh yeah and eggs because the cart I took had a 50 cent coupon for eggs that someone left behind.

But the truly disturbing group are the under 25’s.  I watched 3 different couples load their carts and check out. So if they got stranded by snow or forced to go without electricity this weekend here is what they had in stock:  frozen pizzas, frozen lasagna, a bag of apples, 3-4 bottles of wine, 6 packs of microbrew, lettuce, gum, nail polish, tea bags and organic cheese.  Ok so maybe the 80 year old lady with the cane was going to be the best prepared for ice, wind, snow and power outages.  And HELLO 25 year olds, you need electricity to fix frozen pizza and lasagna!

My second adventure in people watching this weekend also happened by accident.  We were at a bar…. Don’t most great stories start off that way?  We just happened to be at a bar inside a casino – which adds to the people watching factor.  I don’t want anyone to take this the wrong way because I’m not being judgmental – I’m just reporting on my observations and then possibly my opinions on my observations.

Ok first observation: the overly excited and probably intoxicated cheerleader standing behind her friend who was winning at a slot machine.  You would have thought the lady playing the slots just won a million dollars by the way this chick was hooting and cheering and hollering…. It was a penny slot machine.  Whoo hoo!!! She just won $10.50 so let’s shout really loud and jump up and down so everyone within 50 feet of us comes over to see what she won.

Next I’d like to give a shout out to the French Lick Resort and Casino for hiring the DJ from my high school prom to DJ last night.  The 80’s tunes were flowing…. In the 80’s I was in high school, so the ladies who were rocking out on the dance floor were clubbing in the 80’s and once the 80’s tunes were flowing they were making spectacles of themselves on the dance floor.  Minimum age was 50 (and I think that’s a low estimate), and to their credit they can still rock out on the dance floor — they weren’t doing the side step back and forth while shaking their fists above their head.  No… that would’ve been welcomed though over the grinding and twerking.  I sent my sister a text begging her not to let me wear leather pants and a Kentucky Derby style hat for my 50th birthday.  She promised she would stop me.

Then there was a trio of gals who were in their 20’s who had purchased expensive little black dresses for their night out, the problem was that the dresses were so short that most everyone in the bar knew what color panties they were wearing because while dancing the dresses went every direction but down.

A store somewhere recently had a sale on bling jeans.  They were on every other gal in the place – from the 80’s re-visited ladies to the Barbie doll look alike 20-somethings.  Again just observing, but when you dye your hair blonde it’s supposed to be blonde not white.  Maybe they were trying to look like Marilyn Monroe not Barbie, but still their poor hair was fried.  There was also a sale on glitter.

Now in all fairness to all those I “observed” (and trust me I’m leaving out a few) – our table did seem to be the only one singing along to Sweet Caroline… so good, so good, so good.  And we did receive some glances and/or glares as we were singing.  But what do they know?  And PS have you never been to a Red Sox game?

So lessons learned this weekend:  1) Don’t beat the indecisive little old lady with her cane because her cart load of groceries may be the only thing that saves you in a blizzard.  2) While going out you should dress age appropriately –  that means if you are out of college you should not shop in the Juniors department.  3)  A Kentucky Derby hat should only be worn at the Kentucky Derby.  3) Twerking is for people under the age of 30 – maybe 25.  4) Glitter, rhinestones and hair dye should be used in moderation.  5) If you are drinking to the point you are making an ass out of yourself – keep drinking so you don’t remember all the stuff you did.  6) Keep in mind everyone has a camera and video recorder on their phone these days.  7) 80’s music is awesome to a point and then it becomes annoying and that point is when they start playing Ice Ice Baby.  8) People who don’t sing along to Sweet Caroline suck.  9) Wear nice panties if your designer dress barely covers your ass.  And finally………..

10) Most people under the age of 25 would die if they lost electricity for more than 12 hours.  But they would be buzzed on overpriced craft beer, wine and organic cheese.

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Politics, Religion and The Great Pumpkin

“There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.” —- Linus VanPelt.

I live by this quote.  Why?  Because I have learned I can share my opinions on these topics but if the person you are sharing said opinions with doesn’t feel the same way you can open up a Pandora’s Box and end up in a 3 hour argument.  No I’m not kidding!!  I’ve been close to a knock down drag out fight over the Great Pumpkin.

WARNING:  That being said this blog may be very complicated to write without interjecting my opinion’s related to religion and politics. Normally I would call this a ‘Random Thought’ post because several of these topics have nothing to do with each other.  So buckle up buttercup here we go.

I have so many tabs opened up on my browser now that the Norton alert has told me to shut a few down.  I would ace CURRENT EVENTS day in social studies with these:

1.  Billy Ray Cyrus.  (HA! thought I was going to go all anti-Miley on you didn’t you?)  So in the wake of his daughters VMA performance, I’m wondering if he will be kicked off of the Advisory Board of the Parent’s Television Council?  Yes he really is on the board advocating “to protect children from graphic and gratuitous programming and to restore responsibility to the entertainment industry.” Nope not kidding, check out the link here:   http://w2.parentstv.org/main/About/AdvisoryBoard.aspx.  Because nothing says “HIPOCRIT” quite like being on a board to prevent lewdness on television and then have your barely adult daughter go on television and “Twerk” and sexual violate a foam finger and a married man.  Maybe… just maybe if you want to prevent lewdness on TV you should start in your home.  Glass houses and stones… two very tricky things Billy Ray.

2.  Starbucks.  Yay Starbucks!  In an article on CNN Money, Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz has stated that he doesn’t plan on cutting any employee benefits in light of upcoming changes with the Obamacare plan.  Unlike the majority of companies country-wide (and yes local and state governments too) who have cut hours, and decreased benefits to maintain their bottom lines, Starbucks is going the extra mile for employees.  “It’s not about the law. It’s about responsibility we have to the people who do work and who represent us,” Schultz told CNN on Tuesday.  Starbucks  currently pays more for employee benefits than it does for coffee.  And they don’t plan on changing that.  Who wants to work for Starbucks???  ME!!!  What would it be like if your employer saw that how they treat you as an employee directly relates to how you treat customers?  MIND BLOWING CONCEPT (not)!!!  Check out the article here: http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/27/news/companies/starbucks-obamacare-schultz/index.html.  And someone get me a Venti Carmel Macchiato!!

3. “I have a dream.”  Today being the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s infamous speech on the Washington Mall I want to take time to point out one part of his speech that seems to have been forgotten.  “….but they will be judged on the basis of the content of their character, not the color of their skin.”  Let me let that sink in a bit….. the content of their character.  Now before someone shouts racist or compares me to Paula Deen, let me explain.  I believe whole heartedly in what Dr. King said, judge people by the content of the character and not the color of the skin.  The problem today is  (at least for me) not the color of someone’s skin as much as the content of their character.  I work in emergency services which means I deal with people of all different races, religions, sexes, ages, disabilities and sexual orientations, and I treat each one the same.  Don’t believe me?  Remember I answer a phone, I can’t see the person I’m talking to.  But trust me in all these “categories” there are persons who have character and there are those who don’t.  911 is one of the most under utilized sociology tools around.  I dare any award-winning sociologist to come spend a day with me.  You will get an eye-opening view of human beings that you have never experienced before.  (Ok so I’m starting to push the religion/politics thing here — and I purposely avoided the Obamacare issue above – damn).  Rest in Peace Martin Luther King Jr. — you will always be one of my favorite historical figures and one of my favorite persons to quote!  Side note:  I grew up in the wrong era, I would have rocked the 60’s!!

Moving on to the final topic — which truly has no religious or political ties…………

4. Twerking.  This bothers me.  The name alone bothers me. When I first saw the name I honestly thought it had something to do with being the “master of your own domain.”  (For younger readers, it’s a thing from Seinfeld — Google it.)  Wikipedia defines it as,  “a dance move that involves a person, usually a woman, shaking her hips in an up-and-down bouncing motion, causing the dancer to shake, “wobble” and “jiggle.”  Hmmmm …… lets see where do I even begin?  OK so lets start with the obvious, most women don’t need a dance move to get their ass to shake, wobble and jiggle.  Mine does that walking across the living room.  Next, speaking as a woman who wears Spanx to control the shake, wobble and jiggle, why the hell would you purposely do a dance to make the junk in your trunk jiggle?  And mostly when they start twerking, they bend over and touch the floor making the jiggling, shaking and wobbling ass the focal point.  WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THIS???  A) not sure I can touch the floor and dance at the same time B) If I did this it would give my dance partners nightmares for years C) trying to gyrate my hips while wildly making my ass shake, jiggle and wobble while touching the floor would end with a trip to the ER.  OK so it’s a dance move for a younger generation for sure, but they need to know that it doesn’t look attractive or sexy in any way shape or form (even for the skinny girls — Miley’s ass looked like two piglets fighting to get out of plastic bag — NOT attractive!)  Ok full disclosure I may be somewhat bitter about Miley because she’s worth $120 million — several thousand of which I contributed to buying a bunch of Hannah Montana crap for a star struck 5-year-old. Halloween 2007….. She had to be Hannah!

halloween001

This year she wants to be Katy Perry:

katy perry

Tiger sports bra, Flame boxers, French braids and tube socks …. check!

Oh my! I started this blog with coffee (still waiting on that Carmel Macchiato — adds to the jiggle) and I’m ending it with wine.  My brain feels like a ping-pong ball in a wind tunnel!  (I sent that in a text to my mom earlier this week but it was too good not to share with the world).

Love to Linus and the Great Pumpkin.  Goodnight!

linus