Have you ever tried that exercise where you eavesdrop on a conversation in a public place, without looking at the people who are speaking? You try to imagine who they are, what they look like, what their relationship is (and if the conversation sounds like it’s supposed to be private, you bug right off and listen to someone else).
I don’t get a lot of chances to do this, because I usually have miniature humans hanging off of me and asking for stuff when I’m in public. I got to a few weeks ago, though, when I was standing in line to order a latte. A man and a woman were speaking behind me, and quite loudly, so I didn’t feel too bad about listening in.
Him: So how did you like it?
Her: Oh, it was great. But it rained a lot.
Him: Oh, yes. I did like the rain in Florida, though. [hesitates] I mean, you wouldn’t want it on a short vacation like yours, I know, but in the summer when it’s hot, there’s something just so soothing about the rain, you know?
Her: Oh, for sure.
At this point I’m thinking early relationship. Flirting, feeling each other out, trying to get to know one another. Obviously not a long-term relationship; talks about the magic of Floridian rainstorms are, in my personal experience, limited to early dates. And this guy is adorable, taking an interest in what she said, offering something in the conversation, listening intently when she says something else about her trip. They go on like this for a minute, making friendly small talk about a few different things, until:
Her: Oh, yeah. That’s what my husband always says.
Him: [dead silence]
So, maaaaybe they’re not dating. What, then? Co-workers who hardly know each other? Did they just meet in the parking lot and get on the topic of Florida really quickly? There’s an airport just down the road… maybe she just got off a plane and he’s giving her a ride because… eh, whatever. I’m trying too hard not to giggle at that awkward moment to think about it.
But dude is cool. Slick, even.
Him: [after prolonged silence] So, what does your husband do?
Nice save! Dude, you were totally not putting the moves on this lovely lady. No, just being friendly! Yep. Smoooooth.
I probably read this all wrong. I came in at the middle of a conversation, couldn’t see their faces or body language. But I learned something important, and the lesson was this:
Awkward moments are WAY more entertaining when they’re happening to someone else.
Also, and I think this bears repeating: nice save, dude in line. Niiiiiice.
May 9th, 2013 at 10:36 am
Crumbs, that WAS awkward, but I completely agree, nice save! And I think the woman was good too, bringing the hubby into the conversation just so the dude wouldn’t think something was going on that she wasn’t thinking was going on. Good for her.
Welcome to ROW80! How did the April CampNaNo go for you?
May 9th, 2013 at 10:41 am
Thanks for the welcome! Camp was fine. I set a lower goal and was revising, so it wasn’t as exciting as it usually is. 🙂
May 9th, 2013 at 10:48 am
I do this on buses all the time! No one assumes you are listening if you’re leaning on the window with headphones in your ears! I also try to figure things out about them just from the few moments I can watch them as they step off the bus, maybe having exchanged a very few words with the driver.
May 9th, 2013 at 6:51 pm
That was the only thing I liked about riding the bus when I had to take it to work. Great people-watching.
May 9th, 2013 at 6:51 pm
(OK, so I also liked the bus that had the raised area in the back where I could pretend I was a VIP)
May 9th, 2013 at 11:11 am
LOL too awesome!
May 9th, 2013 at 1:23 pm
I love that conversation and your retelling! It totally seems that he was putting the moves on her, but had to backtrack. That happened to a friend at a street fair. Luckily I was standing there overhearing. The dude came up and started flirting. She totally didn’t get it, so good friend that I am, I happened to mention, “So, what do you think Ron’s doing?” (Ron being her husband.) The other dude had the same reaction as the guy in your conversation.
May 9th, 2013 at 6:48 pm
I feel bad for them when they’re nice guys being friendly (or slightly over-friendly). If it’s a jerk hitting on someone, I cheer when they fall flat on their faces.
May 9th, 2013 at 6:58 pm
You have to use this conversation in a story!
May 9th, 2013 at 7:00 pm
Haha, I should! Nothing I’m writing now could use it, though…
May 9th, 2013 at 3:05 pm
I wonder if he could hear the crickets in the background in that moment of awkward silence? Creak creak creak “so what does your husband do?” lol
May 9th, 2013 at 6:47 pm
I swear I heard crickets.
May 9th, 2013 at 5:29 pm
Sounds like you totally were right on..some serious lady macking movies their mister ;>
May 9th, 2013 at 5:49 pm
Oh, and while you’re here, I just finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone. HOLY CRAP.
May 13th, 2013 at 1:49 pm
Poor guy. I had a crush on a married guy once before I knew he was married. Sooooo glad I didn’t get up the guts to try any flirting before I found out. I’m still stuck in singledom though. As my friend likes to say, guys are like parking spaces, all the good ones are taken. 😦