Conversations Overheard

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.


About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with five cats, two dogs, and just the right amount of humans. USA Today bestselling author of the Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy), Into Elurien, and Vines and Vices. Writing dark, decadent, and deadly Urban Fantasy as Tanith Frost. View all posts by Kate Sparkes

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