People-Watching — The Show is Free

The Crankee Yankee and I drove out to the beach the other evening and had a bite to eat. The place we chose was popular and there were crowds of people there. It seemed that everybody had been on the beach in the sun for hours; there were sunburns and the smell of sun lotion everywhere. Most everyone had that glazed and over-baked “I am so done with the beach” look on their faces.

The crowd was full of little kids with pails and stuffed animals, moms and dads keeping them in tow, teenagers in bathing suits and cover-ups talking and texting at the same time, young lovers, old friends and of course, folks our age and older.

The older I get, the more I enjoy people-watching. People of all colors, sizes and shapes were there. It was an amazing assortment of humanity, and I wondered what each person’s story was—you never know what others’ lives are like. Wouldn’t it be amazing to know about them all?

Everyone has a story, and you can’t tell what it is just by looking at them. Oh sure, we get an impression of who they are by listening to them or watching them, but can we ever know their hearts? How can we know, just by looking, who they really are?

At this stage of my life, I have pretty much given up judging people (at least I try). I have seen people behaving badly, arguing, fighting, doing stupid things, swearing and making asses out of themselves; but is that who they really are? If so, who am I to judge? I have no way of knowing what they’ve been through or the challenges they have had to face.

When I was younger, I did a LOT of judging. I made assumptions about people without knowing them; who they were inside, not what showed on the outside. How little I knew then. I hope I have learned better by now.

When I was young, I just assumed that I would always be straight and strong, with beautiful soft supple skin with not a wrinkle or an age spot. My entire body was a well-oiled machine; every part was strong and useful. I never had an ache or pain; my knees were strong, my face unlined, my stomach flat.

These days when I look in the mirror, I see a nice-looking older woman with suitable makeup and clothing (and jewelry, of course). I could spend hours complaining about my flaws, as there are many, but I don’t choose to. All that is just part of getting older and more comfortable in my own skin (saggy though it may be!).

As I always say when I people-watch, I hope that others are getting enjoying watching me as I am watching them! 🙂