Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Imagination Gone Wild

Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun. ~George Scialabba

Do you ever make up stories about other people? I don't mean other people that you know, just other people that you randomly see on the street?

I love to people watch. As long as I can remember I have loved it because I could watch someone walk by and I write their entire life story in a manner of 3 minutes.

Say an older gentleman walked by alone. Suddenly he would be a widower of just 6 months making his first trip to the mall since his wife of 57 years passed away. He was a little sad and a great deal nostalgic because he and Geraldine always came to the mall on Saturday nights. They would routinely walk around Macys, the Christian bookstore so Geraldine{or Geri as he liked to call her} could pick up some more blank note cards to send to her Bible class friends, occasionally one of the kids would meet them up there with the grandchildren and they would laugh as they watched them on the carousel. Then, always precisely at 5:15 they would eat at the food court, of course ordering the same meal each time.

Or perhaps a teenage girl. She would go from someone I didn't know to a cheerleading captain and President of the Student Council in a manner of seconds. She was meeting her friends at the mall to look at dresses for Homecoming which she's attending with Tyler but she secretly wishes that Danny had{or would still} ask her. She's thinking about how she probably shouldn't before she tries on dresses, but she wants an Auntie Anne's pretzel so badly she can already taste it. She ultimately decides against it in favor of a cup of low-fat frozen yogurt while waiting for the other girls to arrive.

It's weird how my mind works. But I do it while driving as well. {Take that Oprah's No Phone Zone campaign! I've found something to replace the cell phone!} There is a turn on my way home where I veer right and directly in front of me cars are waiting to turn perpendicular to where I'm positioned. As I turn I catch a quick glimpse of the faces that I see in the cars and I suddenly wonder where they're going, what they're doing and again I write their life story.

There's one woman in particular I see just about everyday; we obvs have similar work schedules because I always pass her white Expedition as I turn right. I have imagined before that she is a nurse, leaving for the start of second shift at the hospital. Or perhaps she's a soccer mom racing to pick up one star player only to drop another one off. I've even imagined that she's going to meet her lover - the one nobody knows about and can only meet for a brief short hour before her husband gets home and her kids come home from their various extracurricular activities.

I can't say that I mind this little game that I've created for myself, but I think we can all learn two things from this post:

1. I have an overly active imagination and it would be fabulous if I could just channel it into something more tangible.

2. It'd behoove you not to come in contact with me randomly at a mall, street corner or just any other public venue where I have at least 3 uninterrupted seconds to look at your face. Because let's all learn a lesson here: I will write your life story.


  1. Just curious, what would my story be?? And you better make it good, haha!!! I love to people watch too…. I think that’s why I LOVE airports so much!!!

  2. Yeah I want a good story too! ha! I'm so glad you're blogging again!!

  3. This is just reason 35782456 why I love you. I have told you my love for people watching as well. It was the best part of living in Las Vegas. Oh, I can't wait to spend the day at the mall with you...what fun it would be.

    We could solve the world's problems by making up the stories and passing out the parts as we see fit. :)

    Hope you had a great day.


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