Watching People

11 Apr

Mother loved to watch people.  In the 1950s, she would park the car and watch people as they walked on Main Street in Findlay, Bluffton, Bowling Green ….

Dorothy Funk2

Personally I couldn’t imagine her fascination.  It was boring!  I wanted to be doing something other than simply sitting in a hot car and looking at people.

As I’ve gotten older and my legs don’t work as well, I find myself sitting on a bench and watching people.

Yesterday, while waiting for my grandson at the Toledo Zoo, I may have discovered mother’s motivation.

The first was a man in his late 20s.  He had four children in tow with the youngest in a stroller while the eldest was probably in First Grade.  He wore khaki shorts and a blue T-shirt.  The shorts were worn so low on the hips that even standing upright plumber’s butt was clearly visible.  Apparently he has been able to repeal the law of gravity to keep his khaki shorts in the neighborhood of his hips.  There were no visible means of support — no suspenders, no belt.  Since plumber’s crack was clearly visible while standing, bending or reaching pulled the T-shirt upwards and gave the entire world an unimpeded view of his ass.  I just don’t understand.

The second was a woman who was probably in her 40s.  She wore a tank top and shorts.  She apparently has come late to the concept of body art but has embraced the idea wholeheartedly because there were numerous, bright tattoos on her arms and shoulders. It was simply a jumble of body art since no particular image captured my attention. A quick glance confirmed that the tattoos were not limited to her shoulders and arms but included her legs as well.  However, I was mistaken.  When she walked closer, I noticed that her legs were not tattooed but prominently covered with varicose and spider veins. Oh my ….

I could hear mother’s script playing in my head.  For her, this was a teaching moment — don’t dress like that when going out in public.  Somewhere in that lecture there was sure to be the comment about “just what are they thinking?”

I’m not ready to park my car on Main Street to simply watch people, but, perhaps, I understand a little of mother’s motivation.


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