I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time in airports. Many a time have I run from one end of the airport to the other, trying to catch a flight, only to find out that it’s been delayed for five to six hours. Isn’t that such a great feeling? (If you couldn’t tell, I’m still bitter). Of course, all my technology is always at low battery, I always forget to bring books, and I have basically nothing to do unless I want to eat a hamburger for six hours straight. My only option is people watching, and let me tell you, you can actually spend hours doing this.
At first, I just start out guessing people’s names. People sometimes just look like Stanleys or Charlies or Jennifers to me, and so I spend a good portion of my time doing that. After the first hour, that escalates into guessing life stories of complete strangers who don’t even say a word to me. That guy in a suit talking on a phone over there? He’s coming back from a business trip where he had a tryst with a local and is now trying to play it off to his wife like nothing happened. The girl over there with the dog? That dog is her best friend. They’ve done it all together, including a no-technology trip through the Grand Canyon that they’re flying back from. The old guy sitting near the wall? He’s actually a violin virtuoso and no one ever appreciated his talent, so he never bragged about it.
Sometimes, people make it easy with their clothes, demeanor, or phone conversations (I eavesdrop. It’s unintentional, I swear), but mostly you’re free to make up whatever story you choose for them. This is why airports just can’t be boring. Sure, you’re stuck without your friends or any general comforts of home, but you always have people to watch and stories to make up. The human mind is just amazing that way. Would people be offended if you went up to them and told them that they looked like a spy having an affair? Maybe. But the point of people watching is that it’s for yourself. So who cares that your phone is dead and you can’t look at the newest memes on Twitter? That guy sitting to your left could be a memelord, and you just didn’t know it.