When I was in high school I took a creative writing course. It was a bunch of misunderstood, or so we thought, teens. Our teacher was a retired pastor, older and soft spoken. For some reason we didn't take advantage of him, truly unheard of for this group of misfits. He had us writing our little misunderstood hearts out. He would write great comments on our papers like "I really feel your emotion here" and " Such strength in your words." Sure the things we wrote were almost certainly nonsense, but it felt so good to have an adult seem to understand our teen angst and confusion.
One of the writing assignments was to go to the local mall with our notebook and to sit and write about the people we saw, making descriptions, imagining their stories, whatever we felt. I had always been a people watcher, but this exercise really helped to focus in my people watching skills. I loved it and over the years I have often gone to malls, coffee shops and other public places just to observe my fellow humans. Sometimes it's hilarious and other times it is kind of lonely.
Last night Eric and I decided to go out for a cup of coffee. We decided to go to a coffee shop in the mall; if Cordelia was fussy we planned to just wander around with her in the stroller. Well, I forgot that it was Friday night. Small town Wyoming doesn't exactly have a lot of activities for high school kids so the mall was teeming with teens trying so hard to look aloof and cool. So much attention into what they were doing, what they looked like, and every detail was over thought. Every laugh was sent out as their eyes darted about uncertainly.
Eric and I sat on a bench, Cordelia was asleep. We watched as people came and went. I was reminded of the times I had spent in high school, people watching. I wondered if my eyes had been darting about, wondering if I looked cool as I wrote. Oh those teen years. I am happy to be on the other side. Something to look forward to with this little lady.