Wednesday, February 4, 2009

People Watching

Every Wednesday is laundry day for me and then hours of Starbuck's WiFi. I hate doing laundry, especially when I have to go to the laundromat. So I have started people watching. Most Wednesday's there aren't many people to watch, but today was unusually busy and gave me an hour of watching and formulating opinions. Here are the observations I had today.

First there were about 5 Hispanics using the really big washers. They stayed to themselves at the back of the laundromat. When their clothes were finished, all they had were small loads nothing that needed the huge industrial machines. So I observed that they like to keep to themselves and since the machines in the back afford them that privacy they would rather use the larger machines.

Then there was a young woman finishing up the last of her laundry. She was folding her clothes when the owner of the laundromat came in checking the washers, dryers and change machines. He found a pair of very sexy unmentionables in one washer. He asked the young woman if they were hers, which they were. She sheepishly laughed and turned red as she retrieved them form his hand. He is an older gentleman and had a look of interest in his eyes, but politely turned his head as if to say "I don't see what these are". But the smile on his face told a different story.

The next couple was a mother and son. The son was approximately 7 or 8 years old and acted as if he may be autistic. The mother was trying to engage him in the task of laundry and he showed aloof attention (listened as he skipped away). The mother put money in the coin exchanger and told her son to get the quarters and bring them to her. Well he did get the quarters but his attention was diverted to the soap center. So he put the quarters in the slots and pushed. By the time she realized he was not obeying she now owned 2 plastic laundry bags and a box of bleach. She didn't scold him, but did tell him what he did wasn't funny since he was laughing at her apparent disapproval. I observed a type pf permissive parenting in her actions. What I also observed is she took his wanting to put the money in slots to allow him to put the quarters in the washers. This accomplished getting her task done while occupying his curiosity for putting things in holes.

The last couple was a old gray haired black woman and her adult (early 20's) son. She treated him as if he didn't know how to do laundry and his lack of interest seemed to make her opinion true. He was constantly texting while he was suppose to sort the laundry into the washers. She then put 1/2 bottle of pinesol and ammonia in one washer. Never heard of that and not sure what she had in the washer. But the suds were unbelievable. Then in 2 top load washers she dumped 1/2 of a 64oz bottle of bleach in each washer. Had to be a new bottle because she just kept pouring and pouring for what looked like 3-4 cups of bleach each. I figured either she was going to have the whitest whites or the yellowest whites. I just chuckled to myself. She also dumped more than needed soap into all the washers as well. The whole time she was preparing the laundry she complained under her breath about her son not doing the job properly.

By this time I was finished with my laundry and about to leave when I looked down and realized I had dropped a pair of my unmentionable (not sexy though) :) I laughed at myself and made this observation:
Even though we may look different, come from different social backgrounds, different economic backgrounds, we all still the same. We have our own way of doing things and on occasion we let our "unmentionables" slip for others to see whether by accident or on purpose.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Funny post! I love people watching myself. The best places for it are malls and airports, in my opinion. The quirks, habits and idiosyncrasies of the moving masses are fascinating.

Good point at the end. Be careful what you let slip!