This is also known as people watching for professionals. I treated myself to a long overdue mani/pedi today at my favorite salon in one of the Capital Regions malls. I go there because they’re professional, really great at what they do, and they’re fast. But I usually get the gel manicure. Which doesn’t require drying my nails under the dryers in front of the window out to the mall.
Most nail places in the mall have this set-up. I used to feel very vulnerable when in “the hot seat” as it were for three drying cycles…anything less is doing to leave you with screwed up nails (little pro tips for you). Today I opted for the regular mani as getting my nails done every two weeks has lost the fun factor it used to hold. So there I was stuck on the inside looking out, watching life pass me by. A bit like a fish in a bowl.
I saw a lot in the 15 minutes I spent under the dryer. I watched for the first five minutes and saw the tweens wandering with there friends in outfits I would have never dreamed of leaving the house in. I saw the old couple holding hands, which reminded me of my own grandparents, gone now. There was the family clearly involved with one another even if they were at the mall. No cell phones out – just conversation as they passed.
Then there was the mother-daughter pair I a first glance thought was sweet because they were holding one another’s pinky fingers as they started past me. But then they both gave me the same “I’m better than you” look. I felt sad for both of them. The daughter more because she looked like a young woman that didn’t want to become her mother, but there she was wearing the same identical smug look on her face.
Side note, I’m becoming more like my mother every day. We use the same hand gestures when talking about things. Sometimes we even say the exact same thing at the same time. But this doesn’t make me sad at all. I should hope I turn out like my mother, after all I look just like my father, so something of me should be her right? Plus we’re always smiling no matter what when we’re in one another’s company. I guess not everyone can have that kind of relationship with a parent.
Once the second cycle began I started smiling at people as they passed by my bowl just to see the reaction. The first was from a little girl no more than three. She grinned from ear to ear at me and waved. I felt my smile grow wider. I tried it again as a pack of teenagers passed by, they laughed and pointed at me. Whatever, I thought…I tried. The next woman I smiled at looked as though she was damn near ready to deliver her baby right there in the mall. She also looked stressed and tired. But when she caught my eye and smile she brightened up a little and picked up her step as much as she could for being so far along.
There were others and I had a mix of good and bad reactions. The third time around I tried to look sad/in my own world to see if anyone would give ME a smile. A few did, mostly elderly folks or parents with their kids. It was an interesting experiment. In fact I wish I’d thought of it in my research class back in college. It would have been perfect. Instead I picked watching how many guys actually ventured into Victoria’s Secret and how many hung out outside the store. Yeah the other one would have been a better plan.
I’m sure you’d see the same thing were you to sit anywhere in a mall or an anchor store like Barnes and Noble…someplace that brings in a mix of people. This begs the questionL Would you rather be the fish in the bowl looking out or the fish out in the sea of all the other fishes. Simpler terms? Would you rather be the watcher or the one being watched?
Me? I like a little bit of both. But people watching will always be my number one mall activity.
We’ve no plans for the rest of the weekend…I don’t count laundry as plans. I do have some tea and book reviews to tend to. Looks like this will be the perfect weekend to get down to that…keep an eye out for them. But for now I’m going to kick back with a gluten free beer and eats and enjoy this rainy Friday night.
Yes she has one white whisker. When it falls out as they do another white one grows in its place. Freaky right?