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  • Writer's pictureSarahHauer

Eavesdropping and a Book Update


I'm sitting outside a different Starbucks than I typically do. At a nearby table is a group of retirees shootin' the breeze. If you've read my books, I have included such a scene of retirees sitting in a coffee shop sharing the latest gossip. I love these scenarios. There is much to be learned from people in these relaxed environments.


I did not sit here with the intention of eavesdropping, but I am gleaning lots of information. They know I am sitting here. In fact, I was here first, and they took the two extra chairs at my table. This is only my second time coming to this locale at this time of day. It appears these folks are regulars.


Right next to us is a little clothing boutique geared to younger women. They have put some clothes on a rack and a dress on a mannequin and put them outside the door. Well, that led to an interesting conversation.


(I am making up the the name here, but close to her real name.)


One of the men pointed to the mannequin and said rather loudly, "Rhonda! See that dress over there? The red one? You should wear that. You would look fantastic in that dress."


Um. The entire atmosphere around their group changed dramatically. The three men were all in vehement agreement, and the two women were visibly uncomfortable.


"No," she replied, trying to set a boundary knowing he wasn't going to accept it. "That's not my style."


Let me assure you, that dress isn't the style of anyone older than forty, and that's being generous. It's really intended for women in their 20s. Maybe 30s. It's a lovely shade of red, ankle length, and in a cool material appropriate for the summer around here. But, it's meant for younger women.


Yes, I understand what generation this group is. I am right behind them in age.


All the men continued to defend the virtues of the dress on that one particular woman's body. That particular woman was looking at the other woman with them, and made it obvious she recognized the uncomfortableness of the situation. The woman the men were trying to get to buy the dress appears to be single. The other woman I believe is the wife of the man who first blurted out the suggestion.


Do men really believe it is appropriate to suggest attire to another woman they are not married to? The men were remarkably oblivious to the effect they were having on the women. The one woman was trying to shut down the conversation. It was the other woman, the wife, who handled it.


"Eat your donut, dear." She nearly shoved the food in his face. Another man finally changed the subject about heading to the beach for the 4th of July. They must be good friends because they are all still sitting here happily talking. They let go of the strain and moved on.


I come here to try and get some work done, not to eavesdrop. But I am taking more and more mental notes on appropriate and inappropriate conversations and character notes. In this creative phase, I don't do well sitting at home in my office anyway. I need the energy of the people out and about. My office is where I do editing.


I'm still trying to solidify my latest story line I've been trying to develop for months and months. I haven't even been able to start the first draft yet. The story keeps drastically changing on me. These people might be changing it again. My main character went from a man to a woman. That changed everything! Back to the drawing board. So, I apologize, but next book is going to be a while yet. Please be patient. I wasn't planning on including a writing update on here anyway, but there you are.


Anyway, back to this group and the topic in hand.


Men, news flash: It is not appropriate to make comments about a woman's body unless it is a compliment to the woman you are in an appropriate committed relationship with, and it is a compliment (in that case, go for it!) or an honest statement that prevents her from being hurt later. Nothing about her weight, a suggestion to change something about her body, and frankly I could write an extensive list of what is inappropriate. To say something to another woman? No. With your wife next to you? Way no!! So very much noooo. Don't do that.


A few years ago, I sat at a restaurant and could hear a conversation between two men after their teenaged female server left their table to get their drinks.


"She was flirting with me."


I kid you not, I spit out my drink when I heard that. I promise you, she was not. She was simply doing her job. He may have only been joking, but it was still inappropriate. That is the male ego that leads to the objectification of women. I hope not all men. I know not all men lack such control of their minds and tongues.


And I am not trying to read any real person's minds. I am going off of what they have outwardly stated.


Do you know when a comment like that about how a woman would look in a dress not intended for her generation is most warranted? From that woman to herself in the mirror when she is feeling fantastic and is rockin' it!


Thing is, I looked at the dress. He was right. She would look amazing in it. So would I. There's that female ego that leads to the confusion of men. I'm about two steps away from checking out the price tag.


I love that under the surface sexual interplay. That's where the fun is.


Thanks for reading. Shoot me an email if you wish at humorinchaos@gmail.com.


Sarah

 

Follow me on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @HumorInChaos


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