The other day I went to pick up my wife at Toronto Pearson International Airport. I wish the circumstances for her trip could have been better, but that’s life. Nonetheless, I used the time in a way I hadn’t imagined and I thought for Freedom Friday, I’d share my experience.
Her flight came in delayed, which isn’t unusual since things like that happen. Instead of grumbling, as many of the others who were waiting for their loved ones were doing, I found myself watching those around me. People-watching is something I do a lot. I try not to make it obvious, as it takes a certain skill to watch people without garnering attention on oneself. I’m not speaking from a spying perspective, but from a natural curiosity of what people do when they think others are not watching.
For instance, I saw a young woman sitting by herself studying the crowd with a sign on her lap. She didn’t readily hold it up, but grabbing a quick peek, I found she was part of the Pan Am Games welcoming committee. I assumed either she was waiting for an athlete or an official arriving from the same flight my wife was on. I was wrong. Eventually, she rose when a man approached her from another flight, and she said his name. She also had assumed wrong. The look on her face told the whole story. Disappointment. Embarrassment. Defeat. She quickly raised her sign and waited until the right person appeared. Somehow, she was self-conscience holding up the greeting sign.
The other scene that piqued my interest was the joy a mother and father experienced when their daughter rushed into their arms. Water flowed. Embraces were strong. The grins on everyone’s faces could have powered half a city block. All those movies where you see people slamming into each other at the end is reminiscent of this scene. The emotional impact from the event couldn’t stop me from smiling. I’m still trying to figure out why those emotional moments affect people somewhat the same way. Oh, how wonderful is the power of a hug!
Of course, no people-watching session would be complete without the screaming kid. The parents looked as if they had gotten off the flight from hell. The father was dragging the baggage from behind and the mother was pushing the stroller while holding her bawling daughter. It was awful. The kid wouldn’t stop crying. She wanted to get into the stroller but her mother had stuffed the front seat with a carry-on. Poor kid. I know the father was about to blow. The veins in his neck had bulged and he was turning red by the second. I think they had all they could do from loosing their minds. Poor parents.
Eventually, my wife arrived and we drove out to eat. But having noticed how people behaved, I wondered something. I wondered if there was anyone watching us.
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Have you watched people lately? If so, what have you learned?