I read a blog the other day that was talking about making dialogue flow when writing conversations between characters in a book. One of the suggestions was to go to a crowded place you don’t frequent and to listen to people’s conversations.
Well we went to a CFL game last week and let’s just say my anxiety was soaring. The sound was far too loud it put me on edge and there were tons of people. I was very uncomfortable. But I fought back and what helped me was remembering that blog, and the suggestion to listen to people. Although I didn’t need to practice writing dialogue, I did think that eavesdropping on people around me would be entertaining and a fun way to distract myself from the chaos. I totally invaded people’s privacy.
I started with the two teen boys sitting behind us. At first they were talking about their plans for the upcoming summer break and how glad they were to be done with classes soon along with teacher bashing. Then they drifted to girls they like. This was interesting. I was expecting to cringe, I was expecting dirty or crass content. But they surprised me.
One of the guys came out with a struggle he’s been having for a few months. “I really like her. She’s funny, smart and really sweet but she got fat this year. I mean, she has the prettiest face I’ve ever seen. I really like her, but you know how the guys would be…she’s fat now. I don’t know, maybe I’ll ask her out this summer and we can be active and hike and stuff….” He trailed off and his friend picked it up agreeing she was all those great things, but is in fact at least 20 pounds heavier than last year. They talk about her home life, and how she had to quit sports and maybe that all played a part of her weight gain.
It was nice to hear guys talk like this. They took it beyond surface and went deeper. It was nice to hear young men talk with feeling and be considerate of life circumstances, and not just judgmental, objectifying pigs.
And then, well, and then they went and ruined it.
The first guy- “Ya I think I will call her this summer. Maybe start flirting with her when no one is around, and then once school is out, I’ll make a move.”
Second dude- “Ya definitely. That could work. I mean, she does have a really pretty face. And if you can get her to work out with you, come next year at school she’d be frickin hot again.”
First guy- “Oh heck yes! I’d smash her good if she lost some weight. And since no one would really know but you this summer, I get some then too. Oh yeah, I’d smash that!”
Second guy- “Ya and since you’d be dating her while she was bigger, she’d give it up good…”
I tuned out. I was so disappointed. Way to crash and burn guys.
Furthermore, what in the world… Smash her? Seriously. You’d smash her good? Who says “smash her”? Apparently the 5’8, 110 pound, 16 year old boy with the acne covered face and Darth Vader t-shirt behind me does.
I moved on to the young woman sitting beside me with her parents and a family friend, hoping for some better content. The young woman, around 28 or so, had just graduated law school with honours and was to be taking the bar exam next month. She’s beautiful, successful and was wearing really cute shoes. Her voice was perfectly pitched with a slightly sexy rasp to it. She was slender, tall, with curly dirty blonde hair swept up into carefree cuteness. I stopped listening once I realized how utterly vapid she was…. (OK, or maybe I just got jealous. Maybe.)
Then I shifted my attention to the best pair ever. My hubby and son. They were the biggest aid in conquering my anxiety that night. And when I actually was able to watch the game, it turned out to be pretty cool. GO TI-CATS!
…..Smash her? Seriously dude?
It’s amazing what you’ll hear when you take the time to listen. Or eavesdrop.