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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dropping of Eaves

So here I am sitting at my favourite coffee shop (Bridgehead); and while reading my last planned book before my travels in June, I can't help but keep losing my place and constantly needing to read and re-read (and sometime RE-read) paragraphs and sometimes whole pages.  All this definitely slows down my progress in the book and I can really only lay the blame on one thing.  Call it what you want: eavesdropping, spying, bending an ear, snooping, listening-in, or overhearing - I love it!  I've always been fascinated in the lives and day-to-day lives of others: Whether it's a heated discussion or a business lunch or a date, I'm interested.  Sometimes it's so bad that I'm so enthralled in the conversation that I forget I'm not actually a part of it and it's not totally uncommon for me to be just watching the conversation instead of even attempting at being discreet.  I'm a people-watcher and a eavesdropper, and I love it!  Watching the interactions of others, their body language their facial expressions and tonality in their voice, all the way to the topics of their conversations.  Sometimes, if the conversation is a topic I am very familiar with, it takes everything I have to refrain from chirping into the conversation to correct or add to it.  lol.

So ya, here I am with the good intentions of getting my free green tea - thanks to my trusty punch card - and reading my Nelson Mandela autobiography when all I keep doing in listening to this couple at my 1 o'clock (approximately 10 feet away) having a lovers quarrel, discussing their issues with the relationship, over what appears to be a chai latte for her and a medium roast coffee and cookie for him.  See it's bad!  I know WAY too much about this couple that I technically haven't met, but have "known" for an hour.  Even though I know the status of their relationship (just waiting to find out how long they've been together; although if I had to guess it would be for just under a year), I even know her job and what parts of it she finds difficult and the fact that this extremely attractive guy of hers has shown her little sympathy on that front.  Ok, some people may have caught on to that last I MAY have started this whole spying on their convo as a byproduct of sneaking glances at him with the grey v-neck with no intentions of actually listening to their heart-to-heart.  (For the record....I think he may be onto my snooping/staring hahaha.  But don't be fooled....attraction isn't the only thing that grabs me to eavesdrop - it's just a great start!  I know that the girl (Katie) at the tables beside me is in an Intro to Philosophy course at university and is having a hard time with grasping Kant's theories and as a result is distracting herself with music, chatting with friends, and MySpace (who even uses that anymore?!).  Then there's the guys in the corner by the window (my favourite seat in here but it was already taken by them).  They're a group of 5 guys who all live in the area and are catching up on daily life things and about upcoming gay events in the area and trying to coordinate who's going to what and with who.

And all this spying I'm doing (although spying sounds so negative and.....almost illegal) is going on while still, as slow as it's going, I'm reading my book.  It's a skill I'm kinda proud of.  lol.  While in Dominican Republic just last month with my friend, I knew everything about everyone on the beach/at the resort and still managed to read two books while scoping everyone out.

Side-note:  just witnessed some guy pummelling another guy RIGHT outside the coffee shop and slamming his head against the glass - created a bit of commotion.  Nobody was bleeding, barfing, or brain damaged, so I just sat tight and let the 13 other people rush outside to assess.

I've always been curious where the term "eavesdropping" came from.  According to Black's Law Dictionary, "eavesdropping is the act of secretly listening to the private conversation of others without their consent.  This is commonly thought to be unethical."  The term is apparently from people listening in through a window (under the eaves) to conversations being had inside.  Now these are two completely different things.....overhearing conversations going on all around me while in public vs me sitting outside someone's bedroom window listening to a couple discussing financial issues in the privacy of their own home.  So now is eavesdropping still considered unethical if I'm overhearing a private conversation in public?  And is it really a private conversation at all if I can hear it while sitting at my spot?  

Not that I plan to stop anytime soon because it really fascinates me to see and hear what make people tick.  In fact, I wish I had better hearing so I could listen-in even easier. lol.  But I wonder if I'm considered unmoral or whatever all because people choose to have their conversations where others can overhear them.

And for the record....the couple fixed their issues before they left the coffee shop ;)

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