Ever found yourself in a coffee shop watching and observing what’s going on around you while having your own coffee. Ever found yourself listening in on people’s private conversations, not because you want to, but because they are so loud. Ever wondered if this is common everywhere in the world. Are those conversations the same everywhere you go?? Well, I wondered, and so I decided to investigate.
Here I am sitting in a popular coffee shop in one of the countries around the world. And there are two teenage girls having a conversation in the booth behind me. It made it easy to hear word for word as they were super loud. As most of you remember, what it was like being a teenager. You talk loud because you want attention. And you actually wish people around you would hear you. It’s like you want to prove you are smart. So they went on about this girl in school who wanted the attention of some boy, whom one of those girls were infatuated with. And they were talking about it in details, down to how that girl walks and laughs. It’s actually funny listening to such a conversation. I was itching to join the conversation and give them my advice. Then I realized, it was not a good idea and I should just stay out of it. And so I paid attention to teenage talks everywhere I went. And man did it bring back memories. Although I don’t remember being that shallow. But the demeanour is usually the same. The body language is so similar.
My next victims were older ladies around the 50s. These ladies would mostly talk about their husbands and how they are getting on their nerves with some habits. And of course about their grown children who seem to be going through some big stuff. Here the conversation is more mature and well-balanced. Both have a chance to talk and the other person actually listens. Unlike the teenagers conversation, they were talking over each other and probably didn’t hear what the other was saying. In addition, they changed subjects, several of them actually. Compared to the teenagers once again, their topic never ended. It was one topic the whole time and it got nowhere. At times, I found myself relating to those ladies with some of their issues. They talk about deep life topics that is actually worth discussing.
Moving on to the next set, two or more men sitting at the bar having a drink and kinda having a conversation. You see, I found out that the most unique conversation is between male friends or colleagues or even acquaintances. First of all, they are not loud. They don’t want people hearing them. With the exception if they had a little too much too drink. Otherwise, their conversation entails a lot of nodding and short answers like: I hear you man / word / wtf / are you serious / that’s sick / As for their common topics, it is comprised of either sports, cars, women and if they are married the kid topic might come up but not often. And as for their body language, well, surprisingly they don’t look at each other most of the time. Their eyes are rolling around looking at who just came in and who went out and the person sitting across from them. They tend to shake their legs a lot and play with their phone. And they are usually texting someone while talking to the person next to them. I never saw them getting offended or complaining that they are not giving them their full attention. That only happens with couples.
This brings me to my next victims on the list. Oh the couples … How interesting it is to watch couples at a dinner table or at a coffee shop. I have to say, this combination is unique every time. Yet, I can say there are some common observations. It depends of course on their age and their level of commitment to each other. Here are some of my observations:
Teenage couple will be very affectionate and will usually sit next to each other or leaning against the table and there will be lots of hand holding and starring in each other’s eyes and a lot of laughing. You can barely hear what they are saying to each other. Sometimes they will be on their phone from the moment they sit down till they leave. And of course a lot of selfies and fish mouths shots. You just can’t predict their behaviour. It’s always different.
Couple in their early twenties, there will be a lot of flirting, a lot of smiling, conversations about themselves mostly with the occasional talk about some of their past experiences and work. One of the things they might be busy with for a while is checking in on Facebook and tagging each other. Maybe even take one or two selfies. Then talk about that for a bit. The girl will usually excuse herself to fix her make up and add more lipstick. And when she returns, he will usually admire her beauty and tell her so, making her blush. That’s when they decide to go. And here I am sitting and thinking to myself “I know where that’s leading to”!!
Late twenties / early thirties couple possibly been together for a while, engaged or newly weds. They usually sit across from each other, with occasional hand holding and saying “I love you s” with their lips. Sometimes one or both will take the other’s hand to their lips and kiss their hand. Their conversations are scattered and at times there is silence and looking at their surrounding. The girl might comment on what that girl on the next table is wearing or how much make up she has on. At some point the girl will ask the waiter to take a picture of them. And then take a selfie after.
An old couple conversation is hilarious. Usually entails the woman talking and the man just sitting drinking and eating and agreeing with her. Her voice gets loud, you think they are fighting, then it turns out she is upset about someone else doing something that has nothing to do with her but she is just mad and in a minute the topic changes and you can hear them laughing. The only thing you can do while listening to this is raise your eyebrows in disbelief of this conversation. All the topics are unrelated. There is more silence noticed at times. No one takes their phone out, it makes you wonder if they even have one. Forks and knives get banged a lot on the plate. They don’t look at each other as much as they look at the people around them. At times you can’t tell from their body language or facial expression if they actually want to be together or not. It’s weird. They focus so much on their food than anything else. On the other hand, I have witnessed old couples walking through the park, holding hands and kissing. Some seem to be so in-sync that you wish you could have this when you are older. You can’t help but think this is so cute. It’s interesting how unpredictable old couples can be, at least that was my observation.
Having said all that, these things I said are not to be taken seriously. It’s just some of my observation and me drawing conclusions. Each person is different and each situation is different. I just found it intriguing to monitor certain people closely when the opportunity presented itself. I hope my observations don’t offend anyone.