Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Scene In Which I Confess To Being An Eating-Eavesdropper

One of the things that my friends come to realize about me is that, as I put it to Cute Boy today, "I have a nasty habit of being altogether too concerned with the conversations of dining pedestrians."

I think I meant dining peers.


Confession time: I am an eating-eavesdropper.

I can't help it.

It just happens.

Because no matter how interesting your own eating companion is, there always comes a point in the meal when you aren't talking because you are, well, eating. Or, if you are me, you spend a ridiculous amount of time working in various Starbucks and lamenting the fact that you have given up caffeine (which is a story for another day) and occasionally your mind wanders away from your work.


For example.

Right now I am sitting across the table from two college-age gals who are studying for an upcoming nursing exam.

Girl 1: "Ok, let's look at scenario 2."

Girl 2: "Ok. The patient is in his 50s and suffers from hallucinations that occur after seizures. He also frequently faints."

Girl 1: "So........would that be a medical diagnosis or a psychological diagnosis?"

Girl 2: "Ummmmmmmmmmmmm..........I think medical?"

Can I just say, I worry a bit for the future of the medical profession.

I kind of love these little moments in time when I get to glimpse someone else's day to day life. Today Cute Boy and I were having lunch at Panera and we overheard the table next to us talking about how life would be less stressful for "them," after "the baby comes before Christmas." They were an older couple, and I found myself wondering more about the story. Were they adopting a baby? Were they about to be grandparents? What on earth could be so bad that it would make a pregnancy more stressful than having a NEWBORN WAILING CHILD?? (This is where our own table conversation went to.)

But alas, I am destined to never know the answers to the questions I overhear. Did stay-at-home-mom's husband decide to take that job? Did gym-bunny pick a new Pilates mat? Is Costco really cheaper than Wal-Mart for toilet paper? Because, you see, as interesting as these conversations are and despite the fact that they are occurring in public places, there's an unspoken rule among eating-eavesdroppers that you do. not. acknowledge. them.

THAT would just be weird.


  1. I always find myself eavesdropping on people's conversations when they happen to be sitting next to me talking about theology. It never fails..and I always have to bite my tongue!! :)

  2. I suffer from the same thing too....All three of us..I knew we had MORE in common. I always actually find myself answering questions though...I try to play it off as being kooky and interested but really i think it makes people nervous. Anyway I give the excuse that I am really good at reading people and this is just another way of doing that. I mean really if someone has a question about something and I know the answer they want me to give it to them ...RIGHT??

  3. I think far more people are eating-eavesdroppers than will admit it!! I try never to interact but sometimes it is soooo hard....particularly when, like Jill's, they are talking about something I know about and I KNOW they are getting it wrong.