People Watching

I didn’t blog yesterday because this past weekend we took a trip to D.C. as part of our spring break festivities. We wanted to show Jan our nation’s capital while we had a chance. We hadn’t had an opportunity to show off the treasures we have in Washington.

D.C. always amazes me with the infinite amount of people watching available to me there. This trip was no exception. I love to people watch. I love to make up stories about their lives. I will look to find someone who stands out in the crowd and try to make up something about their lives based on what drew my attention to them.

Our first day there we were treated to cool temperatures and rainy conditions. The best place to beat the weather is at one of the many Smithsonian museums on the National Mall. The kids chose the Air and Space Museum. I think it may well be the most popular of museums in D.C. Standing in line behind hoards of other people who had the same desire to get out of the rain gave me ample opportunity to people watch. No one really drew my attention, though, until we got we got to the security check point. The man right in front of us was stopped and his back pack re-scanned because the security guard saw something out of the ordinary. This man had a giant pair of scissors in his back pack which were promptly confiscated by security. I imagined he was a famous clothing designer on his way from his studio. In my mind he was in a hurry to meet a friend and he just forgot to take out his scissors. I could tell he was upset about losing his scissors but he handled himself well and he impressed me. He was cool, polite and a bit apologetic about the situation. Claire was with me as we watched to scene unfold and I knew she felt just a little bad for the guy. Once we were finished with security Mr. Scissorhands disappeared into the crowd.

As we made our way through the museum one guy kept crossing my path. I had the distinct impression he was homeless from the unkempt nature of his clothes, hair and shoes. He had on white, ankle-length leggings topped with cut off jean shorts. His hair was longish, greasy and he had a strange mini-bun at the back of his head. He took just part of his hair at the very back of his head and put it in a rubber band and then wrapped it into a bun. He looked like he was carrying most of his possessions in his back pack with a variety of things hanging off the sides of his back pack. His shoes were in poor condition with the soles being worn away on the insides of his heels. He walked from exhibit to exhibit mumbling to himself. I think he may have been in the beginning stages of some mental decline, at least this is the story I told myself as I saw him in different parts of the museum.

The final guy who caught my attention needed no made up story. He was crazy as a loon. Claire and I had the unfortunate opportunity to run across this bonafide crazy man. Claire and I decided to take the stairs coming up from the Metro Station leaving Stan and the boys behind on the escalator. We were standing together waiting for the boys when this short, filthy man came bursting between us. He was foaming at the mouth and his speech was gibberish. He slammed his way in between Claire and me and started circling us like a shark. Claire gave a little cry and jumped behind me. I stood between her and the crazy man. He seemed to back away so I let my guard down for a minute to pin my wet bangs back out of my face. The lunatic took my lapse in attention to deliver a hard punch to my elbow. At this point the boys came up the escalator and the crazy man shrank back into the shadows as I put Stan directly in between us and the lunatic. Claire was beyond stunned and more than a little freaked out by this encounter. Claire and I will be glad to never run into a man as crazy as he was.

My people watching time was limited because of everything we packed into the weekend but I still was able to make up stories about a few of the people we saw. I didn’t make up as many stories as I have in time’s past, I was too busy having fun with Stan and the kids. The kids rated our trip a five out of five so all in all the trip to our Nation’s Capital was a success.

Ah, for the love of my children…

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