Tuesday, June 9, 2009

She dyes her hair purple, he goes into Victoria Secret

I am prone to overhearing conversations. It’s not that I am eavesdropping. It’s just that what I overhear can be much more interesting than what people say directly.

I am intrigued by these conversations at the mall, in the neighborhood or at the store.

What follows is my diary of sorts of those snippets of dialogue. There are many back-stories here, but you have to listen closely....

A short trim man with salt and pepper hair was talking on his cell phone: "It may prolong my drinking a little bit today."

A middle-school boy revealed squeamishly, "I’ve been in Victoria Secret."

His friend countered in a competitive tone, "I have, too, but not without my mom."

A woman exclaimed, "She dyed her hair purple!"

A grandmother emphatically shouted into her cell phone, "He’ll help you dig it out. I’m telling you he’ll help you dig it out," she stressed while trying to catch her breath.

A young man in his 30s shuffled along while talking on his cell phone: "My heart is broken. But I’m going to keep moving forward." Silence. "Yeah, she wants all of my stuff out by the weekend."

Two teenaged girls were filling out entry forms for a "Win This Car" contest. "You’ll win it if you fold it like this," one girl said to the other while folding and then crinkling the form.

One guy to another, "I’m going to keep the car until she gets it paid off."

An elderly woman insisted, "I told him that I’m not going to send a card until I see it in the paper."

A woman said under her breath, "She’s probably cheating on him."

One hurried shopper to another, "I think it’s over here on the right side."

Two teenaged boys hanging out. "I’m texting her that we’re going to be out at the mall for awhile," the taller boy said. "How do you spell awhile?"

"It’s two words, a while," his friend instructed.

"No it’s not. It’s one word a-w-h-i-l-e," the other debated.

"No, it’s not!" The argument continued.

Recently, while on a walk in my neighborhood, I overheard a man speaking in a singsong "Once upon a time" voice. He was sitting on a porch bench reading a book to a young girl who was situated beside him. The sound of his voice fell on my ears like beautiful ancient music.

On Mother’s Day many years ago, when I was on a late afternoon walk, I heard the voice of an angry elderly woman come barrelling through the front door of a modest little cottage. "Get out!" the woman shouted. "Get out, you [expletive] son of a [expletive]!" I dared glance sideways to see the poor soul she was chasing down her front walkway. He was a tall lanky man with scraggily gray hair and a long white beard. She continued to fire away, hollering and waving her arms at him while he stiffly made his way to the street. "And don’t ever come back! You hear me! Never!"

It’s just that what I overhear can be much more interesting than what people say directly.

2009 © Copyright Paula Damon. A resident of Southeast South Dakota, Paula Damon is a national award-winning columnist. Her columns have won first-place in National Federation of Press Women, South Dakota Press Women and Iowa Press Women Communications Contests. In the 2009 South Dakota Press Women Communications Contest, Paula's columns took three first-place awards. To contact Paula, email pauladamon@iw.net, blog with her at http://my-story-your-story.blogspot.com/ and find her on FaceBook.

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