The other day I was meeting my friend Jenny at the gym. It’s attached to a senior center and they have parking lots on different sides of the street. At the time we were supposed to meet she sent a text saying, “Pulling in now. Ended up at the Senior Center. Saw a lot of personalized plates and knew I was in the wrong spot.” I laughed pretty hard, mainly because she’s right. It reminds me what my friend Hilda used to say about how writers should surround themselves with brilliant friends. Funny ones, too, I’d add.
What observation have you heard lately that rang true? How could you fit it in a story?
At the doctor’s the other day, the nurse had to prick my finger for a blood sample. When she was done I said, “That wasn’t so bad. I always expect it to be worse.”
She smiled and said, “I could tell you were nervous. Your feet gave you away. The feet always give people away.” She was right. I’d curled my toes and shook my left foot almost loose at the ankle. She rolled her eyes and added, “Men are the worst.”
What tick have you noticed in people that give them away? How could you work it in a story?
Thank you so much for parking your car at my gym and for motivating fat chicks. Fat chicks will see your car before they work out and have this sign as a reminder to lose weight. With every step on the treadmill or booty shake in zumba or lap of the pool, fat chicks will remember your sign and think, If only I lose enough weight, I can get in that car.
Because certainly it is only the fat chicks’ fatness that is stopping them from getting in your car. Not the personality of someone who would hang this sign.
I’ve been meaning for about a year to go to this consignment shop near my house. It was on my old walking route so I’d regularly look in the windows and knew they had some cool furniture and knickknacks I might not know I needed. I finally stopped in last week. It was overpriced compared to the flea market I drop into every few months at the county fairgrounds, and it had a lot less stuff so there wasn’t the sense you were really digging for a gem, but what made the trip worth while though were the hipsters.
The building was very quiet, almost like there was no one there, and so after looking around a bit I was I startled to turn and see a man behind a glass-front counter working at a computer. He had a shaved head along with one of those long, mangy, puffy beards and wore black plastic glasses with skinny jeans. He didn’t look up when I turned toward him, so I wasn’t sure if he worked there or not. But if not, what was he doing? I walked in a little further and there was his female counterpart at a different display but also at a computer, wearing over-sized glasses and a knit hat, some complicated layering system of shirts, and colored tights with a short skirt. She also didn’t look at me but kept her head down, intent at whatever was on that computer. These two were so purposefully unengaged with the environment, so hellbent on being silent, I actually wondered if I’d walked into some kind of art installation it was so random. In a later room I saw a third hipster, but at least this one was moving around, although again, he didn’t talk to me or make eye contact. I finally scanned the last room very quickly and left as another hip guy–he looked like an art collector, wearing a multi-colored scarf, all black clothes, and very severe glasses–came in as I was leaving. And no one spoke to anyone the entire time I was there.
I don’t think I’ll go back to buy anything, but I might stop by in another week or so and see if they’re still there, being hip, not selling anything. I know a few hipsters; maybe I’ll send them in as bait and see if they can get these people to talk to them, like trying to see if you can make the Queen’s guards laugh. Although even the guards at Buckingham Palace probably have a better sense of humor about themselves than some hipsters.
What environment have you been in lately that feels a bit off? How could you use that setting in a story?